March Poetry of the Streets

Sleepy bored despairing,/ gray beard, gray jacket,/ blue jeans,/ blue cap./ Beloved Labrador’s gentle gaze/ lends solace./ Handcrafted sign requests help;/ holding few coins,/ your box yawns open/ walking stick sighs./ Resting beside canine friend/ you breathe.

A homeless man and his dog hope for food in San Francisco. Robert L. Terrell photo


Street Takes Toll Fast

by George Wynn

Young woman

realizes her dream

becomes a beauty queen

thinks she has it made

after a decade

of depression and rage

she dies of old age

on the street


The First-Time Homeless:

by Claire J. Baker

They need to decide on:

what corners

which benches

overnite shelters

sidewalk vents

possible doorways

unhoused buildings

darkest alleyways

safety nets (if any)

volunteer services

soup kitchens

when to speak

when to shut up

when & where to sleep

rainy day overheads



Beyond key decisions

there’s not much to do

but wait a century

for social change

or get a fab job

though none are



the children are gone

by Randy Fingla


guarantee ceasefires

but the burning continues

the rainforests

the icecaps

scorched smiles branded

on dead infant faces

unreported on conglomerate TV

everywhere the hunger

of the impoverished

who die young

for the same reason

A homeless woman endures a rainstorm on a wet, cold sidewalk in San Francisco. Robert L. Terrell photo


After Barbara’s Sermon

by Claire J. Baker

“Shine, dear one, shine” —

a phrase one might whisper

to a hurt lover,

to a homeless mother,

to a baby at christening,

to a friend who has

just passed on.


Or this is a phrase to keep

within, near the surface

to kindle kindness, like


hear me, believe me

when my eyes urge,

“Shine, dear one, shine.”


Man Alive

by George Wynn

Wind roars

he clutches blankets

between two closed doors

God make it pause


Out of the blue

college notebooks flash

What it’s like being homeless?

Try it you won’t like it

Anyway jive ass grad

students  mean well


You gotta be crazy

or piss poor or both

Why don’t they scream it

between this damn howling wind?


Man alive I wish this was a dream

anyway thank you God

for making the wind stop


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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.