Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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We begin the new year with a dose of reality. These poems were written by members of the Creative Writing group at The Other Place (Goddard Riverside Community Organization). These poets have "been there and done that," lived in the street, taken it to the edge, and are striving to find a peaceful existence. I can't help but think that Ken Steele, late founder of New York City Voices, would have appreciated these poems. Most of these poems lack titles, but that in no way detracts from the grittiness of their content.

(no title)
By Alice Weatherly
I breeze around the zodiac
The first sign I met
was the glorious Ram
who taught me
a sense of Self
The second sign I met
was the powerful Bull
who gave me wealth
The third sign I met
was the beautiful twins
who gave me intellectuality
The fourth sign I met
was the kind crab
who gave me a love for home
The fifth sign I met
was the magnificent Lion
who gave me love
The sixth sign I met
was the lovely virgin
who taught me purity
The seventh sign I met
was the pair of delicate Scales
who taught me balance
The eighth sign I met
was the sensuous Scorpion
who gave me sexuality
The ninth sign I met
was the magnetic Centaur
who taught me spirituality
The tenth sign I met
was a mountain Goat
who gave me ambition
The eleventh sign I met
was the futuristic Aquarius
who taught me originality
The twelfth sign I met
was a pair of mystical Fish
who, lastly, gave me peace

(no title)
By Kevin

Who am I you say?
I am male age 27
quiet personality
interested in
bike riding and bowling
likes fried chicken,
pudding, popular music
I am 5'10"
140 pounds
brown eyes
clean shaven
not a surfer's build
looking for friends
for biking

(no title)
By Edmund F. Gaethke

Being homeless
going hungry
not knowing
which way to go
Trying to find shelter
on a cold and windy night
shelter at last
I found shelter at last
A nice warm bed at last
a nice hot shower
and clean clothes to put on
Now I begin a new life
discussing current events
going bowling
eating pizza
and the toppings they put on it
enjoying working
at Safe Havens and Project Reachout

(no title)
By Anthony Mitchell

Who is Anthony Mitchell?
He is a nice guy
He likes eating oranges
He has an intelligent way
He desires wealth and fame
He wishes for a car
He lives in a hotel
He is attractive
He has a beard
He wears designer jeans
He wears tennis shoes
He wears cool hats

(no title)
By Anthony F.

When I was homeless
I was homeless for one year
Then I lived in a shelter for one year
Never liked being outside in the rain and cold
Never liked being outside in the snow
Used to hang out in Grand Central terminal
Then I got permanent housing
Thanks to Project Reachout
Things are better now
At ease
Have my own room
Cook my own food
Watch my own television
Listen to my own stereo
I missed these things when I was homeless
I am speaking for everyone who has been homeless
This is what you should not have to go through

(no title)
By Derek Senape

Sometimes I see
Sometimes I don't
Adult I be
A child I won't
I always wish
Though wise I am
A world of change
I think it can
But will it? No
I change myself
The world can't grow
People misled
And will not know
Ice cream in December
In the wrong weather
Friends say whatever
They listen never
It hurts to see
A world dying
Never give up
Keep on trying
I battle myself
For what to believe?
To better yourself
Or to save some trees?

The City

By William Barrera

She is great and strong
vibrant and fast
full of energy and throng
I have roamed her streets
at day and night
without hope in sight
Yet she calls me in a thunder
and warns me not to blunder
Lest I become her hunger
and she'll devour me like plunder
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