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

Singlets of the world


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