Part of the universe now

Homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo by Dan Dickinson
Homeless person sleeping in a doorway, Talahassee. Photo by Dan Dickinson, Flickr

with Robert

Nobody was at home
I was very, very hungry
I became very quiet
I was an angry, quiet kid

The pound is a concrete cell
I used to think, I’m here forever
I was frightened, really frightened
I became a little puppet

I’ve been sober eighteen years
I’ve been clean twelve years
From that, I get a life
I’m part of the universe now


Voices with no home: poems mined by Rachel McAlpine from the pages of Te Ha Tangata: the breath of the people, a human library on homelessness. Editor Elspeth Tilley, published 2018 in Aotearoa New Zealand by Te Puaroha Compassion Soup Kitchen and Massey University School of English & Media Studies.

Photograph Dan Dickinson cc by 2.0

Te Ha Tangata. A human library on homelessness
Te Ha Tangata. A human library on homelessness
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Starting

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start the day right
start the right day on the right foot
right this very now

and if in doubt
reroute, restart, rewrite the day
any old why or how


pic & poem by rachel mcalpine cc-by-2.0

Singlets of the world

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Singlets of the world

Dowdiest of nana-wear
your singlet clings to your lonely skin
your worried skin

you tuck it in
you barely feel it but you know it’s there for you
working full time for you

benign meniscus
keeping chills and death at bay
saving the hurts of the world for another day


Poem and photo by Rachel McAlpine CC BY-NC 2.0