January Poetry of the Streets

grab your tent and screw the rent come occupy/ join the slackers and the hackers occupy/ meet the folks who lost their homes/ meet the folks who never owned one/ meet the folks down to the bone/ you’ll find you’ll never be alone/ grab a sign and join the line at occupy/ admit you’re the 99 and occupy

“OCCUPY THE STREETS” Artwork by Eric Drooker


Have a Slice of Occupy

by Carol Denney

we are having quite a slice of occupy

hot, fresh, wild, delicious occupy

stir it up a nice hot cup of occupy

share it with friends and neighbors

taste the fruit of all your labors

be the first one on your block to occupy

wind it up and set your clock to occupy

tell the cops and tell the mayor

you’ve become an occuplayer

have yourself a slice of occupy


grab your tent and screw the rent come occupy

join the slackers and the hackers occupy

meet the folks who lost their homes

meet the folks who never owned one

meet the folks down to the bone

you’ll find you’ll never be alone

grab a sign and join the line at occupy

admit you’re the 99 and occupy

if your tent don’t get reception

change your channel of perception

have yourself a slice of occupy


don’t be late no need to wait just occupy

you’re the 99 percent come occupy

hop on your bike and be the mike at occupy

the rich are going to miss the fun

but afterwards we’ll all be one

lose your frown and dance around at occupy

boot the blues and make the news come occupy

this ain’t no occupy in the sky

there’s more to occupy than meets the eye

come have yourself a slice of occupy

(we really mean it)

have yourself a slice of occupy


We’re Made of Music and Starlight

by Carol Denney

they can take all of our houses

those of us who have houses

they can take all of our jobs

those of us who have jobs

they can take all of our money

those of us who have money

they can describe us as mobs

a bunch of undisciplined slobs


but we’ve learned to live

with our neighbors

we’ve learned to live in the street

with nothing at all to protect us

sharing whatever we eat

we recognize we’re brothers and sisters

and family to hold and to love

now and forever today and together

on earth under heavens above


we’re made of music and starlight

we’re made of colors and song

we’re born to dance

on the planet together

beautiful graceful and strong

they can fill up all the prisons

shut down the schools and parks

they can keep warm with their money

we can keep warm with our hearts


somewhere they’re counting their money

money that used to be ours

piling it up in their savings

money that used to be ours

shaking their heads

as we’re kicked to the curb

but insisting they’re feeling our pain

taking our keys on the way out the door

and they’ll do it again and again


but we’ve learned the smallest among us

the most beaten impoverished soul

is a wealth and a fountain of beauty

and crucial to making us whole

there isn’t one of us we’ll leave behind

as we remake the world that we know

this isn’t work this is dancing together

and singing and making it so


The People

by Buford Buntin

The people worry about eating,

about drugs, about violence,

about paying rent.


The people stand on the street.

One says, “My son has some kind of

disease the San Francisco General

doctors can’t diagnose.”


Another tries to pack all her things

into a black garbage bag.


Security guards come around

and hand out tickets for free meals.


Nowhere, USA

by Claire J. Baker

He lies on a bench in Nowhere, USA.

A wooden sign on back reads in large,

pale, squared letters: BENCH AD —

tipped words on side spell in script:

“The Most Effective Outdoor Advertising.”


A homeless gent lies here, askew —

“hip” for awhile, no “soul” in sight,

not even his own. Safety net shot

with all he has not. A sunny man,

fingers shiny, cane propped under hip.

But, folks, night comes and comes

and comes.

And cold is cold is cold.


What If There Were No Poverty?

by Buford Buntin

What if the wealth were distributed,

if there were no rich & no poor,

the people were all healthy,

& nobody had to pay for anything?

Life was easy.


But that’s not the case.


People are angry because

some people have a lot & the poor

have basically nothing,

or at least not economically.


“Why do they get so much

& I get so ittle?”

the poor wonder justifiably.


With wealth evenly distributed,

anger & envy would subside

if not go away completely.


Portrait of Tranquility

by George Wynn

Portrait of tranquility

or the dark side of life —

old men and old women

sleeping side by side

under a half moon

with no chance to

move anytime soon


Turk Street Blues

by George Wynn

Elderly black lady

sits quietly on Turk

Street against wall

Two young cops laugh

tall one writes out

sit/lie ticket which trembles

in her deformed fingers

They drive off in cruiser

just as she begins

to cry


Watch Out for the Invisibles

by Jack Bragen

They seem to come out at night. My car headlights barely are able to illuminate them so that I do not run them over. They might be crossing the street, unworried about an oncoming car.

Some of them could be migrant workers. Others may have lost their jobs, not too long ago. The new invisible men and women seem to remain in the shadows, or in the cracks and crevices of our infrastructure — in places where people will not see and complain about them.

When darkness arrives, suddenly the whole area is abuzz with activity. If you looked around during daylight hours, you might be under the impression that there aren’t a lot of homeless people. Your impression would be wrong.

I do not know much about them, such as: How do they survive? They may have their own sub-society with its own rules and its own practices. They could be somewhat organized, out of the mutual need for necessities, and also the need to remain invisible to a harshly intolerant society.

This is not the same thing as the Occupy movement, although I am sure there is some overlap. This is a massive underground of people who are the rejects of mainstream society, and this underground is growing.

When driving through town at night, you should keep your high beams on whenever possible. When on foot, be prepared to give out a smoke, or some spare change.

If something appears strange, don’t worry. It is not an extraterrestrial. It is the invisible man or woman nearest you.


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