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
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
A furry butterfly
alights and burns
Poem by Rachel McAlpine, CC BY-NC 2.0, photo by Toshihiro Gamo, CC BY 2.0
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
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
is a mixed farm.
is an antique vase.
Does one need the other?
Does the other need one?