the city

train line london skyline
A line defines the space
and beyond a goodly share of ambition
the city a ripe cheese, slow-baked
oozing the edges of decomposition

when navigable reach is ascertained
sights turn up towards the zenith plane
the city a sly, consumptive alien
feeling for the cyberspatial vein

one square mile the Romans walled
ditch and gate abutting tidal Tamesis
the city from citadel was suckled
desertion its imperial nemesis

born and borne again from fire and flood
scourged by bomb and scouring pestilence
the city crab-like grows, irregular, fast paced
congestive populus pre-eminence

a backwards ride from rural hinterlands
tree line silhouettes wave as if on air
the city shapes loom dark and hard
grist for the devilish millionaire

The opening line from Lee Zimmerman’s slinky pen and ink drawing though the outcome was very different and built for Sunday’s Poetry Pantry

28 Comments on “the city

  1. Cities (particularly London) have so many tales to tell and draw you in and fascinate the visitor with endless discoveries.

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  2. That opening verse had me hooked…i love the sense of the city being a beast we can feed…or flee maybe too?

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    • thank you Jae Rose – flee as often as I can and this is what I envisaged on a recent return

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  3. the city a ripe cheese, slow-baked
    oozing the edges of decomposition… a perfect description of an overgrown metropolis

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  4. born and borne again from fire and flood
    scourged by bomb and scouring pestilence

    It is sad to think how cities emerge from all the destruction which takes place. Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    • half the destruction is caused by construction though 😉

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    • thank you Sumana – its akin to Leviathan in my mind

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    • thank you Sherri – appreciate your appreciation 🙂

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  5. You really looked inside a city here, showing its progression. I would like to hope that the millionaire would improve the city rather than harm it! But…..

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    • the millionaire is investing it as a place for millionaires only alas

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    • the city has many faces and becoming more exclusive Bjorn

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  6. I also loved the opening setting the stage and drawing us in to this city….with such history…and now continuing to sprawl. Your descriptions are wonderful Laura and I read this many times…sad that the city is perhpas doomed by these millionaires

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    • all big cities are becoming just real estate Donna – glad you enjoyed your ‘visit’ to this city 🙂

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  7. the word ambition from the first line says it all for me: when in the city, work, work, work!!!

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  8. Great use of language.

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