poetry Holding a Place for Humankindness to Go
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.