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.

Poetic Resistance to the Berkeley Sitting Ban

Poets held a poetry reading to challenge the City Council’s proposed sitting ban. How delightful it would be if we could just sing our way right past this terrible proposal to outlaw something as natural as sitting down. We should pour enough poetry on it that it is doused entirely.

Poetry, May 2011

The Hungriest People / Song by Carol Denney/ the hungriest people in this town/ aren’t starving in the street/ they sit in fancy restaurants/ and worry what to eat/ the poorest people in this town/ without a single doubt/ conspire at boardroom tables/ how to drive poor people out/

Poetry, April 2011

LENT 2011 (Spring Renewal) by Maureen Hartmann This year there have been uprisings of the grassroots against oppressive governments, like Wisconsin, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia. The protests are signs of a growth in consciousness. A maturation, like a small amount of yeast in dough for a large loaf, spreads throughout the Earth. This year the grassroots implant, even in many deaths, seeds of hope and renewal.

Poetry, November 2010

Who Would Believe by Claire J. Baker Who would believe that all week at a slick Senior Center in a

Poetry September 2010

Hope’s nothing but right,/ like the justice of star shine/ on river breezing midnights....