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Below is the poem entitled Jobless which was written by poet Howard Bull. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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You are now an outsider
No longer part of the mechanism
Not needed, surplus to requirement, redundant
Your mind slowly blunting at the bottom of the bottom drawer of life

The eyes of others betray derision and contempt
Fearful of catching your disease
Keeping a distance, loathing your weakness and inability
A moment of pseudo sympathy and they’re gone, you’re of no further use to them   

Every rejection is an undeniable confirmation of your failure
Affirmation is everywhere; you just never saw it before now
Self-confidence, ground down with every counter-opinion to yours
Your worth is worthless and your prospects worth less than that

Pride declines charity yet you wish they’d persist
Dismissal and a cynical laugh is your antidote to their wise advice
Don’t you think I have thought of that? Or tried this? You say
Embarrassment at your own ineptitude has become hostility

Your child's face is a gallery of unconscious naivety
You draw her in close, a surrogate for decent food and warmth
Inwardly you cry for her and, perhaps, more for you at your inability to provide
You’re not sure how or when it will end but will end

Slowly, yet quite perceptibly, you have become the person you once scorned
You now comprehend the reason for their shabby appearance 
You realise that hesitance isn’t stupidity but a fear of making a wrong impression
You can now walk a mile in another man’s shoes…until they wear out

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  1. Date: 1/5/2010 9:34:00 AM
    Congratulations,Howard. You have made it through the first round of judging for Poetrysoup October 13, 2009 poetry contest. "Jobless" is a WOW poem. Having walked a lifetime in similar shoes, inner-strength grew... And now, ... Nice poem. 2009 was a successful year of poetry for you. I come, now, wishing you continued success in your writing endeavors throughout 2010 and for many years to come. God be with you. Lovingly, Dane Ann

  1. Date: 12/22/2009 10:30:00 AM
    Congratulations on being a first round survivor and the best to you in the finals Howard. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors in 2010 whatever they may be. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 8:23:00 AM
    Congrats on your poem winning the first round of PS contest!! Very well deserved, enjoyed reading your wonderful poetry. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! May 2010 be your best year ever! Love Light Patty

  1. Date: 12/20/2009 9:34:00 AM
    Many congratulations on reaching the second round with your fine poem >> James

  1. Date: 11/19/2009 4:30:00 AM
    damn. brotha can you spare a dime? good poem. congrats on the feature. i hope your well employed and this economy turns around.

  1. Date: 11/18/2009 11:16:00 AM
    Howard - congrats on being featured this week. Rgds Janette

  1. Date: 11/16/2009 11:38:00 AM
    Congrats on your feature poem this week! Love Light Patty

  1. Date: 11/16/2009 10:43:00 AM
    Many congratulations on your poem being featured this week >> James

  1. Date: 11/16/2009 5:33:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poetry being featured this week Howard. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 11/15/2009 6:47:00 PM
    Many are faced with this at the economically challenging time. Wonderful last line to make your point. Timely piece. Congratulations on having your poem featured. I wish you ongoing success with your writing. Karen

  1. Date: 8/31/2009 3:23:00 AM
    love this!!! check out my letter to parliament.

  1. Date: 8/18/2009 5:48:00 AM
    A sad but true piece you have written here Howard. Some people have never had to live like this before are finding themselves in this position. They are getting a real wake up call. Thank you for sharing. Love, Carol