December Poetry of the Spirit

This poet connects/ the one word "gather"/ with the Quaker faith/ as in geese gather/ at lake's edge before/ the V-flight south,/ as in snowflakes gather,/ mounded on roof tops/ before the downward slide,/ as in two homeless men/ gather around a steam vent/ on a city sidewalk.

A Nuanced World

by Carol Denney

I’m angry

but I’m always the one

who cleans up the broken glass

and sweeps up the wreckage

unleashed on a helpless neighborhood

after another injustice


I’m angry

but I’m the one who sits

in court with the people

who were arrested

for just watching

someone torch the yarn store


I’m angry

but I’m always the one

after Ferguson or Fruitvale

called for a sound bite

to explain the predictable vandalism

pasted blindly across

a nuanced world



by George Wynn

He feels the breath

of January’s wind

and recalls a

street companion

who no longer

has to worry

about being damn

cold a long time

found dead on

San Francisco

downtown pavement

a book of poetry

in hand.


They both used to

wonder what might

be gained or lost

by going inside?


The ache in his

neck bones all

the way to

his toes tonight

tells him at 70

the shelter’s waiting

like it or not.



The One Word

by Claire J. Baker

This poet connects

the one word “gather”

with the Quaker faith


as in geese gather

at lake’s edge before

the V-flight south,


as in snowflakes gather,

mounded on roof tops

before the downward slide,


as in two homeless men

gather around a steam vent

on a city sidewalk.



For A Blind Street Person

by Claire J. Baker

Bent shadow, once did you race

the wind to reach your lover,

singing to him of spring?


It’s Christmas Eve in rain.

Crowds rush by, ignore your sign



No one drops a coin.

Always you smile, as if

you can see the street neoned


red, yellow, blue, gold —

colors reflected into

your empty bowl.


Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.