Street litter

“in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems”
e.e. Cummings

October winds pursue
– the night follows quickly as I’m hastened home
by gusts, urging a faster tempo to my footsteps
A brown glass bottle keeps pace though
rolling down the gutter, noisy as a drunk
and on the corner, I pass an idle pack of leaves
– it comes to heel
and just as suddenly scatters
hurtling headlong, eager to separate
In their wake, some motley trails of paper
like struggling kites, each lifts and falls
and falls and lifts again
But one at least is scrambled, up and out of sight
then, as if encouraged by this lucky flight,
a plastic carrier opens with an enormous suck of air
balloons overhead, taking with it all the clutter
composing there

In the Imaginary Garden, Sanaa has invoked a line from Cummings’ The Hours Rise Up..” as prompt “On the Edge of a Starry Night

26 comments

  1. You’re making me fall in love with October in your poems 😉 this is absolutely awe-inspiring, I can picture the ‘motley trails of paper’ and love how you compare them to kites. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt, Laura 💜

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  2. These lines are as alive as the objects you describe. I love the way you breathe vitality into everything you walk past: the winds, the night, the bottle. And the pack of leaves, like a gang idling on the corner. Such a fascinating perspective. Love it!

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  3. From the causal ushering, slightly pushing, for the edge, the seasons changing, – lovely imagery, wind hurrying along, (I imagine it tugging and prodding the back of a coat) – noticing the brown bottle (I can hear it rattling) …. keeping pace, and then on the corner, a leaf pile, “brought to heel” – which is just such a rich image and very stunning for the words ….
    then, a sudden turn – the uplift, as mentioned! All of this is wonderful.

    I really like how you’ve taken a slice of “normal” and pulled out the details, and used them to really set the scene, create the ambiance and essence of Fall, and given them such a unique perspective. The white carrier bag, blowing open and being caught in the wind, expelling … all it contains … a very atmospheric and flavoured feeling to this – a clean sweep, which is just like looking for the scatterings of poems, the bits and pieces everywhere …

    This is a great walk with the prompt Laura 🙂

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      1. thank you ~ and yes, that is a wonder image and metaphor … I rather find it just the right touch of delight, fanciful, as well as edged with just enough of a dose of the serious thinker/philosopher;
        and so, may you continue to enjoy the walkabouts and magical moments when poems and other musings come along as companions, both lighted and shadowed.

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  4. Like others, this is a vivid walk through our crappy urban streetscape. I like how you’ve animated/observed these scenes without sentimentality – the bottle keeping pace, the pack of leaves ‘heeling’, the papers trying to fly – and the uplift in the end – both comic and sad at the same time. Very autumnal.

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  5. kaykuala

    But one at least is scrambled, up and out of sight
    then, as if encouraged by this lucky flight,
    a plastic carrier opens with an enormous suck of air

    In some trying moments there may be a silver lining that renders help at that desperate moment.

    Hank

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