This is my second poem submitted for Mara Eastern’s Rehab Project http://maraeastern.com/2015/04/20/poetry-101-rehab-day/ It takes the theme of day and tries to apply it to the modern city.
I am aware that I need to work on the sometimes erratic length of my lines and would welcome any feedback on this or anything else.
This poem is very much work in progress. It is fed in part by a recent interest of mine in addressing urban issues and portraying urban landscapes in a discourse couched in and shaped by sharply divergent perspectives. No one city is depicted here. The aim is rather to attempt to produce a cubist-style amalgam of the various first- and third-world cities I have lived in over the past 50 years and to discourse on the particularities, similarities and differences that unite, divide and distinguish them.
Day begins with the deserted streets a sea
Of discarded kebab-wrappers
Blown by gentle wind
Through pools of puke
Deposited outside pubs.
Huddled figures finish late-shifts
Or are off to an early start.
Papers replete with right-wing propaganda
Pile up outside newsagents and are bought up by curious workers along the way.
And street-sweepers with
Their water jets and whirring machines
Appear in the crisp light of a sun
Peeking and winking at them
Round the corners and in the windows
Of a low-rise landscape of benign limestone buildings
That is home.
The veins of the city clog
In treacly slow-moving lines
Car-parks and pavements fill
Shops and schools open their doors with a yawn
Traffic-police and caretakers do their job
Food trucks line up
And the already obese
Queue for lunch-time treats
Under a sweltering mid-day sun.
Sweat their way back to work.
Since siestas became unacceptable,
Is a long sinking feeling
Declining towards evening,
Buoyed by spoonfuls of sugar in coffee cups
As birds chirp and congregate to roost
And the petals of flowers close up shop for the night.
Bats wheel around in the dusk
Swooping down to pick up discarded fruit.
The litter pickers with their children’s unwashed unshod
Feet dangling from the back of a cart do their rounds.
Dad’s wiry muscles sternly humping rubbish up onto the flat bed
Of a truck. Mom up the duff again. Kids messing around.
A slow parade of cars
Wends its way honkingly homewards
To luxury apartments, perched high in the sky,
Under a sliver of a new moon
In darkening skies.