Poem by Doug Holder

Photography © Chad Parenteau

 

For Jack Powers

A fixture in the North End
ubiquitous as a Madonna
a tall drink of water.
Graying Afro
carrying fresh loaves
on Hanover St
for his flock.
Painted rocks
detritus to art
in his cramped backyard.
A St. Frances
reciting poetry to pigeons
taking in stray
Jack Kerouacs,
Patti Smiths–
pasta dinners
and poetry
kissed a friend
of mine
told her she
was a “beautiful soul”
she cried
as if she
was never really
kissed before.

 

Photography © Chad Parenteau
Photography © Chad Parenteau

 

Doug Holder was the former President of Stone Soup Poets. He currently teaches writing at Bunker Hill Community College and Endicott College. For years he has run poetry groups for psychiatric patients at McLean Hospital, in Belmont Mass.

Chad Parenteau’s photo was taken in May 20111 at the International Community Church, in Allston, Massachusetts during the fortieth anniversary celebration of Stone Soup, months after the passing of Jack Powers, who founded Stone Soup Poetry in 1971.