Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204


June 6, 2011

We've had a lot of interest in the two poems read at the Bud Clark Commons opening celebration last week.

Leo Rhodes, Street Roots: 'Being Human?'

I am the voice you never hear
If I spoke would you listen?
I am the ugly duckling
Visible in your pretty little world
I am the criminal when I try to sleep
I am the nuisance
Trying to keep dry out of the rain
I am the homeless person
Looking for dignity and a safe secure place

 Barry Sanders: 'Untitled'

An African proverb says,

When an old man dies

A library burns to the ground.

And when an old woman dies,

I say,

a school burns to the ground.

And when a child dies,


A church, a synagogue, a mosque,

All burn down to the ground.

And when anyone utters the truth,

Speaks out for the poor, the powerless,

The forgotten,

For those too tired, too tattered, to care (anymore)

It's a symphony,

A great clap of thunder,

A thousand voices chanting their own favorite word.

Continue reading...