A Nuanced World

by Carol Denney

I’m angry
but I’m always the one
who cleans up the broken glass
and sweeps up the wreckage
unleashed on a helpless neighborhood
after another injustice
I’m angry
but I’m the one who sits
in court with the people
who were arrested
for just watching
someone torch the yarn store
I’m angry
but I’m always the one
after Ferguson or Fruitvale
called for a sound bite
to explain the predictable vandalism
pasted blindly across
a nuanced world


by George Wynn

He feels the breath
of January’s wind
and recalls a
street companion
who no longer
has to worry
about being damn
cold a long time
found dead on
San Francisco
downtown pavement
a book of poetry
in hand.
They both used to
wonder what might
be gained or lost
by going inside?
The ache in his
neck bones all
the way to
his toes tonight
tells him at 70
the shelter’s waiting
like it or not.


The One Word

by Claire J. Baker

This poet connects
the one word “gather”
with the Quaker faith
as in geese gather
at lake’s edge before
the V-flight south,
as in snowflakes gather,
mounded on roof tops
before the downward slide,
as in two homeless men
gather around a steam vent
on a city sidewalk.


For A Blind Street Person

by Claire J. Baker

Bent shadow, once did you race
the wind to reach your lover,
singing to him of spring?
It’s Christmas Eve in rain.
Crowds rush by, ignore your sign
No one drops a coin.
Always you smile, as if
you can see the street neoned
red, yellow, blue, gold —
colors reflected into
your empty bowl.