Cold Like Ice

The death house is dead
So many passed thru
Glenhaven it was
On Hastings near Clark.
“Service at Glenhaven”
Been seen for many years
Notices all over
In the Downtown Eastside.
Rivers have flowed
From the people who gather
Honouring ones
In the life hereafter.
Filled many times
With pain and misery
The walls worn thin
From the spirits within.
Robin’s I went to
When last I was there
Never went anymore
Too much to bear.
Too many I’ve gone to
These memorial services
For people who died
Too young down here.
Stacked to the ceiling
With spirits inside
Ones who are dead
Their spirits inside.
The new house is built
Just up the hill
The walls thick and strong
This death house on the hill.
Death house on the hill
What a place it is
Waiting for the spirits
Of those still alive.
Some spirits we see
On the street down here
Death house bound
In their first year
Your number comes up
It’s the luck of the draw
Your notice will be seen
On the Carnegie wall.
Death house on the hill
Like a palace it is
Paid for with tears
Of people passing thru.
How many will stay
At the house on the hill
How many will die
Too young down here?
Built all fancy
Pretty and nice
Waiting for bodies
Cold like ice.
             Paul Wright Street Art

Who’s Abusing Who(m)
Abusing drugs?  No Siree!
I say them drugs is abusing me!
They affect my mood like instant tea
Drive me to the streets with a screaming plea.
Billions of dollars made from ‘meds’
Half my friends in the realm of the dead
No fancy place to kill the pain
Nobody comes to keep me sane.
Crack cocaine hits the “well-to-do”??
Nope it doesn’t – or they will sue!
Designer drugs from the C.I.A.
Designed to make the poor folk pay.
Pay no more to lose your life
Pay no more for woe and strife
Serve each other to respect and love
Serve each other and you are above.
Divide and Conquer is their game
And in this game they kill and maim
The War on Drugs is war on us
The joke’s on them when we survive plus!
For weeks I watched the moon
Travel past my window in the sky
Getting fuller all the time.  I knew
There was a wild man inside me
Just waiting to be released again
“Every Junkie is like a setting sun”
Showing the most radiant colours
Just before the blackest night
The glorious days of youth have passed
Just pictures in the Blueboy Magazine
Dreams of sunny, palm treed shores
Are the only things that seem to last..
The whole world..a big nightmare
Halloween came round at the right spot
To do what He knows how to do best
Even if “That’s all there is’ left there
Scaring the life right back into me
The day is old butt the night is still young.
                                 Daniel Rajala
Living on the street
No clean clothes to wear
Sleeping in the park
No water anywhere.
No wonder small cuts
Turn into ugly sores
No shower for weeks
Sleeping on the streets.
New needles, sterile water,
They help quite a bit
So does a shower..
Gets rid of the dirt.
Hard to keep
A little self-respect
When you can’t have a shower
To keep yourself clean.
Everything grows
From self-respect
The first step of all
Self Respect.
Can’t respect
Other people and places
Without respecting
One’s spirit and soul.
We must not forget
The spirit inside
The body controlled
By the demon inside.
How can one believe
We really want to help
No where to be found
A place to get clean.
           Paul Wright
[Free showers at Evelyne Saller Centre, 7 days a week; First Church, 5 days a week; MPA drop-in 7 days a week; The Gathering Place, 6 days a week.
                                 Help in the Downtown Eastside, Pg.3]
Street Art 


Mr. Big.  ya got nothing
No longer the blame
Unite the flame
Ya gotta be tough
gang thang
Stay alive
“Mumbo jive” No.5
a real black ass
from the waist down
A good hiding place
Not too many sleeps now
Don’t follow me here
I’m coming back fer you
I once met a man who lived in the city
With his patchy old clothes
He looked quite a pity
His face was unshaven
And his hair was uncut
And everyone looked at him
Like he was some kind of nut
But as I came closer
There’s a tear on his cheek
It’s not money the man wants
But a friend that he seeks
I asked him if he’d like to talk
He nodded his head so we went for a walk
He had once had a wife
And a very happy home
Butt his wife went away
And he was left all alone
Now he loved his wife
For she was real fine
So he tried to forget her in a bottle of wine
As all the lonely years went by
He tried but in vain
to find that ost love
It just wasn’t the same
Money and car and home all gone
There was nothing left for him to pawn.
He sank even lower with the passing of time
He found himself down on the streets
begging for nickels and dimes.
Now let’s not forget that he’s still a man
And he’ll try to help himself out
The best way he can.
So just ‘cause you have money
And are well-to-do
Remember, don’t ever laugh at a bum
Because the same thing can happen to you.
                                            Lyle Hayes
sally’s remembrance
glass shattered
in a rootless alley
blood emptied in the lane
some say it was sally’s
that was not her real name
she had a hidden fear
was abused and hurt
wouldn’t let anyone near
when she had powder in her hands
boy could she do the snake dance
but freedom alluded her
what the hell did they do to her
painful memories took sally
now there’s room
for one more
in the alley
         David Kossakowski


Garry Gust
They turned her down cold, they turned her down flat...
She spat on the floor and walked away...
Then in a wet alley she took a cold bath...
And swore that by morning she’d make them all pay...
And the doctor, the lawyer, the judge and the priest
Agreed that she wasn’t to blame...
But the Jurymen shouted: “Let’s kill her at least,
For filling our city with shame....”
His brain’s full of Winter and his blood’s full of snow...
He’s numb and at last feels no pain...
He wants to feel love, but it just can’t be so;
The monkey must soon eat again...
And the doctor, the lawyer, the priest and the judge
Said:       “Let’s give him one more try.”
But the citizens held fast and just wouldn’t budge;
“Let’s teach the poor bastard to die”
“Your needle, my needle, pay it no mind, Just fill it up and shoot it to me..
They fell asleep for the last time behind where Pender Detox used to be

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