Tag Archives: Claire J. Baker

What if They Gave a War and Nobody Paid?

The government needs us to pay our taxes to cover the cost of soldiers, bombs, guns, planes and aircraft carriers. At what point do we the people refuse to cooperate with these immoral, illegal and senseless wars? The government cannot fight these wars without our tax dollars and moral support.

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The Flower Girl

Dostoyevsky’s Prince Myshkin believed/ “Beauty will save the world.”/ By taking beauty to the shelter,/your flowers saved one part of it./ You smile in the spirit of Don Quixote:/ Free flowers for the poor/ could subvert the whole economy,/ beauty could ruin the banking system,/ kindness could wreck capitalism.

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The Shelter of Love

What about street dogs,/ the soft undersides of paws/ laid at night/ upon face or arm/ warding off cold & harm./ Dogs with hungry sorrowful/ eyes will gaze into our own./ If we have zero food/ to offer, not even a bone,/ a dog still claims us,/ downtrodden as we are,/ as his home.

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Strong and Unbound Wings

We think of you/ long on the streets/ a titanium brace in your bad leg,/ sighing at pain, yet uncomplaining/ like a statue of marble or bronze./ One day, Mike, may you glide/ from your sidewalk perch/ as if you were always a bird,/ and now at last your wings/ are strong, unbound.

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Blues for the Homeless

I am amazed at some homeless elders’ carts,/ blankets and clothes in neat folds,/ layers of grace in intricate space,/ Crimes of legalized hate,/ may take the carts of the homeless away/ but cannot separate them from God/ whose home is in their heart/ with or without a shopping cart.

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January Poetry of the Streets

70 and Determined by George Wynn It’s strange to be an old man and begging for spare change and the coins don’t give you any new joy. At seventy you’re restless and depressed you fear the road but anything rather than face another day in the city by the bay. You pack your bag start […]

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October Poetry of the Streets

The common people should be free/ to lie on public commons grass/ in a democracy/ whether the sun is up,/ whether the sun is down,/ whether it’s day or night/ they should not be put to flight/ the common people should be free/ to lie on public commons grass/ in a democracy.

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Poets Ask: “Why War?”

Poetry reveals the seen and unseen, hidden casualties of U.S. wars at home and overseas. “America zips down prayers/ and buttons up wars/ with battalions of/ impoverished youngsters/ duped into dying for dreams./ America indoctrinates/ then shames us/ for believing her spin./ ‘Opportunity,’ she sings,/ hiding our dead from view.”

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Prayers and Poems from a Shelter

“today at social security i did see/ a man shaking so badly he couldn’t stand/ telling everyone he just got out of jail/ and needed a hand/ he had no teeth/ and looking in his eyes/ i could see he was in a place/ few on earth see”

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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.