Rainbow-Colored Poems

RAINBOW POEM The rainbow or Pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The many colors represent the many kinds of people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Everybody Is Welcome on Earth. The irreplaceable gift of life. Delicate, sacred, precious life.
“Everybody Is Welcome on Earth.” Art by Izzie with help from Micah and Rafael

“Everybody Is Welcome on Earth.” Art by Izzie with help from Micah and Rafael



The rainbow or Pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The many colors represent the many kinds of people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.


Delicate, sacred, precious life.

The irreplaceable gift of life

that all of us has, once as you,




Sana, sana, colita de rana.

Si no sanas hoy,

sanarás mañana.


Heal, heal, li’l tail of an eel,

If you don’t heal today,

tomorrow you may. HEAL!



As brother Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness,

Only light can do that!

Hate cannot drive out hate;

Only love can do that.”

Storms cannot drive out storms,




Sunset flames glow

Flute wind blows

Diamond water flows

Honey rocks, bird music

Butterflies grow.

Thank you, NATURE!



Crickets and cicadas

sing a freedom lullaby to the moon

as the stars cast rays of peace upon earth




Spirit, the human spirit full of love,

the spirit that rises up

like the sun

for what’s right!


***   ***   ***   ***   ***

by Margot Pepper’s 2nd Grade Language Lab: Clio W, Lucy C, Audrey K, Ruth K, Julian M, Izzie A, Cade V, Henry M, Max K, Kamren B, Kenzo E, Ezra Z.C, Eli R, Lulu Z, Theo B, Rowan F, Samantha L, Cash K, Sydney F, Olive P.Z, Lalima G, Viktor P, Micah K, Beck R, Hudson O, Micah S.S, Leah J, Natalie C, Jordan F, Mahal W.I, Siena L, Lawrence B.



Song for Women

by Mary Rudge

Women of every Nation

Women of every tribe

used as spoils of war —

abused — with no recourse —

women with needs denied

with childhood stolen away,

chosen for soil and plunder

with bodies ripped asunder,

without words to say

to tell the horror —

you are my sister, sister

I think of you always.

I never forget you.

Be powerful in my love.

Find healing in my love.

Live forever in my love.


Women who work for justice

women, stand side by side,

women of every tribe, and

Nation, with the same story,

truth is your weapon, and song.

Women who’ve found the music

and the words, who will be heard

leading yourselves to glory

telling of lives fulfilled,

now and tomorrow —

I think of you always.

I never forget you.

Be powerful in your love.

Find healing in your love.

Live forever through your love.


You are my sister, sister,

I think of you always.

I never forget you.

Be powerful in my love.

Find healing in my love.

Live forever in my love.



by Claire J. Baker

(in memory of Mary Rudge)

Seekers of the exotic,

riders of water and wind,

shapers of jewels and images,

builders of bridges/breakthroughs,

explorers of Mars, the psyche,

artists, students, elders, embryos

this moment conceived —


whatever we will be in an hour,

tomorrow, in a hundred years

or at the last turn of the earth

under moonlight’s incantations,

whatever comes

may we lean toward

the language of roses.


For Vietnam Veterans

by Claire J. Baker

There are wounds deeper than death.

They kill the soul, but not the breath,

battles fought when war is past,

victories that will not last.


For all the wounds that may not heal,

honorable soldiers, we humbly kneel.



The Known Soldier

by Claire J. Baker

We stand by

your fresh grave.


covers the


like a cozy



The 21-gun


is silent,




beyond war go we

by Judy Joy Jones

we are one heartbeat

no color



or religion

have we


spirit sees

only divinity

in you and me


our lives

are created

for great things


we are

precious souls

filled with the divine



hearts and minds

go we


embracing the

sacred gift of life

beyond war

beyond war

go we



Gentler Universes

by Peter Marin

Wife’s dead of cancer,

years ago. I do

whatever a man does,

construction, paint, break stones,

rake leaves — muscle and sweat,

thirty bucks a day. Hate shelters,

live in a cave, dug it myself above

the beach, on the cliffs, timbers

for shoring, candles inside,

dry as a bone even in rain,

reading sci-fi until midnight, then

dreaming, stoned, curled like a baby,

of alien planets, gentler universes,

empty skies stretched

beyond all believing.

The harmful impact of an eviction notice on the human heart. Art by Jos Sances

The harmful impact of an eviction notice on the human heart. Art by Jos Sances


Big City Blues

by George Wynn

Finally got a job

and a place to stay

never mind — everybody

in the dump — either

a blank face or

a hostile look


way past midnight

in Baghdad by the Bay

he’s listening to the little

red radio

familiar blues/country

songs: lovers split up

drift far apart

drown themselves in

the bottle to

ease their broken heart


The San Francisco Hurt

by George Wynn

They say adversity

is good for you

It makes you stronger

But how much adversity?

I see the hurt on the frowned

faces of far too many folks

who grew up in inner city

neighborhoods, parts of

them emotionally broken

by years and years of

streets and shelters

shaking their heads

saying,” I ain’t got

no job, no housing,

I need to live too!”



She Slept Under A Full Moon

(For Someone On The Streets)

by Claire J. Baker

Though warned not to sleep

directly under the moon’s

rounded light —

that it would reverse

her magnetic poles,

disrupt her karma,


not spooked by the warning

she opened her spirit

to the moon’s benediction.


In a week of sleeping out

in a peaceful plaza —

no alarming fright, she

began a fresh direction,

a diction full of light.


Dream Catchers

by Claire J. Baker

Our Indian friend

makes “dream catchers.”

A hole centered in web

lets nightmares

slip through,

stagger in darkness,

tumble into a black hole —

gone forever.


These unique webs

are perfect for saving

“keeper dreams.”

Sally tells us: each

finished dream catcher

is more genuine,

more true to life, when

left with a flaw.


Unembraced San Francisco Seniors

by George Wynn

A cold sun

just before dark

old black, brown

and white

men with packs

wandering from

the Public Library

festoon themselves

for the night

on downtown streets

unwelcome guests

weeded out

by the City

giving meaning

and sorrow

to the “Survival

of the Fittest.”


Anthem, Stanza One

by Claire J. Baker

We homeless are part of the messy day.

So, world, don’t ever judge us lost.

We’re part of and beyond the fray.

Homeless, a part of a motley day

is trying our very best to stay

out of trouble, pay the cost.

We homeless have our messy days.

So never, world, see us as lost!


you are precious to me

by Judy Joy Jones

puttin people in prisons

instead of schools


tellin everyone

guns not prayers

will keep em safe


while ignoring

people eating out

of garbage cans


all this hate

we created

comin back

haunting us

mirroring our souls

thru eternity


and concrete streets

will be where

we sleep


when will we see

we are created

to love and be loved

and rise above

violence and hate


you my friend

are precious to me

you are so very very

precious to me


Back to Saroyan Country

by George Wynn

Outside the Amtrak depot

the old literary Vet

shakes his head, “Too

much up here for me,

the circumstances

of aging move too quickly,

Can’t survive on the

street no more.”

He looks out at the Bay,

“Going back to

Saroyan Country. Got

old friends in the Valley

who’ll help me out.”


He taps my shoulder

“I’ll write you.”

“You always do

and long letters too.”

“That’s my style,”

he laughs then purses

his lips and points a

callused finger my way.

“You know friend, present

day San Francisco has

become the big devouring

the small, and damn it,

the unimaginable corporate

future is here deliberately

instilling fear beyond fear

on poor and homeless

folks suffering with

unaffordable housing

and no official declaration

of emergency!”

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.