Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Finding Faith Discovering Direction

In Prose on May 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm


By Daniel Ito

Good day young and old! Here’s one for all ages
A writing from the knight inked on the pages:
What’s with this way that has the world on a wire?
Working for low wages just to get hired?
Building up degrees to get iced or fired?
So called road-to-riches is a trap and track that’s so tired
No longer let lives be logs for the profiting pyre
To fulfill divine design is now my true desire
Color with love, let the deity be the dyer
Now I follow my faith but not to a friar
Or a zealot or templar, giving life for Aiur
But a knight for the light, breath of God is the sire
Hands out, lifted up, angel wings are the flyers Holy hymns His or Hers?
From whomever I acquire
Songs saved my ships from sirens so dire
On the river of spirit, to the truth we’re drawing nigher
All creatures great and small let us honor and admire
So bless everyone and all, from low sellers to high buyers

My job was a front that I left behind
Sacrificing spirit not in the offer signed
Consumed by the data, on dollars digits dined
Working ‘round the clock’ had my hands in a bind
Hours halved or doubled like it was five to nine
All to bring home bacon on sweat of brow, back, skin and rind
Bosses read complaints as grunted white collar wines
So I got drunk and blunted to escape from the grind
Then rhyming became my outlet, sparked by the lines
Quit 2 days before twenty-four, stars were aligned
Winds of change came, to better times they wind
Allowed me to volunteer, my checks paid in kind
The soul is not for sale, nor is the jewel of my mind
So now on the prophets’ path, peace I pray to find.

Heavy on my tongue, these words have waited
Not fishing for fans, but the breath is bated
Some people see weddings as so dated
King takes the check for the queen to get mated
Only for love to get thrown on the castle lawn
Spend nights in hotels paid by the ring pawned
And if they divorce, sue to split the dollars, flesh, and pounds
Lady or a tramp, the trial feeds ’em to the hounds
But that way doesn’t have to be, a better balance can be found
Stand inside your love, for falling out you ain’t bound
Cause even if they’re not the first, you can make it last
Ship your hearts together, be the sail to their mast
See we’re making progress, allowing any adults to be together
Who are we to judge in whom one finds their joy and pleasure?
Whether sun or storms, free your heart and never tether
Bless all the unions, may their bonds never sever
And as for my love, I’ll tell you a true tale
Of one who won my heart, whom I have faith I won’t fail
I was a buck looking for a doe, but not a gold digger
Going stag I was shot down for lack of pulling triggers
Tried to lift my spirits, drowned drunk on jugs and jiggers
But when I stopped scoping, I was found by one true figure
She’s a proper partner on the path to the most high
Set my sights on her, a soul pleasing to the eyes
While focusing on her looks might seem so shallow
Her holy spirit is what my heart hallows
I want to field her dreams that have lied so fallow
Raise her stalks so high from seeds that are now low
Who she is and wants to be is what I adore
She fills my heart up, how could I ask for more?

I’m a seeker for truth, but not for snitches
Miracles over magic, no need for wands or witches
A man of the cloth sewn from spiritual stitches
On my divine drive dug me out of the ditches
Now to holy heavens is where my heart hitches
Forgiving biters of the apple, we all have glitches
Daily bread for the hounds to pure bitches
And for the C.R.E.A.M? More to life than riches
Pardon the plug for giving product pitches
For in the city of angels bless the man donating Abercrombie and Fitches
While the CEO’s living large off of XS to M britches
Extra, extra homeless are now the couture kitsches
So I’ll be the Batman for those no one hears
Step up to the plate and strike out all their fears
Prevent ’em from playing chicken, even cogs can change their gears
Stop driving for the dollars and cash cows sold like steers
Won’t get locked in holding bucks so dear
Critics call my rows corny, but still I have their ears
Cause I light a better world, all eyes are now seers
Whether cut or crying, got tissue for tears and tears
Our bodily vessels leak the same, we are all peers
Each a diamond in the rough, from street rats to grand viziers
Cut the distance between us all, from nowhere to Now Here!

World are you ready? I’m coming unleashed
The cap’s off the pen, the sword’s been sheathed
Bringing all on top, leaving none underneath
With the will to bring peace, one love I bequeath
Found my true north when things turned south
Living by the message straight from the maker’s mouth
So Jah bless the jobless, and Allah loving all ya
Don’t get holy texts? God will still call ya
All souls are a blessing on the bodies’ alter
Live a life of love and one can never falter
Cause after all the trials in the lions’ lair
Moved past the pride for the Lord lifted me from there
Pleasing for the praises, now believing the power of prayer
Getting in stride somewhere from fabled tortoise to hare
To speed wild like a stallion or sit stabled like a mare
Ready to run, but lying patiently I wait
In the year of the horse to make it out the gate
Only look to serve, put portions on the plates
Of people so in need, view ’em all as blank slates
Whether on the streets or in skyscrapers
Show them life is more than praying for papers
No matter the distance, everyone is a neighbor
So for peace around the world is what my love labors
Smile and disarm ’em to the teeth, down to the sabers

Why must war be waged across the land and seas?
Life is priceless so how can deaths be the fees?
Sick of all the shots, shouts of fire and freeze
And deadly stings of drones like robotic killer bees
So I’m praying for peace, people I’m on my knees
Open your hearts to love in your chests lie the keys
But this is a request, not an order so I’ll finish with a please.
Good day young and old! Here’s one for all ages



Leaving San Diego in the Morning

In Stories, secrets & dreams on May 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm


By Michael Welch

I see the crowd of people standing below us looking up at us.

I see Booker standing next to me, a man I hardly know but I will be giving him orders to obey for the next two years – it was either the hard steel deck of this ship or the cold steel bars of some jail in Chicago, for Booker

And I see so many dangerous, deadly, stealthy planes tied tightly down around me; large muscular flying metal insects pinned and staked right next to me on the roughened steel flight deck, their sturdy wing pods and underbellies silently ready for festooning with all sorts of pernicious deadly darts designed to wreak havoc

And we, the both of us, are looking down, hanging over the thin rail of this giant grey aircraft carrier, we looking down one hundred feet below to the quay, looking down at the crowd.

I see so many people looking up at us.

I see people waving, I see people waving up at some of us.

I see my new wife looking up at me. She is so pretty; her long blonde hair tied with red ribbons and laying on her shoulders in two fetching tails, a look I have loved since we were kids, knowing she only stubbornly wears those two pony pretty tails now to soothe me when I am sad, and still she reminds me she is not a little girl any more. But she will always be my little darling, she will always be that young sweet smelling flower to me, with bright red ribbons in her hair. And she is waving her slender soft hand at me.
I feel the salt air of the harbor on my skin and the air feels warm.

I can hear the screaming of the crowd, the crowd is screaming up at us.

I see a child, a small child waving a flag – an American flag – a flag way bigger than she, the breeze off the bay is wrapping her all up in colorful play, the cloth flapping around her, and the cloth gently slapping her face. The stars and stripes. “How cute,” I am thinking, as she begins to cry.

And I can hear the screaming of the crowd, and I can hear the screaming of the sailors all around me, and I can smell the heavy diesel from the ship’s stack blowing down upon us – the strong bite of diesel exhausting and mixing with the salt sea air enveloping me.
And I can hear our ship’s loud whistle blast.

And I can hear the tug’s two loud chirps.


Chugging along aside us to aid us in our departure – chirping in their sharp retort to our monstrous moan.


And I can see the sailors on the dock below us uncoiling the thick white twisted lines of rope off the heavy, strong, thick stanchions and throwing us off – we are no longer secured to land.

And we start our year long voyage into the strange waters of the world, sailing across the wide blue Pacific and passing into the far off unknowns of the Orient.

And I can hear again the loud mournful horn of our ship and I can hear the quick spirited chirping shrill returns of that culpable tug below.


And as I lean further over the ship’s thin rail I can see two large tugs below churning aside us in the bay, struggling mightily to push us off.

And we are underway…beginning our passage.

And I can hear the crowd screaming as the pier recedes into the bright sunshine.

And I can hear the sailors screaming as we float away into the bright sunshine.

And I can hear again the ship’s loud, mournful moan.
And I (fear) feel we will be gone forever.

And I can taste the diesel on my tongue, the clinging filmy oily exhaust coating my mouth.

And I can see my pretty new wife; I look at my new wife waving at me. Her long blonde hair is loose now, her beautiful long tresses are billowing free in the bay’s rising breeze, and the red ribbons from her hair are now in her hand, and she is waving her red ribbons and the ribbons are reminding me of colorful ribbons of streamers thrown from an ocean liner in long ago days. And as we slip away from the pier our last connection is torn apart…finally lost. The once taut and now limp remnants of colors will not hold us together any more, and the ship is turning and putting out to sea.

And I think I perceive an odd troubling smile forming on my lovely’s pretty face. Is she crying?

She is so far away.

And I am remembering – I am trying to remember – how she smells, as my thoughts are crowded in the stink of diesel that I will be smelling for the rest of my life. And I am thinking: “Will I ever smell her again? Will I ever taste her again?” as my mouth is crowded with the cloak of ship’s diesel. “Will I ever taste the sweetness of her skin? Will I ever again?”

And I can hear Booker next to me – he is whispering something in my ear, he seems to be whispering something important, as he hisses with a force of authority I am surprised to hear. I know he has been on one of these long voyages before, and so I try to listen, no matter his minor rank.

“Mr. Welch,” he whispers in my ear.

And I am leaning closer into him now in order to heed his words.

“Mr. Welch, don’t worry.”

And I can sense Booker is telling me something imperative for the journey we are about to take.

“Mr. Welch, don’t worry…you will find your wife when you return.”

And I am happy to hear that.

“You will find your wife just as you left her – freshly fucked.”

And I can hear the crowd screaming “goodbye.”

And I can taste a bitter pill of betrayal breaking apart in my mouth.

And I feel lonely.

20th Annual Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Free Writers’ Workshop Public Reading

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm


We invite you to support our soup kitchen guests – and to hear some wonderful new work – by attending the 20th annual Writers’ Workshop Public Reading on Thursday, May 22, at 7pm in the landmark Holy Apostles church. Join us and Ian Frazier, special guest and founder of the writers’ workshop, as our guests showcase their creativity and tell their stories of resilience, hope, and humanity.

There will be bound editions of the participants’ works of prose and poetry available. A brief reception will follow.

Nutrition Outreach Table

In Soup Kitchen Stories on May 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm


Aside from offering a hot meal, our social services center, and other programs throughout the week, we welcome outreach tables from other organizations into the soup kitchen each weekday to provide valuable resources for our guests.

One of our newest resources is nutrition advice provided by Jannie Wolff, Community Educator for Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Jannie has been coming to the soup kitchen every Tuesday to provide health tips and keep our guests healthy and knowledgeable.

Many health conditions are particularly prevalent among homeless and low income individuals, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Holy Apostles provides nutritious meals for our guests, by offering fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. But many of our guests rely on other soup kitchens and food pantries for other meals. Other soup kitchens around the city don’t have the same focus on nutrition, and many of our guests don’t have full kitchens to prepare healthy meals throughout the week.

“It’s especially hard for people who rely on soup kitchens to keep a nutritious diet. It’s important that people don’t miss meals, and eat nutritious meals with quality ingredients,” Jannie says. “Nutrition affects not only physical health and well-being but it also affects our emotional and mental health and well-being.”

Jannie has been teaching about health and nutrition through Cornell’s Cooperative Extension since 2009, and has heard a lot about Holy Apostles. “Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is fantastic. I’ve heard such great things about it, so I wanted to come and help out here,” Jannie says.

Wondering about some simple tips? You may not realize that processed lunch meat is loaded with sodium. And while a salad is a healthy choice, some salad dressings are very unhealthy. Also, portion size can make all the difference between a healthy meal and a horrible one.

“Whatever situation you’re in, you can eat healthy. A lot of people coming to soup kitchens feel hopeless and like they can’t do anything about their health. I give them hope and help them realize that they can find ways to eat healthy,” Jannie says.

A Funny Thing That Happened

In Poetry, Stories, secrets & dreams on May 8, 2014 at 10:15 am



A Funny Thing That Happened

by Norman Clayton

A funny thing that happened
on the way to this poem.
It got hungover. and I
didn’t even know it drank
strong spirits
Poems are like that, with their
telling of deep dark secrets like
drunks to bartenders late at night.
I think good poems should always be
written to bartenders but then I
don’t drink anymore.
So this poem is not really
about hanging out the wash.
That dries out too, like me,
like this poem which is starting
to give me the dry heaves.


Mama Told Me

In Love, Stories, secrets & dreams on May 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm


Mama Told Me

Mama told me there’d be days like this! I’d only lived with my mother until I was three, then divorce and my dad got custody. There were few visits until I decide to visit her. It was 1955; I was 15 and rarely far from home, which is hardly the case with today’s 15 year-olds. So my brother put me on a bus from Paterson, New Jersey, at the new Port Authority Bus Station in New York. I had been 11 when I last saw my mother, still chubby, round-faced not really tall; by 12 all that changed, I was nearly my present height, and slim!

As I got off the bus at Market Street, I saw an Eva Marie-Saint looking blond (had just seen On the Waterfront) wearing a rust suede jacked. I’d always called my mother ‘Peggy’ since I never really knew her as ‘mom’. I wanted to surprise her but I think she knew I had arrived. “Peggy?” She turned around – told me “How you’ve grown! I don’t believe it.”

We took another bus to Preakness – no.88, I remember, and my Mama told me so many things about what I’d see on the farm when I met her husband Sam, and my half-sister Bonnie – now nine. I had a wonderful time!

I will skip ahead many years, far beyond when Mama (“Peggy”) told me her side of the divorce story, since I’d only heard Dad’s – what daddy told me. I knew, even as a child, there could not be just me dad’s side of it.

Nineteen eighty-four, I was 44, my mom nearly 71. We’d had our problems through the years, as children, teens ect. with parents, except I never had as much time with my mother in resolving them – except correspondence where you have delays of reaction, thus having the other party know where you stand, and you knowing where the other party stands, exchanging feeling, making amends, ect. Mama told me I could come down for a visit (she lived in Florida) and for me to suggest when. I chose Mother’s Day week – May 10-17, 1984 – flying down on a Thursday due to heavy air traffic volume, high airline fares, ect.

I’ll never forget that week I had with my mother – Mama telling me many things (and me telling her many things) especially that she loved me. I did not know it would be the last time I’d see her. She had something else to tell me, but not in words, in other ways, obviously. Why did she wear all white that week except the night I left for home, when she had on an aqua blouse? I had taken the very best pictures of her ever, also not knowing they would be the last.

At the airport, as I was heading toward the entrance, I turned around, waved, and blew a kiss goodbye. She had the most melancholy look on her face – that wistful smile of hers she was known to have. I went back to ask her what was wrong. She was a good actress, her husband Sam had told me. Well my Mama told me then, “Oh nothing – great time we had – now don’t you miss your plane!” People’s Express it was.

It was my Mother’s day goodbye. I’d never see her again – what Mama could not tell me was “I’m dying” The plane in the air, I realized it over many drinks. My whole life flashed before me, all my memories of Mama.

In June I sent Mama a new flower-print bathing suit – one piece guessing her size as 14. Well, it was 12! I phoned her, asked if she got it. “Fits like a glove.” This was my dad’s 74th birthday, three days before Mama died. I asked her how she was doing, “I’m working on the country farm painting I showed you.” Then Mama told me, “I take today. I love you – bye-bye.” The last words Mama ever told me.

by Toby Van Buren

Blossom in the Springtime

In Stories, secrets & dreams on May 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm


In the springtime, the ground becomes warmer, and bulbs begin to blossom, bursting out of the ground. The mists of grass cover the Earth, and the trees grow bursts of leaves. In nature there is no word to describe how the earth revives except “renaissance.” My body feels alive and energized before the summer begins. I remember that when I was in school other students did not understand me. They made fun of me throughout my school years. It was very difficult to find conversation partners even though I did have a few friends.

I went to my neighborhood high school Franklyn K. Lane which was nearby and easy to walk to, before I transferred to a private school for disability people who have a learning problem. The school was in the city so I spent a lot of time commuting. After I graduated, the school was converted into apartments. During the last two years of high school I had opportunities to be in dramatic musicals. In my junior year I was one of the Jets in West Side Story, and in my senior year I was one of Fagin’s boys in Oliver Twist. These plays took place during the springtime blossoms, and I felt good about them. I guess I had spring fever at springtime that year.

By Leucio Parella