December Poetry of the Streets

“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.

November Poetry of the Streets

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 Mosaic Tree: A Community Creation

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.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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.

Songs of Social Justice

“It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.” Sam Cooke saw that change coming, and sang it, and wrote it down in indelible words for all of us to see. Nothing can ever erase his voice now. Nothing can stop that change from coming.

September Poetry of the Street

With more foreclosures/ than in Great Depression/ with no solution to unbearable/ homeless lives and the/ massive redistribution of wealth/ diminishing collective mental health/ with a President who plays it safe/ at every decisive moment for change/ keeps the generals and/ Wall Street happy/ there's going to be more and more/ homeless children and huddled masses

Homelessness in Art from the New Deal to the Present

A new book by San Francisco artist Art Hazelwood, Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present, examines the legacy of political artists from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. It also serves as a catalogue to a traveling art exhibition.

August Poetry of the Streets

A gentle lady with Parkinson's/ slept in dark alleyways/ without curfew and/ abandoned houses without walls/ in lonely Cable Car Land/ She's not there anymore/ a concerned young man/ gave her his arm and/ brought her to the hospital/ from where she never returned

When a Great Heart Ceases

I read M.A. Griffiths’ collected poems, "Grasshopper," from what I believe is a unique perspective, that of a poet who, like Griffiths, was dying over many months, alone, aware that she was close to death. Many of her poems are extremely moving to me, and I feel very close to them.

"I READ THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY!"

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York was a disaster of legendary horror that killed 146 people, mostly young immigrant women, and helped galvanize the labor movement.

July Poetry of the Streets

Her first steps are a stagger-limp/ a block, a mile to go!/ On the grimy street stage,/ she still tries to play a part,/ mutters moving lines/ but few hear them at all/ or hear them as true.

June Poetry of the Streets

“Mona Lisa of the Streets” I gave the woman a simple smile,/ some dollars, knowing not enough./ Her aura glowed: she once had style./ I gave the woman an open smile/ then plowed my way, single file/ holding tears, keeping the bluff./ I have Mona Lisa a knowing smile/ some dollars that were not enough.