Homeless in Vancouver: Enjoying a ho-ho-homeless Christmas :-)

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      ’Twas a few nights before Christmas when all through the parkade
      nothing was stirring except me, I’m afraid;
      The Christmas cards were hung by the parking stalls with care,
      In hopes that the cars wouldn’t soon be there;
      The residents were all nestled snug in their homes;
      Watching television or talking on their phones;
      And my bike and myself under the halogen lighting,
      had just settled in to do some serious writing,
      When out on in the lane there arose such a clatter,
      I looked up from my screen to see what was the matter.
      Away from my laptop I flew like a bee,
      And tore to the alley to have a look-see.
      The moon behind rain clouds cast barely a glow,
      On the wet cars and the asphalt below,
      When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
      but a shopping cart full of eight (empty) bottles of beer,
      Pushed by a sketchy little binner, so lively and not tired,
      I knew in a moment that he must’ve been wired,
      [how long is this poem?]
      More rapid than eagles his curses they came—
      Such language as to put even a sailor to shame:
      “%$#@! Now it starts raining! @#!$ now it starts pouring!
      Oh fer %$#@ sakes, I should be off somewhere snoring!
      To top it all off there’s a %$#@ hole in my shoe!
      And I still have six alleys to go through!”

      [Okay, I’ve clearly bitten off more than I can chew.]

      My apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, the author of the famous 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas. Like everyone else, I’m familiar with the beginning and end of this treacly poem but I had no idea how long it was—it goes on for 56 stultifying lines!

      I got carded this year!

      Wonder of wonders, I received four whole Christmas cards! They came with gifts, which were all wonderfully appreciated, not the least of which was the privilege of hanging the cards in my parkade.

      Thanks to Ann, Margaret, and Nikki, who read my blog and love Vancouver as much as I do. Thanks to Ross, another reader who additionally gave me some helpful insights that improved a post; and thanks to Mike, who’s a card in his own right.

      And what can I say about the crew at the Georgia Straight newspaper who encourage and pamper my posts enough as it is? Thank you Charlie, Miranda, Martin, Travis, Janet, Stephen, John, Brian, Amanda, Paul, Michelle, and everyone else who signed the card, especially the amazing [unintelligible].

      And, in the spirit of the season, I even feel quite loving toward my circle of friends. Even though their friendliness makes it hard to write sometimes, I’m very lucky to have them. Same with all the people who take the time to follow, read, repost, and comment on my blog posts.

      While I’m gushing, I’d like to express my gratitude to the wonderful (for the most part) people of the Fairview neighbourhood where I live as well as the city of Vancouver as a whole. For richer or for poorer I always want to be a Vancouverite.

      Give yourselves a big hug and a pat on the back everyone. You’ve very nearly made it all the way through the tumultuous year 2014. Hopefully this last week will all be clear sailing and you can spend it in the healing embrace of friends and loved ones—it’s been a bit of that kind of year.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.



      Lovely L.

      Dec 24, 2014 at 9:46am

      Happy Holidays Stanley!
      You are such an inspiration . Great poem by the way.
      I think I know who that binner is as I hear his vulgar rants from time to time. And boy are they something else!
      Stay safe and warm.

      cranky mom

      Dec 24, 2014 at 10:56am

      A most excellent poem! And a most excellent post! Thank you, that made my morning. I love reading your original perspective of Vancouver. Thank you for sharing your words with us, namaste.


      Dec 24, 2014 at 8:38pm

      Merry Christmas, Stanley!

      Martin Dunphy

      Dec 24, 2014 at 11:05pm

      What the Big Guy said.

      Adrian C.Y. Fu

      Dec 25, 2014 at 10:18am

      Housing is a right! Money for housing, not for war and occupation!