November Poetry of the Streets

Anthropologists study/ street people, find them/ humane, kindly, humble —/ a dog in lap, parrot on a/ shoulder, a young man/ sleeping, curled like a baby./ A raggedy baseball cap/ silvered with small coins./ Passing poets wonder:/ Is it unlawful to be human?/ But lawful to be inhumane?

In Berkeley

by Claire J. Baker

Anthropologists study

street people, find them

humane, kindly, humble —

a dog in lap, parrot on a

shoulder, a young man

sleeping, curled like a baby.

A raggedy baseball cap

silvered with small coins.

 

Passing poets wonder:

Is it unlawful to be human?

But lawful to be inhumane?


 Kafka by the Bay

by George Wynn

There are many gifted

men and women —

but homeless

One day they

wake up without

job and habitat

trouble takes on

a life of its own

just like that

 

Everything becomes negative

they become labeled

(ABCD) alcoholic,

badass, crazy or dirty

If society can make

everything their fault

they do

 

Wet with sweat

in the middle

of the night

they scream

“I need air I

can’t breathe”

thinking this

must all be

a dream

 

Hard to imagine

this could happen

to you or me

but in the City

by the Bay

many say

it can and did

 

Their lives

gone to waste

if only they

could see hope

reach out

touch it

get a taste!

 Something in Common

by George Wynn

His father’s been

on the street a long time

and battered by it

The son thinks

his father will never

find a place to live

 

Home used to be

the two of them together

Now they’re both

out on the street


Exposure

by Joan Clair

The exposure of homelessness is not pretty

unless it evokes the compassionate heart.

The compassionate heart when it is evoked

is as pretty as She intended it.

Therefore, let us give thanks

to anyone who evokes in us

one drop of pure love,

a rare “commodity” in the universe.


Street Album

by Claire J. Baker

Wish all possessed

a photograph of

the moment

someone’s eyes

meet our own —

that silvery silence

when both accept,

let be.


Heart Universal

by Joan Clair

In no other heart

do I belong.

Heart universal

is my home.


 

 

“Could you please help?” Robert Terrell photo

“Could you please help?” Robert Terrell photo

Gimme Some Truth

“I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians.

All I want is the truth, just give me some truth.” — John Lennon

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”   — Thomas Jefferson

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain


 

Drop Your Heads and Weep

by Judy Joy Jones

drop your heads and weep

for the homeless

found frozen on the streets

 

while we laid

in our cozy little beds

all warm and fed

with dollar signs

dancin’ thru our heads

 

who will hear our own

blood curdling screams

as we die freezing

on the streets

 

will one person leave

their warm homes

to claim our no-name bodies

at the city morgue’s doors

 

oh people

please drop your heads

and weep

and weep

and weep

 

for the homeless

found frozen

all over our streets

 

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.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.