by Joan Clair

A pigeon waits placidly
for some scraps of bread.
A homeless elder lady waits placidly
for some scraps of coin.
In a world of uproar
in which the sun still shines.
In a world of uproar
in which flowers still show faces divine.
She smiles beatifically.
“God will make it right,” she says.

Black Hole

by Claire J. Baker

She sealed off the black hole
of her life where she had fallen
into chaotic darkness.
A miracle. She surfaced
slowly filled the space
with stardust, moonmist
handfuls of hope, reverie.
Now the sealed place, luminary
circumference of a donut hole
a symbol of more than courage
the making of her soul.

4 A.M.

by Claire J. Baker

City streets almost empty
at ungodly hours, are hungry
to devour all who linger
in doorways and alleyways
lightly tarped, cardboarded,
coated or open to dew-dripping
stars, condensation, heat vents,
windless corners.
Streets at 4 a.m.
make a meal of the homeless
who gravitate toward city glow,
however fake, toward evidence
that most others at least
in the bustle of city day, showed
a semblance of survival.

The Vial Of Oblivion

by Claire J. Baker

The homeless, out
on the streets for a coin
or an odd kind of comfort
inhale cigarette stubs
relit at the zero hour.
Swig wine or whiskey
while a vial of oblivion
tucked into a clean pocket
administered by Mr. Mystery
awaits us all.

Pigeons swirl by a homeless man sleeping in the midst of a noisy, crowded park on a busy San Francisco street.


Calcutta, New York

by Judy Joy Jones

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] musician friend of mine lives in New York City and tells me how many homeless people there are everywhere and how NYC reminds her more and more of Calcutta, India. People live in cardboard boxes, on bridges, in streets and everywhere.
I thought of Mayor Bloomberg and what an example he could make to try and house the homeless. I am wondering why mayors are paid: to do what? They allow their citizens to go hungry and die on streets.
I wrote this poem about the horrid suffering of the homeless because I couldn’t really believe that the mayor who is supposed to take care of the citizens of a city was not doing so.
We all go to sleep every night with the grim realities of the unimaginable suffering of homeless people in New York CIty — and most cities.

Poem for NYC

by Judy Joy Jones

mayor bloomberg
is king for day
but could be
a god thru eternity
leading all
thru heavens doors
when he feeds
houses and tenderly
cares for the poor
all over the streets
of the city he keeps
reminding everyone
greatness is earned
by the deeds we do
each person we see
with no food or home
could be our mother father
sister and brother
whose only hope
is you and me
in one day
bloomberg could
wipe every tear away
with a few dollars
from the billions he saves
trading his title of king
for compassionate god
whose only goal
is the well being of all
isn’t that
what mayors are for?