Nothing Much to Say


        The world seems cruel
          in the face of pain.
        A suffocation of silences.
        When if we tried to speak
          we would scream,
         then we are silent.
        When what we feel
          fills our throat
          then we are silent.
        When what we should feel
          is not what we do feel,
          then we are silent.
        When we don't feel
          and we don't know how
          then we are silent.

        People die curled around their pain
          unable to say what hurts.
        We cannot find the words
          to make it right.
        Helpless to help,
          we turn away.

        Nothing much to say...


        When an artist dies
          what can you say
          to equal the art
          that's gone out of the world?


        Rub someone's shoulders.
        Drink gingerale. Eat pizza.
        Make more art.

        What else can you do?

In honor of Boyd McLaughlin 11/3/95
And all of the others. 10/20/97
This page has been created as a memorial to all people who have died while homeless, faceless and invisible. The following Guestbook is provided for you to enter the name and the story of anyone to be remembered. The names will be read at the yearly St. Martin de Porres service in Seattle, at the Day of the Dead ceremonies in Seattle, and in other cities.

Honor our dead.

And honor our living.

If you visit this page, please take a moment to pray, in whatever your own faith or ceremony,
that no-one will ever die homeless again.

Boyd McLaughlin died on November 2, 1995 at the age of forty-four.

Boyd came into Seattle's StreetLife Gallery, "the home of homeless art", fresh off a greyhound from Montana. He was trying to get off of cocaine and turn his life around; he threw his life into the Gallery.

In a year Boyd went from homeless and searching to housed and working as a prolific, self-taught artist offering inspiration, instruction, love and generosity to hundreds of artists walking in off the street looking to the Gallery for healing themselves.

He was at the Gallery eight or more hours a day, seven days a week, and the service providers who managed the Gallery at that time became concerned about him. They insisted that the Gallery close two days a week, Wednesday and Thursday, so that Boyd would have some time to himself.

Within two months, Boyd was dead. On a Thursday night.

It may be circumstantial, or not. But please hesitate the next time you want to decide for someone else what is best for them.

P.S. The StreetLife Gallery is now under self-management and open seven days a week.

Enter your Memorial
Street Poems