Monday, April 29, 2002

I am walking on office errands somewhere between The Embarcadero and The Financial District just a few minutes before these words are typed. My head is full, mulling over that same troublesome poem while simultaneously pondering a blog update when, passing through the cool shade beneath the AC Transit Bay Bridge overpass, I see a figure curled up on the asphalt in a tattered and stained sleeping bag, presumably sleeping there amid the pigeon droppings and unidentifiable puddles.

This is not an unusual sight for anybody who spends much time in San Francisco. "The Homeless" are a presence here and are often first page news . As just two words on your compter screen, "The Homeless" are rather an anonymous population. As a person huddled at your feet on the cold ground the homeless become very individual. Suddenly the struggling poem in my head and the working out of a blog seemed somehow irrelevant and necessary.

Newspaper piled high
in Winter doorways, alleys -
nests of the homeless.

One of my haiku inspired forms from a few years back (is haiku actually haiku if it is written in English? Tune in later for my opinion!) and, perhaps, an appropriate end to this.

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