August Poetry of the Streets

When angels visit dressed in white,/ in fragile slippers, golden wings,/ they offer marshmallows, starry light./ When angels visit draped in white/ of calm surrender to the night/ they know the streets and gritty rings./ Angels, visit please, in white,/ in fragile slippers, golden wings.

The Pacifist Basho

The point of Basho’s poem, “Summer Grasses,” is the vanity of war in comparison to the fertility of the earth. If you recall Basho’s poetry while reading about war, or while sitting silently in meditation, or demonstrating against nuclear weapons, Basho’s consciousness may be a source of insight or power.

Willa’s Way to Walden Pond

He’s engrossed in Walden and the memorable quote from Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

A Day in the Life of a Berkeley Street Musician

Do you remember voting to let an unelected group of wealthy property owners hire people to control our public spaces? Neither do I. Yet, the Block by Block program is expanding from coast to coast as a nonsensical response to poverty and the housing crisis. Public spaces should be for everyone.

The Obama Administration’s Escalating War on Freedom of the Press

The administration’s efforts to quash press freedom are in sync with its unrelenting persecution of whistleblowers. The purpose is to choke off the flow of crucial information to the public, making informed “consent of the governed” impossible while imposing massive surveillance and other violations of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Portrait of an American Who Told the Truth

Robert Shetterly’s compelling portrait of Edward Snowden quotes Snowden’s description of what is at stake: “The public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the ‘consent of the governed’ is meaningless. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.”

Recyclers Ride the Roller Coaster of Redemption in Oakland

Miss Kay was reminded of how the things she cherishes most are torn from her. Previous loves, old friends, and even her own family had removed themselves from her life. Her years on the street have made her almost invisible — a shadow of a life in transit between this world and the next.

Rev. Phil Lawson: Building the Beloved Community

Rev. Lawson has worked his entire life to ensure that there will be room enough in the beloved community so no one will be left outside to suffer and die in poverty on the streets, no one will be locked out by border walls, and no one will be denied entrance because of racial intolerance or homophobia.