Archive | February, 2013

Mental Health, Inc.

Drug companies market their super-profitable, addictive and dangerous psych-meds to children. One of the most heinous crimes of the 21st Century will be the massive over-medication of children. Physicians’ willingness to uncritically follow pharmaceutical companies’ profit-driven recommendations to prescribe dangerous drugs to children will one day be recognized as criminal negligence.

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The Flower Girl

Dostoyevsky’s Prince Myshkin believed/ “Beauty will save the world.”/ By taking beauty to the shelter,/your flowers saved one part of it./ You smile in the spirit of Don Quixote:/ Free flowers for the poor/ could subvert the whole economy,/ beauty could ruin the banking system,/ kindness could wreck capitalism.

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The Shelter of Love

What about street dogs,/ the soft undersides of paws/ laid at night/ upon face or arm/ warding off cold & harm./ Dogs with hungry sorrowful/ eyes will gaze into our own./ If we have zero food/ to offer, not even a bone,/ a dog still claims us,/ downtrodden as we are,/ as his home.

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The Comfortable and the Cold

We still have the highest/ percentage of homeless/ people per population/of any city in the nation/ It’s 2013 and still / the drained and pained/ unhoused battalions/ of brokenhearted shopping cart/ soldiers come and go

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Getting the Story Out — Terry Messman and the Power of Activist Journalism

Reporting from “the shelters, back alleys, soup kitchen lines and slum hotels where mainstream reporters rarely or never visit,” Street Spirit runs stories on economic inequality and the daily grind of human rights violations that poor people face. It also chronicles the movement that is dramatically working for human rights.

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Strong and Unbound Wings

We think of you/ long on the streets/ a titanium brace in your bad leg,/ sighing at pain, yet uncomplaining/ like a statue of marble or bronze./ One day, Mike, may you glide/ from your sidewalk perch/ as if you were always a bird,/ and now at last your wings/ are strong, unbound.

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Blues for the Homeless

I am amazed at some homeless elders’ carts,/ blankets and clothes in neat folds,/ layers of grace in intricate space,/ Crimes of legalized hate,/ may take the carts of the homeless away/ but cannot separate them from God/ whose home is in their heart/ with or without a shopping cart.

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Corporate Misconduct: Dangerous to All Living Things

Drug companies market their super-profitable, addictive and dangerous psych-meds to children. One of the most heinous crimes of the 21st Century will be the massive over-medication of children. Physicians’ willingness to uncritically follow pharmaceutical companies’ profit-driven recommendations to prescribe dangerous drugs to children will one day be recognized as criminal negligence.

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Unwanted and Under Attack in Their Own Country

Re-fancying our neighborhoods,/ we liquidate the poor./ They are not an asset to refinance for./ We cannot see the living assets/ beyond our “perfect garbage cans”/ collecting waste of the lifeless lives we lead,/ full of all the things we think we need.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.