“Church” Art by Jonathan Burstein


“Heaven’s Doors”

by Judy Joy Jones

when the spirit of life
takes hold of
my well-worn soul
art and music pour out
and i am transported
into heaven’s doors
spreading the
glory of god most high
all over earth’s shores


by Joan Clair

How can we be housed
and sleep at night
when our brothers have no homes?
How can we be housed
and sleep at night
when our sisters sleep on stones?
What happened to the home
we shared inside God’s heart?
Whatever drove that home to vacancy
drove us apart.


by Joan Clair

It’s hard to find any place
in the world that wants you.
Maybe that’s why when I see
people pushing shopping carts
on the streets,
injured birds,
neglected animals,
and children crying
to miles of indifference,
I care.

Overpass 4th of July

by Carol Denney

there’s a walking path
under the overpass
where the freeway
sounds like a river
and the hot barbecue
on the 4th of July
sizzles and smokes
amid spokes and sprockets
tents and pockets
of laughter
a man sweeping out
his spotless home
wishes you well
the purest independence

Soul Searching Soldier

by Carol Denney

soul searching soldier
tell us how you manage
it’s so hard of late
in this town with
no head no heart
no hope skittering down
the kite line
just the sky
in this town with
no plan no conscience
no threat from the street
building muscle
just the sky
just the ordinary angel
offering food
or the soft harbor of a smile
just the catastrophic clown
creating a stray connection
to a moment of perfect peace
or perfect shelter
from a heart
however temporary
just life street
just life rhythm
of the moment
soul searching wanderer
you are welcome here
story or none
we love the stories you have
and we love
the stories you make up
we love you if you say nothing
you are our mothers
you are our fathers
you are our family
and our souls

Stop Victimizing The Homeless

by Claire J. Baker

Over those who live half-dead
stop launching into overkill!
Trying to sleep on cement, no bed,
these thousands less alive than dead,
struggle to get an inch ahead,
not complaining, seldom shrill.
Attacking those who live half-dead
is freaking into OVERKILL.


by Joan Clair

Bundled, her face red with cold,
she stands by her shopping cart,
full of neat folds
of blankets and clothes,
and beams rays of gratitude
as if I gave her a fortune
instead of three quarters.
Is God this grateful when we give up
a tiny bit of selfishness,
keeping so much more than giving.
Could our creator be this humble.

Night Story

by Claire J. Baker

Here’s to the father who took
his small child on evening walks
They sat on a hilltop boulder
watching the sky darken
woods in the valley darken
their held hands darken
This child grew into the heroine
who crawled one night
without flashlight or stars
deep into a mine shaft
to rescue three boys
from rising river waters.

Mother and Daughter on the Streets

by Claire J. Baker

The mother often prays
over her daughter’s disability —
handicapped but alive.
Neither can work for pay.
Their full-time occupation?
Helping each other survive.
At night on urban streets
they always cling, look inward
while trying to “look out.”

“Flowers” Art by Jonathan Burstein


More Than Folklore

(A plea on behalf of the homeless)

by Claire J. Baker

In the Solomon Islands
trees too large to ax
are felled by natives yelling
to “kill” the tree’s spirit.
Considering these facts
as not exaggeration or lie,
when someone yells at us
our spirits partly die.

Homeless Leaves

by Joan Clair

In the cities the leaves
in autumn and in winter
have few forest floors
on which to fall.
Leaves in perfect forms
and colors of the Lord
are swept away
from the paved streets
as if they never belonged
to the earth at all
or to a tree.
In the city parks
in autumn and in winter
homeless humans in perfect forms
and colors of the Lord
seek what’s left of forest floors
on which to rest.
“Fallen” humans find homes
among the fallen leaves,
among the trees of the Living Spirit;
hiding, hidden, from those
who sweep humans and leaves away.


by Chey Simmons

That’s somebody’s daughter, someone’s sister.
Mister, you’ve taken and robbed
someone of their innocence.

Love & Loss

by Chey Simmons

I regret not calling my great grandmother
It hurts just knowing I can’t call her
She’s gone
and I feel so helpless.

Love & Hate

by Chey Simmons

It’s not in me to hate.
However, my strong dislike for racism
might come off as hate.
It’s not in me to hate, to have it on my plate
is too much to take, so I throw it away.
Only love
Can drive out hate, and that
I’ll demonstrate, cause it’s in me to love not
My heart has been broken
Yet, still I don’t hate. I love despite the pain
love brings.

Seeing the Beauty

by Tajah Zion

People hate when they’re bored, unhappy, and most of all insecure. I find myself hating the most when I see something in someone I strive to be. Instead of empowering each other, human beings find it easier to hate. Recently, I noticed that I, myself, find it easier to hate. I noticed I tend to pick people apart, or focus on their flaws instead of realizing their beauty. I can stop being this way by silencing my thoughts on someone and waiting for them to show me who they are. It’s easy for people to not like you when you are negative and rude. Ever since I started to love and not hate, I see the beauty in everything.

We Can Soar

by Claire J. Baker

Should a star
fall into our hands
we need not place it
back into the sky.
If we must break new
ground, why not start
with the land
on which we stand.
If we feel we are
on our way, though we
haven’t moved an inch
we are on our way.
Fellow travelers,
we don’t have to fly
a hundred miles
to know we can soar.

I Like To Believe…

by Claire J. Baker

stray dogs adopt and
stay beside the homeless
to warm them, soothe them,
bark sharply to fend off harm.

Wear the Poem if It Fits

by Claire J. Baker

To you, who say you are only
a grain of sand lost and lonely
on the city shore, I wish
the ocean’s salted scent and roar.
When caught in caves where shadows
hide, I wish you push and pull
of tide, sun rolling in on a wave
washing your image bright and brave,
a gull’s white wings
where courage clings.
I wish for you a cove
where you will give and receive love.

someday I won’t hear

by Judy Jones

someday I won’t hear
homeless people
pushing grocery carts
down the streets
and rummaging thru
garbage cans
someday I won’t hear
their shrieks and moans
in the darkest nights
driving me insane
soakin’ in my every pore
yes someday I’ll be free
when every man woman and child
has a home
and no one dies hungry sick and alone
on cold concrete streets
and that day is comin’ so soon