Set in concrete

Homeless people's belongings, Croatia. Photo Kornelijle Sajler
Homeless people’s belongings, Croatia

with Verne

just because I’m scruffy
and smell sometimes
doesn’t mean my DNA
is not human

I ran away from boarding school
mattress on the floor
cockroaches and mice
a huge gambling problem

lots of drugs
lots of alcohol
I am apprehensive
about smiling

people yell at me
assumptions set in concrete
there’s very little future
unless magic happens

The poems in Voices with no home were 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 Kornelijle Sajler cc by-sa 2.0

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


Grumpy hermit


Talking to a grumpy hermit
is a training and a test.

They toggle their manners
off and on to probe your zest.

 They have the right to be silent.
They have the right to reject. 

Perhaps it is wrong to circulate.
Perhaps they are correct.

poem and photo by rachel mcalpine cc-by-4.0