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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

THE ONLY CONCRETE THINGS IN LIFE



Sidewalks speak
of cig butts and spittle,
old women in door stoops,
poetry cafes and musty smelling bookshops--
the clack of high heels,
the cadence of raindrops,
and children running.

Sidewalks speak
of jackhammers, sirens, and horns--
of just before,
and the moment after,
the corner store
and the ring of laughter.

Sidewalks speak
of dog shit, baby carriages, and
ice cream cones melting in the sun.
Of epithets hurled, flags unfurled,
five o'clock shadows, gutters,
teenagers on the run.

Sidewalks speak
of swirling lights
painted faces
and tango dancers.
Sidewalks speak...
but no one answers.

Sidewalks caution:
WATCH YOUR STEP!
for the road twists and bends.

Life is a nameless corner
where the sidewalk ends.


53 comments:

  1. I love everything about this. You took me to the city streets, so much teeming life......but those two last lines...????? Killer! Just so good!

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  2. Thanks, Sherry. Always great to hear from you!

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  3. Life is certainly like a sidewalk.

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  4. Those closing lines are stellar..!! Lovely write :D

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    1. Thanks, and always good to hear from you, Sanaa.

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  5. Tim, I wouldn't argue a thing about any of these speakings. I suppose the folk might be loking for other areas but in your defense, you had to come to an end. Right away I am thinking of the various street crimes, shooting murder for should would be on my silent list.
    ..

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    1. Thanks Jim. Yes, there are too many things that could be witnessed to include in an ordinary length poem. I wanted it to show the routine everyday occurrences, as a slice of life (as opposed to death).

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    2. And you did a very good job doing that.
      ..

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  6. Your sidewalks speak loudly to me! Terrific poem. And I like the philosophical note at the end, particularly the closing couplet.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I think different interpretations could be made of the closing lines...to me, it means that when the sidewalk ends, you're on your own, or as Jim Morrison put it: "Like a dog without a bone/an actor out alone..."

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  7. You really painted a vivid picture of busy city streets. I too love that ending.

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    1. Thanks Debi...I'm interested in how readers might interpret those last two lines.

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  8. I love the second stanza and the closing couplet.

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  9. As U know, I walk along da sidewalk all de time when goin 2 work at 2310hrs sharp almost every nite ... and me never scared of anything then ... but me scared of day time side walk peeps ... odd but true ... Love, cat.

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    1. Yeah, just remember that there are more crazy peeps running loose in the streets than there are in all the institutions put together!

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  10. Sidewalks see so many things. I love the way your words flow, and your quirky sense of life!

    poetryofthenetherworld.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Opal. I had an Opal once :)

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you...I think we're moving toward a consensus (smiles)

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  12. Raw cameos of sidewalk life...So graphic...And the final alignment...the nameless corner...as if still waiting for some new identity.

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    1. There it is...waiting to be molded...like our lives.

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  13. __Such richness you've written here Tim... we'll all take another step.

    this well seen pathway
    we step to the next crossway
    a smell of coffee

    _m

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    1. Thanks, Doug. I love that...and I love the smell of coffee beans (even though I don't drink it) and all the smells of the city.(Well, most anyway).

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  14. Nice. That's why you gotta take off shoes in the house.

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    1. There's a little piece of the city
      On the bottom of my shoe
      I don't want to peel it off
      That's why I ask you

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  15. This is such a well crafted piece. It starts so concrete and at the end it becomes metaphorical, but the control throughout is handled beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Carol--so nice to see you!

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  16. I simply love that closing... a little bit like like Peter and the wolf we will not listen to such talkative sidewalks until it's too late.

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    1. Everyone has something to tell us, eh?

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  17. Such an unexpected final stanza - and I love that surprise element.

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  18. Superb! I love the juxtaposed images. Great poem.

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  19. This poem gives a peak into the world sidewalks live in - used and not appreciated. Great poem.

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    1. We all feel like that sometimes--lol

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  20. I really dig this. Excellent work.

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    1. Thank you. She. Remember that movie, "She?"

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  21. Whoa--what a great metaphor for life. I'm a rural person, as much as possible, but I remember spending a summer in the Bronx back in the '60's and you really captured that experience for me. The only thing I can think of that (I think) you missed is the kids opening up the fire hydrants for an experience as close as they could get to swimming, I suppose.

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. Knowing me, if I'd included fire hydrants, it probably would have had something to do with dogs.

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  22. Love this poem...bookmarked it. Just wish we had more of those poetry cafes and musty smelling bookshops...

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    1. I'm so with you on that. Thanks for the bookmark!

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  23. I bet you had fun with this! Don't forget the chewing gum residue on your shoes...

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    1. I thought it was gum, but no such luck. Next time I'll stay out of the dog park.

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  24. My favorite lines:
    "Sidewalks speak
    of swirling lights
    painted faces
    and tango dancers."
    I like this very much. Reminds me of the phrase, "ah, if walls could speak" only in a cityscape! :)

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    1. If walls could talk
      and sidewalks could speak
      I'd be tuning in
      lest it was in Greek

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  25. "Life is a nameless corner
    where the sidewalk ends"

    Oh I'm minded of Shel Silverstain here in this wonderful write. Especially that ending. So many wonderful lines.

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    1. Thanks, to someone with a wonderful name!

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