The June 2005 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Court Upholds Legal Rights of Homeless People

Hunger Rises, Food Stamps Cut

National Hunger Survey

Union Busting in El Salvador

CEO Pay Rises, Worker Pay Shrinks

CEOs Scheme to Privatize Social Security

Dee's Story: The Stigma of Being Homeless

Bush's Chronic Homeless Plan

Pepperspray and Torture

How Earth Day Was Co-opted

St. Mary's Center

Life Stories of Homeless Seniors

Hodges Jones

Jose Querdo

Jeannette Hundley

James Jermany

Ken Minor

Lynn Hoberg

Social Justice in the East Bay

100 Teachings of Gandhi

June Poetry of the Streets

Students Poetry


May 2005

February 2005






Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.


Students Reflect on Life on the Streets

The poems on this page were written by young Oakland students who reflected on "themes of the streets" as part of a program with Opera Piccola's Artgate at King Estates Middle School in East Oakland.

Hunger Blues
by Harry Wysinger and Steven Moore

Dancing all alone, feeling nothing good
It's been so long since I ate something good
All I've seen is why I weep
And all I had for dinner was some sleep
You know I'm lonely,
so lonely my heart is empty
and I've been hungry.
My hands and knees are cold at night
I look around dumpsters for a bite.
When I look for food, I go on a mission,
stay in school and you won't be in my position.
Think about it, take a second,
always be grateful for your blessings.
All I need is for my hunger to ease,
and anything you can offer me please.
I beg, I beg for food, but people act rude
All I need is a piece of meat to ease my hunger,
to eat
I beg and beg please
just give me something to eat.

It's Not Fair
by Terisha Webb

It's not fair I have to live
It's not fair I have to give
It's not fair no one cares
It's not fair I have to get, then share.

It's not fair I always have to fight
to show people I'm not scared or just to prove I'm right.
It's not fair people talk about me.
Why can't they just look and then let me be?

It's not far I want to die.
It's not fair I always have to cry.

It's not fair it's just not!

It's not fair people struggle to make it to the big crew.
It's not fair people struggle period just to get through.

It's not fair people laugh because you too white or too black.
It's not fair just to be popular you gotta get drunk or smoke a sack.

It's not fair how the innocent one always take the blame.
and how the guilty one never feel shame.

Its not fair, It's not fair, It's not fair.

It's not fair that more black people die than white.
It's not fair blind people lose their sight.
It's not fair that I have no friends
It's not fair everything I do out of church is a sin.

It's not fair how I can't get new shoes
and people say I'm too young when I sing to them my blues.

It's not fair people don't know how I feel.
It's not fair people don't have the money to buy what they want
so they steal.

It's not fair its just not!

It's not fair people think they know everything
when they don't have a clue.
It's not fair I get in trouble for things I don't do.

It's not fair everything I do is wrong.
It's not fair everyone else is singing and I'm writing poems.

It's not fair I have more enemies than friends.
It's not fair everyday I wake up and wish my life would end.

It's not fair I can't be rich and have all the money.
Then I bet everyone would be my friend and not act so funny.

It's not fair, life's not fair,
I don't know what to do, I have no clue
I wish my life was through.

But all you need to know is it's not fair and I don't care!

Lost Music
by Sharde Rodgers

lost music,
lost music,
lost music
a mother's long cry
she scared
another soul might die
and another baby might
come alive.

don't cry.
don't be sad.
don't have puddles of tears.

Just run, run, run
away from here

go sleep

Mother, O Mother
just don't cry
one day
your son dream
will come alive

lost music
lost music
lost music
your son dream will come alive.
you opened my eyes.

Tomorrow Will Be Free
by Tameka Moore

Tomorrow will be free,
and I will be a free woman.

I see the shadow.
It's going on a journey
and then it gets on fire.

I run to the house
I thought I was going to die.

I fall asleep and I dream
that I was free,
that I was free.

From a Son
by Sharde Rodgers

I'm lying in the hospital bed
watching my mother cry
with that:

"I told your dumb self to stay out
the streets" type cry,

with that:

"Always have to be in the streets and never
at home and don't have a job" type cry,

with that:

"You need to do something with your life
instead of always be in the streets" type cry,

But then she says:
"I love you son"

And I say:
"I love you mom, I never meant to hurt you"

But then she says:
"You hurt me. But you disowned yourself."

1515 Webster St,#303
Oakland, CA 94612Phone: (510) 238-8080, ext. 303

E-mail: Spirit

© 2002-2005 STREET SPIRIT. All rights reserved.

Published by American Friends Service Committee

Editor : Terry Messman

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