Black coats pass me,
people move in the opposite direction
as I am going upstream
through this river of indifference
that smells of dog and travel, nicotine.

My limbs are gone, now only my eyes find a path
under tall buildings that are falling over
in the puddles showing blue sky.
There is no sky. This city
has taken from me what I knew to be real.

An old man stands still in the middle of a sunbeam
and plays a violin, some coins are shining
on the red velvet of the violin case.
His music is eaten by police sirens.
His smile is fading into a skeleton’s grin and I run.

My feet fly above the grey pavement,
all the faces the same zombie
and noise increases. Then
a traffic light. Red. I feel the air
come from passing cars.

A child smiles at me from a backseat.
Inhaling fumes I move again.
The city swallows me but will spit me out
as soon as I can find
my way back to the station.

Perhaps I am just not much of a city person πŸ™‚


Comments on: "City" (23)

  1. Well you do make the city sound very unappealing haha

  2. This is interesting for me Ina, because what you describe here is possibly the reality of a city, in which case Im glad to be away from it all.

    I used to love going into Leeds on the train for a shopping day but maybe now the rose tinted glasses are firmly on. We live very near to the local train station and when I hear the “beep” of the train bound for Leeds entering the station Im often overwhelmed with emotions of all different kinds, including anger that this choice has been stolen from me. Hey ho! Onwards and upwards I guess 😊

    L&H xx

  3. Very nice vivid description , Ina. I like the falling-over buildings in the puddles of blue sky. I lived in a large city for many years, and loved it. Then I moved to the seaside, and now to the mountains. Whenever I am in one place, there are things I long for, in the other. I hate shopping, so I’m with you and Christine on the blessing of internet commerce!

    • Thank you Cynthia!

      It is great to feel at home in different places. I love mountains, for the beautiful views. It is very tyring to walk and bicycle there though πŸ™‚ It has been a long time since I went shopping in a city, but I do love those big supermarkets like they have abroad πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve never had enough money to truly enjoy shopping!

  5. This poem keeps reminding me to go and look again at Ezra Pound’s famous ‘haiku’ about wet leaves…

  6. you may not be a city girl but you’ve captured it in all it’s grittiness…me, I love the mad vortex of it all…

    • Hi John, I missed this comment earlier. The city is a very dynamic place, I can imagine you love it!

  7. I couldn’t live in the city–I can barely live in the loud and scary suburbs.

  8. In every poem of yours I read there are always lines which stop me in my tracks and make me wonder at your gift and the person behind it. I remember you worrying some time about how your English not being good enough to get your meaning across: believe me, few people get their meaning across as beautifully as you

    • Wow Peter, thank you so very much, that means a lot to me as you write so well yourself! Sometimes when I write a line in your language, I am just not sure how it comes across. It is very easy to miss the finesses of a language and to change the meaning without knowing it.

  9. I am a ‘country girl’ for sure – but I grew up in the suburbs and worked in the city for many years. This poem so captures its chaos and noise, which I do not seek any more. It is all beautifully written, but one line really captures the city experience:
    ‘His music is eaten by police sirens.’

    Too much stimulus – yes, it makes me feel eaten alive, for sure. XO β™₯

    • Thank you Diane. It must be really nice living where you do now, in nature. ) Snowed in at times though!)
      The only city I have lived when I was18 is Amsterdam. In Summer it was nice, but in Autumn I felt the cold of it. Last cities I dwelled in were Antwerp and Leeds both in 2012 btw. I should go away more often lol. β™₯ xx

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