Sitting Down to Work Tentside at 4 A.M.

(This poem was written three years ago when, to do this work, the poet was forced to live in a tent. It applies just as well this early morning to her life, now in a van.

Those who curl their lip to see her pull up have never known what it is to sleep without a bed, eat without a stove, or work to ones capacity without earning enough respect from ones society even to hope for a real home ever again)


Take off your boots so you can sit cross-legged

Put your slippers on over your socks, or you know you’ll be sorry

Pull your gloves all the way up your arms

Pull your sleeves all the way down over them

Do it again until the gloves stay up and the sleeves stay down

Repeat after every half dozen bodily motions

Put both your hoods up

Arrange your cloak carefully so that it covers your knees but leaves your arms free to move

Place a towel over it, now, because you know that sooner or later something will fall on this lap tonight.

Move your shawls, cloak and scarves out of the way of your elbow, to make room for the small folded pillow which supports the arm that holds your mobile device — which at standard user posture is proven to exert the equivalent of sixty five pounds of lift pressure in the neck and upper spine

Adjust pillow according to hight of accumulated fabrics, to ease shoulder strain over the long hours you will be online

Locate your reading glasses, and put them on

Reach for your handheld device

Plug into it the spare battery you charged outdoors by solar panel yesterday

Move the cord out of the way of all else which is in your way

Oh, wait

Forgot your water
Way over there


Among us, poets are not paid. The poet/editor of this website, being physically disabled, lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level, and currently lives in her vehicle. Become a patron of the fine arts at:

17 thoughts on “Sitting Down to Work Tentside at 4 A.M.

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Please read this wonderful poet, Ana, who is homeless and who works from a van. This poem brought tears to my eyes. PLEASE, fols, put your “Likes” on Ana’s blog and not mine. Let’s come together as a loving community and give Ana a lift today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ana, this made my cry with sorrow but with pure love and compassion for you. If I was over there, you would be getting the biggest hug you ever had, from me. I care about you Ana, very very much. Your poetry is amazing and more people should see it. My love is comung right over there to you Ana, across the ocean. If I was there, you would not be homeless. And you would have good food and a nuce bed. All I can do is keep extending live, understabding and compassion to you. But Anam you are such an amazing, strong and determined character. Thoygh I DOnknow, from my own experiebce, that you will not always be feeling like that. You will have your down moments, yourcangry moments (but forgive me if I have got that wrong), Sending you the buggest, warmest hug you ever had.
    Lorraine xx

    Liked by 1 person

        1. You once wrote to me that you loved the “zany” so I’ve been including it to make you smile — but, if you’d prefer not, I won’t any more.

          I very seldom use people’s given names, because names in our culture contain no clue as to the nature of what is named (“Meadowbrook Avenue” — dry as dust and bordered by little but acres of cracked pavement, right?) — so, my mind having a strong bent toward logical progression and sane systems of nomenclature — I tend to have difficulty remembering them.

          Most often I call people “sister” and “brother” because that’s what I believe them, deep down, to be; they just need to get clear enough to remember it.

          Now, there’s something I do consider logical, sane, and worth keeping in the forefront of my consciousness, rather than engaging with constant little word editings.

          Often I use the California “dude,” which for some reason once in a while really bothers someone.

          My eventual balance on the whole thing comes to this:

          My recipient either feels the love in what I’m offering or they do not.

          If they do not, no amount of juggling with pronouns is going to change that, and no amount of kindness toward me on their part will cover their real feeling that, for them, pronouns are more important than true intentions.

          Myself, I’m completely invested in the level of vibrational signature — that of true intention.

          I very rarely offer to make any sort of adjustment in my affect or presentation based on anyone else’s preference — so it may be a thing to treasure that I offer to do so for you, my sister.

          Please have a peaceful day.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bless you my sista. You are most welcome to call me “zany” as I like it. Some people do prefer to know actual names! No, go ahead with zany or sista or sister. We most definitely ARE sisters. I hold out my hand to you sista 😊

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh, you ROCK! You are so COOL with real love in communication! You make my heart sing! BIIIIIG hug, sista gurl! 👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩

              Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s