Visions of a city

Between all the signs of modernity —

glass-to-sky, scaffolding, sleek lines —

I scour the streets seeking this city’s ghosts 

the old cemeteries are the only places still alive 

there, ghosts breathe among trees and birds and earth-scents

elsewhere, cobbles and ancient stones whisper, but silently

their shadows hidden by larger, darker forms 

and parasols, slogans screaming brightly.

I did what I could to seek them, these ancient figures,

but so much of them is gone, so much of now is blind to the past

I went down to the river, hoping the water would at least be constant

but even it it is barely recognizable, churned now by motors and fumes.

The heart of this city is a-bustle 

everyone moving to their own rhythm

but here and there doors remain slightly ajar, open onto lives past,

hinting at some other world.

Glancing sideways I have seen them in their aloof existence

beyond the  hot, dripping streets.

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5 thoughts on “Visions of a city

  1. I loved “hot, dripping street” and “slogans screaming brightly.” I paced NYC looking for history too. I even went up to the Verrazzano bridge because its named after the first European who sailed around Manhattan Island and wrote about it!

    • I love that you did that! Totally relate and wish I’d have time to do that when I go back next week (sadly, I won’t be able to get away). Thank you for highlighting what worked for you in this piece.

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