Throwing In The Towel


I am tired and I am shattered and before in tears I drown,
I shall put away my pen, as I exit with a frown.

I wish to thank you very much for stopping by and all,
I shall not listen to the cries; nor will I heed the writer’s call.

I’ve struggled with my faith and the battle has been lost.
I’ll settle in with winter and await the first cold frost.

I am bitter and I am angry and I have such great contempt
for those who hate the ones who are homeless and unkempt.

I have tried in every way to not concede the fight,
but the price is just too high; there are none to see the light.

I’m pummeled here and pummeled there and though the cause is just,
there are way too many issues and another one bites the dust.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

Many times, those of us who care so very much for others feel as though our very spirit is being pulled from us. Even though we may be perceived as strong, we do have our weak moments. We ALL do. The point of the above poem relates to the struggle within myself. It is the struggle of those who have compassion, empathy, concern and sensitivity for the so-called underdogs of our society, those who are the left behinds, the forgotten. My struggle is so overwhelming because I walk the mean streets and I look and I listen and what I see and hear just breaks my heart! I see the ignorance. I see the cruelty. I hear the moans. I hear the pleading voices, begging for help. And I can do so little. The leaders of this country need to take a walk with me. But the question is,”Would it do any good?”

…and no, I am not conceding the fight. I am just conceding that  sometimes the force that is what makes me, me just has to push back, has to acknowledge that I am but one person and there will be times when I will falter and want to surrender, give in to hopelessness and so it helps to write about this frustration and that is where this poem came from.

After faltering, the battle for peace resumes!

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Frederick Douglass

20 thoughts on “Throwing In The Towel

  1. Shelby-
    This is such a soul-shattering post … it moved me to tears. I am glad you don’t plan to give it up (hugs) … Oh, how many times I contemplated on throwing in the towel, then I always decided to throw back the fist instead. Once I even planned to delete my whole blog and sink back into total oblivion, but then some others pulled me back …

    I agree we should continue the fight, and agree, writing is only part of the strategy, and eventually we will need to take this fight to other levels. But at this point I think writing is the most important – even when it feels too lonely, isolated and futile, when it seems too insignificant, yet, shaking up as many as possible is the MOST crucial part of the struggle. The enemy are few and we are many, and we will be in vast majority – that is one major advantage on our side! And as we speak more and more are awakening …. To offer some comfort and to illustrate how many are thinking in the same direction as we are, and that might be indeed a meaningful strategy behind our struggle, here is a link:

    Our sheer number, unity, courage and love for one another are our main strengths, and the more we show of these the more we undermine the enemy. At least that’s what I think.


    1. Skywanderer, thank you! I took the opportunity to visit the link and they had some great ideas there and yes, ‘storm clouds ARE gathering’ and the time will soon be ripe for what needs to be done. But it has to be done right as many of us know. We ARE building momentum. We ARE attracting attention. We ARE making strides. We ARE NOT going to give up! Thank you for your encouraging and uplifting words. I take them to heart.


      1. Shelby-
        These are so profound words of wisdom and vision – thank you so much for them!
        As you are aware as well, I do share all the anger and bitterness you feel – and many others feel by now – and do believe that this is the kind of passion that can arise only from one’s fully understanding what is at stake – ie at the depth you understand – and as such it is the first step towards making a difference.

        Your thoughtful and inspiring reply has just made my day!


    1. Thank you Shainbird, I am trying! …and of course Frederick Douglass, when he spoke, was a ‘power house’ of knowledge, highly educated and not one to mince words. I have only just begun to scratch the surface in reading up on him.


    2. Bless your heart Skywanderer! If it were not for people like you who have made this a great community, I would have given up! So, if I ever seem a bit ‘off”, just give me a gentle ‘cuff’ upside the head, I’ll get right again!

      May your great day last all day and into the night and the next and the next….LOL! You get the message.


  2. Shelby, Tubularsock knows exactly what you so eloquently have conveyed.

    But what I have discovered is when I “throw in the towel” all I end up with is a stack of laundry that has to be washed and folded. AGAIN!

    Some mornings when I sit down at my computer and look at the state of the world for this day it is overwhelming. Other days it seems doable. All that has changed is my way of looking at it ………. the world is the way it is and will continue in its way.

    And Tubularsock will continue exposing the dirty laundry of the world because sometimes it does surprisingly change for the better. With that hope I might start washing my socks!


    1. Tube, I hate doing laundry, so I will NOT throw in the towel. Bless your ever loving heart! Thank you for basically telling me to “get my act together!”

      Seeing as how you are ‘TubularSOCK’, I just think you had best to commence to washing them ‘thar’ socks!!!


  3. Thank you all for your comments but I have observed something that I think is eye opening, at least for me it is. Of all the many poems that I have written about the homeless, the hopeless, the downtrodden, the suffering; I took a look at the ‘likes’ stats on those poems and not one compares to ‘likes’ received on the only poem that I wrote about SEX!
    “That Brazen Hussy” saw more activity(no pun intended) than did “Am I Not Human?” and “Suffering” and even “We Are The Terrorists!”

    Yes, we are certainly making progress here when anything about “sex” makes people sit up and take notice, but anything concerning suffering and the hopelessness of the homeless does not, nor does incarceration of those who have exposed horrific war crimes, i.e Chelsea Manning.

    I guess that I should start writing poems about the homeless and put them in ‘porn’ form. For the love of …….!!!!!!!

    This points glaringly to where “Throwing In The Towel” came from.


  4. Shelby. This is why Amerika is great. Sex is where the money is and where the interest happens to be and you might want to think about writing a series, say like ahh… “Horny and Homeless” or to keep with your former work “Homeless Hussy”. The “Likes” would go through the roof! Ok, “Throwing OFF the Towel” ……… perhaps.


    1. I can always depend upon you to bring me to tears, IN A GOOD WAY!!! I rocked back with laughter, “Horny and Homeless?” Tubular!! I am going to take you to task for a serious breach of social conduct as I was on the phone when I read this comment and did I let loose or did I let loose. The other person that I was talking with hung up on me. You should be ‘whipped’ with a wet noodle! Tears are flowing down my face even now. Seriously, Tube…how anyone can be around you for more than twenty seconds without needing a respirator to aid them in taking a breath from guffawing, I’ll never know!! Please, do us a favor and take your act on the road, I’d pay to see it!!! Make Minnesota your first engagement!!!!


  5. Shelby your passion and, perhaps, even more importantly compassion will not allow you to give up. This is what keeps all of us going no matter how much the ruling class would prefer otherwise. The human spirit is capable of amazing things but like a flame needs to be fanned periodically in order to revive it. At times, we need each other to keep that flame burning. We can only get by with a little help from our friends.

    Peace and solidarity to you.


    1. Jeff, how right you are! I have stated so many times that it seems as though I am ‘preaching to the choir’. I wish that I could somehow take your post and turn it into a billboard, placing it all over the world, because yes, “the human spirit IS capable of amazing things but like a flame needs to be fanned periodically in order to revive it.” Truer words were never spoken and that is why I keep visiting and commenting and liking blogs of others who write so amazingly and yet, I am dumbfounded when I see that it seems as though no one has even taken notice. I do realize that with so many wonderful blogs and the fact that there are established blogs that have been around for so long, that those of us who are fairly new must build up our readership. What dismays me the most is that what we write, the mainstream media will not. But as everyone who has commented has stated, we must carry on and you are right, my compassion for others will not let me stop, it causes me much frustration because as I’ve stated before, I seem to do so little.
      Thank you so very much! The comments by you and all the others have certainly helped to “fan the flames!”


  6. Wow, Shelby…this absolutely blows me away. Your words are so powerful and you express yourself SO beautifully it brought tears to my eyes.

    Just a few months ago I considered deleting my blog totally. I opted instead to just twist it into a pile of meaningless, pointless gibberish and am just now getting things back on track. It’s hard not to get tired, to not feel like you are screaming yourself hoarse…and for what? So that a bunch of drowsy people can call you a loon? Dismiss you? Or the worst of all…fear you and the message you try to deliver.
    The real bitch of it is that even when you feel most like you want to quit and crawl back under the covers, it doesn’t take long to realize you can’t ever fall back asleep…you toss, turn, wrestle the demons and then somehow find a way to slip your feet back on the floor and get back in the game. There’s just too much at stake to allow for peaceful slumber, isn’t there?

    Thanks for the lift and for helping others realize we’re not all out here hanging solo and twisting all alone. ~Reb


    1. I don’t know how I missed your comment! I am so sorry! You are SO right. When we wipe the sleep from our eyes and we wake up and see, really see, we cannot close them again for those of us who feel, actually feel, there is no turning back. I get frustrated and I admit that freely but it is because I feel that there is so much that needs to be done and that I am but a miniscule part of the big picture, that what I say or do would never make a hill ‘o beans worth of difference and what I abhor most of all is to see suffering and not be able to do a damn thing to stop it. The helplessness is just too much. When people reach out to me, I want to help them all, but I am no billionaire and therefore, there is no great difference that I can make in their lives, would that I but could.

      Thank you for that heartfelt comment and again, I apologize for somehow failing to catch the tracker with this one! You bring so many issues to the forefront and each and every one of them is equally relevant. I am glad that I found my way over to your blog!


      1. No worries, I have a hard time catching/keeping up with everything. Even when I want to answer sometimes, I have to wait until my family is out so I can string a thought together. Oh the joys of tiny house living lol. 😉

        The suffering is my break-point as well. Not so much that people suffer – but that so few others seem to see or care. How, how, how can SO many wrongs go unnoticed by so many? Some days I try to excuse it – people are just scared, they’re tired, being swallowed by the rat race…and other days I want to run around kicking the world in the shins because the excuses don’t seem legit.

        I think beyond just being able to give physical items – food, clothes, water – to others, we ARE giving what we can by not remaining silent. I can’t do much but I can scream like a banshee so maybe raising my voice up another octave helps those who have no voice. I can’t stretch my arm to reach the kid in Asia who needs help but I can damn well live a conscious life and not add to his misery by not participating in the system that is crushing us. Not every kind of help has to come in a straight, physical, tangible line…I bet you have far more impact than you’d guess or than can be easily measured. 🙂


  7. Thank you for that MisBehaved! I am with you on how I try to not add to the suffering by not buying every new gadget that comes down the pike. It saddens me to hear of the horrifying working conditions of those who make the products overseas that we pitch tents and wait in long lines to purchase here in America. We are just incredibly insensitive, thoughtless, inconsiderate and downright ridiculously callous, cold and uncaring when we know that people are trying to commit suicide rather than endure those horrible working conditions that they are forced to endure. And many of us just don’t care, the heartless don’t and the fact that there are so many does not bode well for OUR future, quite the contrary. Thank you again for a post that echoes my sentiments exactly!


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