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poetry Holding a Place for Humankindness to Go

The subject of Phyllis Klein’s poem is homelessness and a simple, albeit personal solution.

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Holding a Place for Humankindness to Go

By Phyllis Klein

In Los Angeles, Where the Rich and the Destitute Cross Paths

                                                               NY Times, July 2, 2018

Strangers, until the homeless man moves into the rancher’s

apartment, the one he decided to build on his land,

generous with California oak woodlands, with coastal

sage scrubs. The rancher wonders, Why doesn’t everyone

do this? He doesn’t realize it is greatness to see potential when

everyone else sees menace, those immigrants invading

like Mediterranean grasses, Spanish Broom, Yellow Star

Thistle. Weed them out, those seekers, or the downtrodden

down thrusted four walless ones invading the city, choking

out the libraries, the beaches, get them away from us! 

And the homeless man who has a roof now doesn’t realize 

his life is a poem when he says, living on the streets

takes your dignity away. How his life was on the edge

of felling, so much like a weed in a garden he could 

pluck out himself. And now he lives in a new home on

a ranch near a person who takes a risk, digs a foundation,

offers the horses, the owls, the steelheads, also endangered.

Phyllis Klein is a SF Bay Area poet who likes to find news stories that evoke compassion and write about these stories as a way to combat despair about the world condition. She’s been published in numerous journals and magazines including Sweet, a Literary Confection, Chiron Review, Clover, A Literary Rag, Crosswinds Journal, etc. She writes and reads poetry for the experience of connection between authors and readers that she believes is a healing force.