#WordlessWednesday: Detention Center

Come and lay, help us lay, Felipe down





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Detention Center (c) Rob Goldstein 2018

A Prayer for those Who Suffer

A prayer for those
who suffer

Lost on our streets

Lost to themselves,

A prayer for the stricken
and aggrieved

For the young in fear
of the future

For the old in dread
of the past

For victims silenced
by shame

For the angry whose
hearts are broken

For those who suffer most,

This is a prayer for you.

(c) Rob Goldstein 09/21/2016-2018


 This was first posted September 2016 as ‘A Prayer for Those who Grieve.’
I’ve revised the poem.



Only a Tramp

Art by Rob Goldstein
Clarion Alley, July 19, 2016

Only a tramp was Lazarus that begged.
He lay down by the rich man’s gate.
He begged for crumbs from the rich man to eat
But they left him to die, like a tramp on the street.

And, Jesus who died on Calvary’s tree
Shed his life’s blood for you and for me.
They pierced his side, his hands, and his feet
And, they left him to die just like a tramp on the street.

He was Mary’s own darling; he was Mary’s own son.
Once he was fair and once he was young.
And, Mary she rocked him, her little darlin’ to sleep
But, they left him to die like a tramp on the street.

When the battles are over and the victory’s won
Everyone mourns for the poor man’s son.
Red, white, and blue and victory sweet
And, they left them to die like a tramp on the street.

Joan Baez
The Internet Archives
Community Audio




The Alley – There but for Fortune

The Writing

There is a long alley between Valencia and Mission Street.

A vacant mattress: its place by the wall makes a semi-private room.

The tenant shifts from day-to-day but the mattress remains: covered by a pile of greasy blankets.

Graffiti is everywhere; names and curses bleed into each other: Someone bring some love –Phil.

Teen aged boys arrive on skateboards to silently read the words.

Words that express an ever shifting state of pain.


Three men and two women are here today.

They have a Safeway cart decked out in dazzling rags.

They smile when I stroll by and I smile back.

We don’t approach each other.

One of the men sits on the mattress while a woman squats on a crate to gently untangle his matted hair.


A second group of shirtless boys roll through the alley and stop to read the walls.

The word “PANIC” is sprayed in aqua blue.

The homeless question God.

They talk to him on these walls:

Vision Risk: why the poor?

Someone replies: Because God won’t accept pride.

Vision Risk: why the wretched?

Someone replies: Despised, they have the unadorned gift of life. They sleep in the shelter of these walls, beneath these words, their lives test our faith.

A pigeon struts on the mattress; a scavenger among scavengers, cooing and pecking.

It seems content to nest with the people on the rags.

 One of the writings on the wall is changed.

 The line now reads:

 Someone bring some love mercy! – Please God! – Phil


There but for Fortune by Phil Ochs
Joan Baez
Usage Public Domain Mark 1.0

(c)Writing and Photo,  Rob Goldstein 2016