“OCCUPY THE STREETS” Artwork by Eric Drooker


Have a Slice of Occupy

by Carol Denney

we are having quite a slice of occupy
hot, fresh, wild, delicious occupy
stir it up a nice hot cup of occupy
share it with friends and neighbors
taste the fruit of all your labors
be the first one on your block to occupy
wind it up and set your clock to occupy
tell the cops and tell the mayor
you’ve become an occuplayer
have yourself a slice of occupy
grab your tent and screw the rent come occupy
join the slackers and the hackers occupy
meet the folks who lost their homes
meet the folks who never owned one
meet the folks down to the bone
you’ll find you’ll never be alone
grab a sign and join the line at occupy
admit you’re the 99 and occupy
if your tent don’t get reception
change your channel of perception
have yourself a slice of occupy
don’t be late no need to wait just occupy
you’re the 99 percent come occupy
hop on your bike and be the mike at occupy
the rich are going to miss the fun
but afterwards we’ll all be one
lose your frown and dance around at occupy
boot the blues and make the news come occupy
this ain’t no occupy in the sky
there’s more to occupy than meets the eye
come have yourself a slice of occupy
(we really mean it)
have yourself a slice of occupy

We’re Made of Music and Starlight

by Carol Denney

they can take all of our houses
those of us who have houses
they can take all of our jobs
those of us who have jobs
they can take all of our money
those of us who have money
they can describe us as mobs
a bunch of undisciplined slobs
but we’ve learned to live
with our neighbors
we’ve learned to live in the street
with nothing at all to protect us
sharing whatever we eat
we recognize we’re brothers and sisters
and family to hold and to love
now and forever today and together
on earth under heavens above
we’re made of music and starlight
we’re made of colors and song
we’re born to dance
on the planet together
beautiful graceful and strong
they can fill up all the prisons
shut down the schools and parks
they can keep warm with their money
we can keep warm with our hearts
somewhere they’re counting their money
money that used to be ours
piling it up in their savings
money that used to be ours
shaking their heads
as we’re kicked to the curb
but insisting they’re feeling our pain
taking our keys on the way out the door
and they’ll do it again and again
but we’ve learned the smallest among us
the most beaten impoverished soul
is a wealth and a fountain of beauty
and crucial to making us whole
there isn’t one of us we’ll leave behind
as we remake the world that we know
this isn’t work this is dancing together
and singing and making it so

The People

by Buford Buntin

The people worry about eating,
about drugs, about violence,
about paying rent.
The people stand on the street.
One says, “My son has some kind of
disease the San Francisco General
doctors can’t diagnose.”
Another tries to pack all her things
into a black garbage bag.
Security guards come around
and hand out tickets for free meals.

Nowhere, USA

by Claire J. Baker

He lies on a bench in Nowhere, USA.
A wooden sign on back reads in large,
pale, squared letters: BENCH AD —
tipped words on side spell in script:
“The Most Effective Outdoor Advertising.”
A homeless gent lies here, askew —
“hip” for awhile, no “soul” in sight,
not even his own. Safety net shot
with all he has not. A sunny man,
fingers shiny, cane propped under hip.
But, folks, night comes and comes
and comes.
And cold is cold is cold.

What If There Were No Poverty?

by Buford Buntin

What if the wealth were distributed,
if there were no rich & no poor,
the people were all healthy,
& nobody had to pay for anything?
Life was easy.
But that’s not the case.
People are angry because
some people have a lot & the poor
have basically nothing,
or at least not economically.
“Why do they get so much
& I get so ittle?”
the poor wonder justifiably.
With wealth evenly distributed,
anger & envy would subside
if not go away completely.

Portrait of Tranquility

by George Wynn

Portrait of tranquility
or the dark side of life —
old men and old women
sleeping side by side
under a half moon
with no chance to
move anytime soon

Turk Street Blues

by George Wynn

Elderly black lady
sits quietly on Turk
Street against wall
Two young cops laugh
tall one writes out
sit/lie ticket which trembles
in her deformed fingers
They drive off in cruiser
just as she begins
to cry

Watch Out for the Invisibles

by Jack Bragen

They seem to come out at night. My car headlights barely are able to illuminate them so that I do not run them over. They might be crossing the street, unworried about an oncoming car.
Some of them could be migrant workers. Others may have lost their jobs, not too long ago. The new invisible men and women seem to remain in the shadows, or in the cracks and crevices of our infrastructure — in places where people will not see and complain about them.
When darkness arrives, suddenly the whole area is abuzz with activity. If you looked around during daylight hours, you might be under the impression that there aren’t a lot of homeless people. Your impression would be wrong.
I do not know much about them, such as: How do they survive? They may have their own sub-society with its own rules and its own practices. They could be somewhat organized, out of the mutual need for necessities, and also the need to remain invisible to a harshly intolerant society.
This is not the same thing as the Occupy movement, although I am sure there is some overlap. This is a massive underground of people who are the rejects of mainstream society, and this underground is growing.
When driving through town at night, you should keep your high beams on whenever possible. When on foot, be prepared to give out a smoke, or some spare change.
If something appears strange, don’t worry. It is not an extraterrestrial. It is the invisible man or woman nearest you.