Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
“On the street there is no tomorrow.
There is only here and now and nothing
else. And yesterday is just another day
you’re trying to forget.”
– from ‘freefalling’ by Darlenne Susan Girard
April 12th is International Day for Street Children. It was launched in 2011 to remind the world of the millions of street children around the world, and lobby for their right to be protected under law.
All but one UN member country has signed AND ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention was the first international treaty to integrate all human rights in reference to children. It emphasizes the right to survival, development, and protection against abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It also addresses issues with education, health care, juvenile justice, and the rights of children with disabilities.
The United States is the only member state of the UN which has signed but not ratified this Convention. Opposition to ratification by the U.S. comes from right-wing conservatives, such as the Heritage Foundation, and religious groups. Some claim the Convention conflicts with the U.S. Constitution because, in the original language of the Constitution, “treaties” referred only to international relations (military alliances, trade, etc.) and not domestic policies, while others object to any ‘interference’ between parent and child.
Convention supporters point out that, under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Convention cannot override the Constitution because no treaty can override the Constitution (Reid v. Covert 354 U.S. 1 /1957). In addition, as a “non-self-executing treaty,” the convention does not grant any international body enforcement authority over the U.S. and/or its citizens, but would merely obligate the U.S. federal government to submit periodic reports on how the provisions of the treaty are being met (or not).
by Tiku akp
I thought that time would
Not be same again
The worms would not
Eat away my body full
I would not hear the sound
Of suffocation coming
From cold floor
Cemented and cracked
The tin covered shanty
Did not get a plastic sheet
From the cracked roof
Water still drips over
Hunger is still biting
Like a poisonous centipede
Nothing has changed
Only the number of
Skeleton has reduced from
Twelve to four
“Hungry Days” was posted at PoemHunter.com in April 2020, © 2020 by Tiku akp
Tiku akp, also known as Anil Kumar Panda, was born in Brajrajnagar, Odisha, India, to a very poor family, and he struggled to get an education, and had to overcome many obstacles. He now earns his living as a mine surveyor in coal mines. His collection of poetry and short stories, Fragrance of Love, was published by Authorpress in 2016.
by Octavio Paz
Here is a long and silent street.
I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall
and rise, and I walk blind, my feet
trampling the silent stones and the dry leaves.
Someone behind me also tramples, stones, leaves:
if I slow down, he slows;
if I run, he runs I turn : nobody.
Everything dark and doorless,
only my steps aware of me,
I turning and turning among these corners
which lead forever to the street
where nobody waits for, nobody follows me,
where I pursue a man who stumbles
and rises and says when he sees me : nobody.
“The Street” from The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz – 1957-1987, © 1988 by Octavio Paz, edited by Eliot Weinberger – New Directions Books
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City. He wrote many volumes of poetry, as well as a prolific body of remarkable works of nonfiction on subjects as varied as poetics, literary and art criticism, politics, culture, and Mexican history. He was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 1977, the Cervantes Prize in 1981, and the Neustadt Prize in 1982. He received the German Peace Prize for his political work, and finally, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
This eight-year-old isn’t homeless , but her song would change the world if more people really listened.
This is the Song the World Needs Now
by Nova Macknik-Conde
Esta es la canción the world needs now
Una canción that sounds like esperanza
Una canción that teaches fuerza
Una canción that makes you feel felicidad
Una canción that smells like salud
Una canción that holds you like amabilidad
Una canción that makes you move like agua
Esta es la canción the world needs now. . .
Una canción que consuela
esperanza — hope / fuerza – power / felicidad — happiness / salud — health / amabilidad — amiabilty /
que consuela — that consoles
“This is the Song the World Needs Now” appeared in StoneSoup magazine, April 2021 issue, © 2021 by Nova Macknik-Conde
Nova Macknik-Conde lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The City of Beggar Children
by Roberto Sosa
Where do the beggar children come from,
what forces multiply their rags?
Whose heart has never felt those fingers pecked
by birds with copper beaks?
Who hasn’t stopped to see their bones
and hear their voices pleading like humiliated bells?
Let there be no beggar children dwarfed in doorways,
chilled by cemetery mist, pale wall of the city.
Let there be children with toys,
bread and stars beneath their shoes.
Let them play in the school yard
and catch insects in the grass.
Let them live in their own worlds
among the beings and the things they love.
“The City of Beggar Children” from The Return of the River: the Selected Poems of Roberto Sosa, © by Roberto Sosa, and translation © 2001 by Jo Anne Englebert – Curbstone Press
Roberto Sosa (1930-2011) was born in Yoro, Honduras into a poor family, and struggled hard to get an education. He published his first book, Los Pobres, when he was nearly 30. It was awarded the Casa de las Americas Prize in 1971. Jo Anne Englebert also translated his collection The Common Grief, published in 1995. Sosa’s book, The Difficult Days, won the Adonais Prize in 1969, and the English translation by Jim Lindsey was published in 1983.