Conversations on Poverty and Homelessness (Part 1) – The BeZine, 100,000 Poets for Change

On our 2015 Facebook Page for 100,000 Poets for Change, we’ve been discussing poverty and homelessness.  I’m sharing some of the conversation here.  If you’d like to join us on Facebook, please let us know.  All are welcome. For the September 2015 issue of The BeZine, we’ll be exploring poverty and on September 26, we’ll hold our virtual event and we invite reader participation.  Instructions will be in our blog that day.  Links to everyone’s work will be collected and posted as a Page and also incorporated into a PDF that will be archived at 100,000 Poets (writers, artists, photographers, musicians and friends) for Change; i.e., peace and sustainability. 

This portion of the discussion was begun by Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) with this video:

Among the responses:

Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel):

“If you want change, let me throw it at you as hard as I can at your dirty face…”

Let me throw justice at you, let it hit your face
and wake us up. Let me throw opportunity at you,
let it hit your face and give you a chance.
Let me throw change at you, changing the world,
creating just, creative freedom, creating opportunity
for all. Let me throw democracy at you, let it
hit you in the face so hard that it cracks open
and spills out into the land, everywhere,
real democracy, real hope, real opportunity.
Let me throw the stinking, rotten carcass
of consumer capitalism and greed at those
so privileged and shallow as to think white
teeth more important than your humanity.
And then, god help me, let me find love
and compassion to throw as hard as I can
into your face, into your lives, into the hearts
of us all, of us all standing here watching
in voyeuristic pleasures of despair.”

– Michael Dickel

Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon’s Dreams):

“I want to shake all of those people who wrote those mean things and ask them what happened to their compassion? I want to ask them if their judgment makes them feel better about themselves and what they would do if they ever found themselves in such dire circumstances.”

John Anstie (My Poetry Library):

“Yes indeed, Corina, maybe no compassion, but where also is their insight?”

Please share YOUR thoughts below. Thank you!

The August issue of The BeZine will be published online on August 15. The theme for August is music.

11 thoughts on “Conversations on Poverty and Homelessness (Part 1) – The BeZine, 100,000 Poets for Change

  1. Why are our eyes so offended by yellow teeth, a dirty face, our nose by a stench? The presentation of poverty seems an insult. Maybe it insults privilege? Maybe it insults our delusion that all is well, that suffering doesn’t exist in our world? Wait ’til the light turns green; move on and don’t face it. To be present with suffering admits it into your world. Westerners live on rejection, on dualism. This not that. Accepting this AND that means dropping your ego, opening up to vulnerability, changing your awareness. Then, only then, can compassion arise organically out of shared experience — not top down, not out of obligation, not to pat ourselves on the back for doing good. We look into another face fully and equally and see the same suffering and beauty we see in our own.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! Thank you, Priscilla. There we have it. Bravo! If you don’t mind I will post your comment in the discussion Group. Also, FYI, today I am announce your participation in Keeping It Simple, Keeping It Kind on that FB page. Thanks again. I think I will also ask Corina to join us. Once I get through the next few days, I’ll also announce it here. Wishing many smiles throughout your day. Warmest, J.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing the conversation and my poem. Here’s a bit of revision:

    Change

    “If you want change, let me throw it at you as hard as I can at your dirty face…”
    —The homeless read mean tweets https://youtu.be/0BXxxfc4aYc

    Let me throw justice at you, let it hit your face
    and wake us up. Let me throw opportunity at you,
    let it hit your face and give us a chance.
    Let me throw change at you, change in the world,
    change creating justice and freedom,
    change creating opportunity, real change
    for all. Let me throw democracy at you, let it
    hit us in the face so hard that it cracks open
    and spills out into the land, everywhere, change—
    real democracy, real hope, real opportunity.
    Let me throw change and the stinking, rotten
    carcass of consumer capitalism and greed at
    those so privileged and shallow as to think white
    teeth are more important than your humanity.
    And then, god help me, let me find love
    and compassion to throw as hard as I can
    into our faces, into our lives, into the hearts
    of us all, of us all standing here watching
    in voyeuristic pleasures of despair.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Jamie. The original comment was really the first draft—wrote it right there. I later decided to take it and work it a little—bringing the “change” more forward as the 100TPC change and making it more “us” than “you.” I’m glad that you like it. It’s fun at times to let the process show through.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Possibly. I think there is a certain “seeing injustice” voyeurism, too. I think bringing justice, or working toward justice, is the height of ethical responsibility in the situation. I’m not sure that it takes away the voyeurism entirely. Shadow and light interplay to give us a 3-d world.

        Liked by 1 person

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