Urban portraits 3: City lights


In every street my feet tread

the neon bulbs of urban life

does arrest —

my weak eyes used to evening


my mind waiting for rest.

I hear them hiss like hypnotic snakes

with sundry colored eyes

fighting one another to bend me to their

commercial will.

These lights are the veins of the city

they do not sleep nor do they rest

and even in the sun’s jealous glare

they do still shine as a million

fireflies in a noisy, dirty jar.


Urban Portraits 2: Skyscrapers



Like famished fingers

grasping for food,

they tough the sky.

Rigidly erect, they stand as

monuments to human energy

and ingenuity.

By day they are giant mothers,

holding the workforce within

their steel and concrete wombs,

only to become barren again as

the night falls.

Watching, wide-seeing,

these towers gaze down at the

minuscule streets below

as life walks by them

and time screams past.

Urban portraits 1: the trash collector


Today I begin a new series of poetry that I call, ‘‘Urban portraits’’. Even though I have spent all of my life in urban areas, I personally have a slight aversion to living in the city though and would prefer living in the country or a town within the country. I have written the poems that you will read over the next few weeks as a testimony of the life that I have spent in the city, describing all the images that I’ve seen. Enjoy and if possible, tell me what you think.

City portrait I: the trash collector

By his hand,


visions of filthy, cluttered streets and homes


are left unfulfilled.


Yesterdays meal, excavated dust, shredded paper, plastic, –


fruits of our wasteful nature –


confront him.


Without bitterness or reluctance


he hauls it away, like a modern slave


to this material empire, far beyond our hygienic, polished lids.


And in his high-rise domicile


with hourly pay deposited,


does he yearn for a better future?


Or is he cheerful and content at the trade


he considers his magnum opus,


his badge of honor,


which prosperous men mock as a standard of failure


and to which even ambition-less beings dare not aspire?




Cleansing our blemished streets


is his forte.


And in a world in want of perfection,


a humble, proud distinction.


Three huikus


Wear life as a hat

               when it rains pull in closer

                       when it pours, pull it off, dance


Be the difference.

Be as salt in the ocean;

and sun in the storm

Brief words for late Autumn

There are swaying trees

whose dying leaves age golden

when old May greets June