Narayan Desai’s life has been a message of nonviolence to the world. He has worked side by side with Gandhi’s successors, Vinoba Bhave in the land-gift movement and Jayaprakash Narayan in the Shanti Sena (peace brigade). He was chairperson of War Resisters International, and founding director of the World Peace Brigade.
This is a story about how poverty, segregation and racial discrimination harm human beings. This is also a story about how beauty flowers from the fields of brutality. This is a story of the blues. “This is where the soul of man never dies,” as Sam Phillips said about Howlin’ Wolf.
Reading the book, Wisdom Under the Bridge, I re-learned that one can be saved by one’s guts, by the grace of God and pastoral helpers, by kindness, love, shelter in time of need and a good dinner — whatever it takes for a particular person and/or set of circumstances.
The wizards in old tales/ used to bury their hearts in secret places./ And unless you dug up the heart and / destroyed it,/ they were invulnerable and heartless./ Part of my heart is buried in People’s Park.
Mitch suffered the double whammy of a pink slip and divorce from a red-haired beauty half his age. After months of depression and passivity, he arrived in the Golden State and wound up sleeping on the cold concrete of Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.
grab your tent and screw the rent come occupy/ join the slackers and the hackers occupy/ meet the folks who lost their homes/ meet the folks who never owned one/ meet the folks down to the bone/ you’ll find you’ll never be alone/ grab a sign and join the line at occupy/ admit you’re the 99 and occupy
Bulldozers destroyed huge numbers of healthy plants and trees at People’s Park in Berkeley on December 18, carrying out the orders of University of California officials. The bulldozers destroyed all the plants and flowers that had been carefully tended for decades by volunteer gardeners, leaving behind stripped earth.
“Arrest the homeless,” they do cry. Complete the economic genocide. From sea to shining sea, there is no place for him to pea. / Arrest him for vagrancy, arrest him for loitering, but just insure there is no tolerance. No shelter from rain, no shower to wash away the pain.
Moaning, crying, shouting, begging./ A man with rags;/ Children with scratchy, thin, worn-out/ blankets, infested with mold and lice./ A baby, with nobody to hold her,/ comfort her,/ or even feed her./ We can help.
The tree we created is a fascinating reminder of what can be accomplished by a full spectrum of people working together toward a worthwhile cause. When it storms, this tree will hold fast to its roots. Raindrops can resemble tears. And like tears, they will one by one dry.
While Occupy Oakland protesters were marching in the streets, another wing of the anti-poverty movement gathered to take a stand against injustice. Instead of marching, they were drumming. Despite the harsh reality of poverty, people at St. Mary’s manage to find hope amidst the struggle to survive.