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 –
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.