January Poetry of the Streets

BEATITUDE/ Believing that love/ silently expressed/ will be heard/ and silently answered,/ we need not celebrate/ by trumpet blast,/ tambourines, a dance/ around the block,/ need not kneel to pray/ in the garden of moonlight./ Love/ in its own quiet way/ feels like enough.

BEATITUDE

by Claire J. Baker

Believing that love

silently expressed

will be heard

and silently answered,

we need not celebrate

by trumpet blast,

tambourines, a dance

around the block,

need not kneel to pray

in the garden of moonlight.

 

Love

in its own quiet way

feels like enough.

 

Season’s Greetings,

Peace and Love 2015

 

 

Tangled Up in Wounds

(Poem found under leaves in Golden Gate Park)

by George Wynn

“Oh God give me a warm

home far away from the

kick-ass cowards who

beat me up and set

fire to my tent

 

“I got a right to be alive

Do I deserve this: No, No, No!

Yes, I do like to beg

I’m good at panhandling

I have to be to survive

 

“Right now I’m tangled

up in blue like the song says

and tangled up in my wounds

and my nerves are burning

with the more ready to go

then ever before blues.”

“And in their hearts they turned to each other’s hearts for refuge.” Art by Joy Destefano

“And in their hearts they turned to each other’s hearts for refuge.” Art by Joy Destefano

 

Ark of Loneliness

by Peter Marin

Filing in, one by one,

as if into an ark

of loneliness, out of the rain

the shelter, its gray

emptiness anchored

at the bottom by green cots

arranged in rows, boots

tucked under, men asleep,

rocked on the surface

of watery dreams by a

great storm never to end.

 

Gimme Some Truth

Quotations Compiled by Daniel McMullan

I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians. All I want is the truth, just gimme some truth. — John Lennon

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world. — William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. — A.A. Milne (Christopher Robin to Pooh)

He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” — Luke 14:12-14

You were ordered to obey to Allah, and you were created to perform good deeds. — Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” — Haruki Murakami

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.