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.


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.



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

Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.