TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

RAMONE, A HOMELESS KID THE DADDY CAN'T FORGET

"People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope; as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. "
--General Douglas MacArthur

Listen up. The Daddy received lots of accolades for his work with youth and gangs. But like many counselors and therapists, he thinks about those he was unable to help, those now hiding out on the streets, languishing in prisons or dead.


One such kid was Ramone. He hung out on the streets, he begged for money, he ate out of garbage bins, he broke into garages, and he robbed people. He came from a home where he was sexually abused by his step-father. Though warm with a refrigerator filled with food, home was the last place he wanted to go.
Though he liked The Daddy, his counselor, Ramone seemed unable to shake the demons of his past, unable to go back to a world that valued materialism over human beings, hypocritical parenting and perverted pleasure over love. The last time The Daddy saw him he looked old. This inability to shake his demons and living on the street must have taken its toll.

After receiving a call from him (He said he just wanted to talk, but I think he just wanted to know if a brotha was still around in case he needed him), The Daddy sat in a coffee shop and wrote this first draft of a poem:

I’m a Bat/You an Insect -for Ramone
by Mac Walton

i hide out in daylight.
i pounce hard after dark
from
a backseat on a subway, from a trashbin
in a backyard.

2


i cling upside down to a ceiling in a dark cave.
i fly out to greet you after work.

your dog won’t bark welcome home.
your mom won't say goodbye at church.


3

Wednesday, you said, “Go to welfare.
It’s just around the corner.”


Thursday,
You said, “You smell like garbage!”
In front of girlfriend Lynne.


Friday,
You said, “Go away” after
whispering beneath your collar:

“Illegal aliens. Get a job.
Earn your own dollar.”


“got two, lady:
taking out garbage;
feeding a lady friend.”


4

Now , my ceiling trembles.
my cave walls vibrate.

high heels tap concrete.

heavy coins jingle three houses up the street.

5

i’m a bat. you an insect.
Nostradamus pegged my life.

i’m a bat. you an insect.
i’m your last anti-Christ.

8 comments:

Somebodies Friend said...

Wow MacDaddy, that was a deep poem for real. I feel for those out there like Ramone living on the streets because they feel safer there than they do at home.

You mentioned the welfare office being just around the corner. Isn't there more help from the government agencies for these poor kids that don't feel safe at home. I know being in these situations for long stretches of time makes it hard to believe that help is right around the corner for most of these kids.

But like everybody else out there in the world, we all grow up one day. And even many like Ramone learn how to find there way after a long hard faught battle living on the streets.

I hate to even think that kids like Ramone are out there and they are falling through the cracks. I'll pray for Ramone and hope he makes it out of the mess real soon MacDaddy!

Oso said...

When I was young there was a CETA program lady tried to help me.My mother did a good job but it was tough trying to raise a wanna-be cholo on her own.Never a situation like Ramone,I was always loved.But the lady named Carmen who tried to help me,I screwed up everything she tried to do.Every job interview I'd show up drunk or high or late or not at all.She talked tough to me and it eventually kicked in and I straightened out.
I was never able to get in contact with her again,so she never knew that her hard work paid off.
So what you do with Ramone,it may pay off someday even though you don't see it now.
You may already know this,but thought I'd mention it.

Black Diaspora said...

"He came from a home where he was sexually abused by his step-father."

Physical or sexual abuse is a common thread in many of these young men lives.

It's a condition rarely mentioned, but known to those who work with kids like Ramone.

Your poem is a stark reminder of the relationships that are created as a result of our carelessness.

Oso, you're living proof that not all efforts with good intentions go unrewarded.

CAROLYN MOON said...

This was a good post and there are others out there who can't forget him and all the young ones who fall through cracks.
Just knowing that SOMEONE cares is a good intervention. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've heard relatively successful adults speak of that one teacher, pastor,counselor or neighbor who intervened with a kind word, some assistance or assurance that they would be there for them. I call them earth angels!

Student Credit Cards said...

I agree good post..thanks

MacDaddy said...

Somebody: Good to hear from you. You mentioned welfare. Kids fear going to welfare. They think the people there are going to send them home or some shelter, which can be dangerous too. And thanks for praying for Ramone. I've prayed for him many times.

Oso: You are right: Usually, it's not what one person says or does. Others can say or do something that can help a person to change. I'm hoping that happened to Ramone.

BlackDiaspora: You're right. Sexual abuse is a reason many kids run away from home. This was one of the reasons I left my job as a Youth Counselor. I got sick of dealing with it.

Carolyn: Like you, I'm hoping someone stepped in and started to help.

Anonymous said...

you're a good writer and all that, but I come to your blog for the comments. I think they're smarter than you.

CareyCarey said...

Whatsup MacDaddy,

Without being specific, I too work with individuals whos lives are in a downward spiril, and as you well know, the percentages are low that they will ever right the ship. I share your pain when you talk about those you couldn't save. Many do not know that working with the underprivilege is a burnout job, especially if the counselor, P.O., etc, has compassion, and sees their vocation as something other than a job. some see it as a calling ....a purpose.

I commend you for staying in the fight. Again, we will lose far more than we will bring to the other side, and that hurts.

A short little story: As a young adult, I was involved with many youth programs, little league, summer track, church, etc,. Of course some of the youth fell through the cracks. Well, my renewed meeting with one of them, took place in a 6 X 6 cell. I had fallen down.

I too write poetry. This post and the comments has inspired me to write one.

Oh, pay no attention to that man behind the screen "anonymous" :- ).

He's obviously insecure.