Tag Archives: poverty



Some will make their home
Wherever they can
Get to with their feet.
Cardboard box houses
And pallets they find
By trash bins on the street.
The boxes work well
Unless it snows or rains
And then when they melt
It’s out to find a home again.

Go on home
Where the love is
Home to family
Go on home
Where you’re welcome
There is no home for me.

Cookie used to be a chef
He lives under that low bridge
He cooks in used coffee cans
That just how his life is.
Makes dinner when he has it
For us who have so little.
You’ll find him most days
Cooking delicious food
Halfway to the middle.

Go on home
Where your bed is
Home to wife and your kids
Go on home
And be grateful
And not living on the skids.

Some people gripe
When the waiter is slow
And some were once waiters
Themselves long ago.
Some people are full
After they have dined
Others only manage to eat
Whatever castoffs they find.

Go on home
Because you have one
Because you have a job.
Go home where no one
Call you a lazy slob.
Go home and thank God
You have a place to sleep.
Go home and be grateful
Go home and God keep.




Payday to payday
Is there any other way?
I’d call out a mayday
But what would I say?
I’ll pay it back someday?
But there is no way.
The outlook is gray.
Nothing saved for a rainy day.

Coins jingling in the pocket
Paper money makes no sound.
The coins are pennies and a dime
That I just found on the ground.
Some days my nest-egg can
Be counted as just a few cents.
I have grown used to living without
Much of a sense of recompense.

Payday to payday
Is there any other way?
I’d call out a mayday
But what would I say?
I’ll pay it back someday?
But there is no way.
The outlook is gray.
Nothing saved for a rainy day.

Nothing like any kind of income
About which I can easily brag.
No shiny stuff, never any bling.
No limo, no Rolex, no swag.
Though I did once dream of
Living in a ritzy sprawling place,
That kind of daydreaming is
For someone who won the race.

Payday to payday
Is there any other way?
I’d call out a mayday
But what would I say?
I’ll pay it back someday?
But there is no way.
The outlook is gray.
Nothing saved for a rainy day.

It’s often called The Rat Race
But I have a problem with that.
I saw a whole lot of fat cats
But I never saw even one rat.
I think it’s better to call them
What they actually happen to be.
They’re hard workers, underpaid.
They’re the working class, they’re me.


Double-talk logo

Waddley bimbely
Nothing is new.
Sometimes I don’t know
What I should do.
Walkily talkily
Human kazoo.
I have learned better
Than trusting in you.

Whiffily sniffley
Embezzle and lie
Authority snority
Let it go by.
Cheatum and beatum
If they complain
Skim from the top
Buy a new plane.

Hoppity boppity
Games of chance
Always let poor people
Pay for the dance.
Scrappity snappity
Selling their wares
Bitch about usury
Nobody dares.

Slippity slidery
Constant rendition.
Use public money
To buy politicians.
Graftery crafters
Buy media too.
Make some more billions
To see their way through.



I’ve been a busboy, a waiter,
A salesman for road crews
A cook and a soda jerk.
The American market is
Not set up that well for
Kids who want to work.
Before I was twenty five
I’d had eighty different jobs
Some of them at the same time.
Some parents think their kids
Are a good source of income.
Others think that is a crime.

I suppose it’s one thing
If the kid picks his own job;
Does what he wants with money.
But robbing his stash
When he is out working
Is not even close to being funny.
And keeping a youngster
Both working and schooling
And no social or playtime is sad.
It robs him of childhood
And rips off all his ambition.
The child has to somehow turn bad.

Maybe it only trusting
That the kid learns not to do.
Maybe that dreams don’t come true.
Maybe the kid learns
His hard work and dedication
Only gets him blisters when he’s through.
That was all true of me;
I did what I was told and
I learned that joy and accomplishment
Earned no praise for the doing
Only produced, if I didn’t work hard
A tremendous amount of admonishment.

So, when I left home
I had no direction in mind;
I looked ahead to sixty more years
Of working and being robbed
By people I wanted to trust
And not even being capable of tears.
This may sound like a whine
Blaming and much worse
A griper that’s totally out of line.
But what it really means
Is your kids aren’t your slaves
To be put to work in some coal mine.


A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

I don’t want anything for Christmas
Nothing you can put under the tree.
What I want cannot be purchased.
It can’t be wrapped up expensively;
It’s not about ribbons and silk bows
Or fancy paper laced with gold.
It’s all about what the world needs
And has needed since days of old.

It has to do with people crying
And begging for what they need.
It has to do with children starving
The victims of our nation’s greed.
Drive the streets and look around
And who has got and who has not.
Look at all the rich decorations
And at all the empty urban lots.

Ask yourself how this can happen
In the richest country in the world.
Shouldn’t there be food enough
For every single boy and girl?
And shouldn’t there be jobs enough
For every one who chose to toil?
What happened to good will to men?
Has that concept been left to spoil?

What I want for Christmas can
Be stated in a very simple way.
We should learn to pull together
To chase the imbalances away.
We have enough of our resources
To abolish hunger and poverty.
We can be a nation of compassion.
That is what I truly want to see.


handmade christmas

Do you remember back when
Christmas was making things
Out of stiff colored paper
Like chains of slim paper rings
That were so long we took them
And wrapped the a few times
Around the tree as pretty trim?

We made angels and snowflakes
From something called shirt boards;
Cutouts covered with aluminum foil.
They didn’t need extension cords.
And Mom showed us how to starch
String we dyed. We wrapped it
Around some inflated balloons.
When each dried, we popped it.

We made reindeers and Santas
Our of wooden clothespins
With pipe cleaner antlers or
Cotton beards for Santa’s chin.
Mom dyed an old sheet green
For under the Christmas tree.
Prettier than the store-bought kind
It has always seemed to me.

In school we made Gifts too
Things knitted or made of clay
To give to Mom wrapped up
With great pride on Christmas Day.
And that wrapping paper was
Was all Christmas color tissue.
It was inexpensive to buy, so
Using a lot was not an issue.

Some gifts were appreciated
Some maybe not as much
But in every case, we were
For the most part very touched.
You knew for sure just by looking
What care and love went into
The handmade presents that were
Made totally and especially for you.




Some of us are older
And we remember a time
When being less than rich
Was not considered a crime
And dealt with Congressionally
By huge measures of stealth
Designed to take away rights
And relieve us of any wealth.

Some of us are older
And owning a home was not
Just a memory, and also
Was not just an empty lot
Where a house once stood
Before the owner got behind
And the bank ignored their pleas
As if they were all blind.

Some of us are older
And remember banks as friends
Who helped us with loans
Where good credit could begin.
We recall the days we could
Send our kids to university
And not saddle them with debt
That condemned them to poverty.

Some of us are older
And we remember the beat cop
Did more toward protection than
Murdering people at traffic stops.
We remember being told as kids
If you are in trouble find a cop
And old enough to have seen
The time that all began to stop.

Some of us are older
And we don’t recall seniors freezing,
Eating dog food alone in flats
And sitting in emergency rooms, wheezing
Because they can’t afford insurance
Because premiums were so high
And the insurance companies
Preferred that they just die.

Some of us are older
And we remember a country here
Where Christianity did not mean
Anti-black, anti-poor and anti-queer.
We remember you had to go
Down south to find hateful Christians
And it living life with dignity
Was not out of the question.