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.”

July Poetry of the Streets

there are angels sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk/ trading stories and confessions and some lies/ trading cigarettes and sandwiches and comfort/ with their whole lives in their little angel eyes/ angels who look nothing like the pictures/ in the big museum paintings on a wall/ hoping there’s somebody who remembers/ how far a little angel child can fall

The Professor

He had been a professor of classics at a small southern college before the nightmare frame-up and 10 years on prison. A model inmate, he received an early release, but not early enough to attend the funeral of his only son, Isiah, an innocent bystander killed in a crossfire of gang violence.

Here Come the Men in Gray

The men in gray uniforms arrived and restrained the errant man. One of them jabbed him in the neck with a hypodermic needle and pushed the plunger home. The violator immediately went pale and rigid. The two men roughly threw the now deceased violator into the back of their truck and drove away.

One-Way Ticket Home

The streets were alien to me. I was defenseless. Cops and security guards hassled me for just being in a particular area or store and minding my own business. And when night descended, I was scared out of my wits sleeping in doorways. I became guarded and hyper-alert.

A Poet’s Sendoff for ‘Saint Carlos the Melodious’

In a city full of poets, there are few whose very lives are poetry. Carlos was one whose whole life was poetry. He radiated kindness and good will. No one can remember hearing Carlos say an unkind word about another person. His phone message was a musical invitation that included waltzing bears.

Mental Health, Inc.

Drug companies market their super-profitable, addictive and dangerous psych-meds to children. One of the most heinous crimes of the 21st Century will be the massive over-medication of children. Physicians' willingness to uncritically follow pharmaceutical companies' profit-driven recommendations to prescribe dangerous drugs to children will one day be recognized as criminal negligence.

Which Road Do We Take

In two weeks/ the amount the world spends/ on weapons to kill/ every man woman and child/ in just two short weeks/ that money would feed/ every soul upon the earth/ no one would ever be/ hungry or in need again/ just two short weeks folks

Unwanted and Under Attack in Their Own Country

Re-fancying our neighborhoods,/ we liquidate the poor./ They are not an asset to refinance for./ We cannot see the living assets/ beyond our “perfect garbage cans”/ collecting waste of the lifeless lives we lead,/ full of all the things we think we need.

Corporate Misconduct: Dangerous to All Living Things

Drug companies market their super-profitable, addictive and dangerous psych-meds to children. One of the most heinous crimes of the 21st Century will be the massive over-medication of children. Physicians' willingness to uncritically follow pharmaceutical companies' profit-driven recommendations to prescribe dangerous drugs to children will one day be recognized as criminal negligence.