THE CITY


 
 
A concrete heart, a cement soul,
A backbone of hardened steel,
Twisted arteries and veins,
And blackened lungs, smoke filled.
 
Clear, clean skies, compromised,
Permanently dull and gray,
Skyscraper lights like eyes in the night,
But dark holes in the day.
 
Fingers reach out to the suburbs,
They grip with fists that won't let go,
Like patient, plotting spiders,
They weave webs which trap and hold.
 
There's a rhythm to the city,
A throb, throb, throb to the town,
Night and day the music plays,
Its song goes on and on.
 
High pitched sirens whine and wail,
Throttles of big wheelers roar,
Sparrows sing on window sills,
Babies squeal and squall next door.
 
Loud refrains from urban trains,
And whooshing sounds as they rush by,
Early morning garbage trucks,
Whose mechanisms grate and sigh.
 
From the throughways and the freeways
Comes a never ending hum,
The volume changes right on schedule,
But the humming's never done.
 
The city does not wake at dawn,
Because the city does not sleep,
Its music plays the whole night long,
And keeps up its urban beat.
 
Perhaps a different tune some nights,
And the instruments may change,
But the tempo of the city,
Continues and remains the same.
 
The city - an adventure,
From the beginning to the end,
People huddled, packed together,
Like piggies in a pen. 
 
So many languages and tongues,
Men cannot speak to one another,
And sometimes those that are the same,
Choose to ignore each other
 
No matter where one is ... or isn't,
There are people ... people ... everywhere,
And just a very few of those
Appear to really care.
 
God's and Satan's tug of war,
Men and women playing games,
Deceptive ... honest ... who can tell?
Differences that are the same.
 
Crowded, lonely - silent, noisey,
Loving, loathing - sane and mad,
Both accepting - and rejecting,
Cheerful, pitiful - glad and sad.
 
The hubbub, the excitement,
The misery, the despair,
Anything and everything,
Dies or prospers there.
 
One can't escape the city,
Even when one packs and leaves,
It is embedded in one's guts,
Like a lingering disease.
 
Ah, the city - the great big city,
A place to love and hate, you know,
People dream one day to leave it,
But it will never let them go.
 

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
April 2005



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A thank you to Margi Harrell
for her "Beale Street Blues" midi.

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