because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

autumn landscape from a downtown window

This
is my world,
cut into horizontal ribbons
of dirty glass like some
perverted jail cell
set on its side and left
to mildew’s ruin in
a late September rain.
It’s five thirty
and the streetlights are coming
remorselessly on,
beacons of promise
or spotlights
preventing escape, depending.
The traffic pulses with an
irregular heartbeat as the hand
on the old clock
tower ticks past quitting time
and the dull cement of
parking decks becomes
breeding ground for ghosts.
Drops of wet climb up the sides
of crumbling brick
seeking release from an
overburdened asphalt
and the friction of
steaming tires as car
after car slicks past,
owners gripping
steering wheels
as if they were the leashes
of poorly trained pets,
tomorrow’s dry cleaning
hung like gallows
in the back seat.  After a second
or a century the light
at the corner of Fourteenth and
Main clicks from yellow
to red, bringing life to
a shuddering halt as
wiper blades huff
back and forth in frustration;
brakes chafe; engines grumble.
Only the rain continues
to fall without surcease,
clinging to the skin of sky
and city alike and saying with its
every chilled breath
a farewell to summer.

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43 responses

  1. Wow! Really powerful poem. The momentum begins from the very beginning and speeds along from there.

    “This
    is my world,
    cut into horizontal ribbons
    of dirty glass like some
    perverted jail cell
    set on its side”

    Many images affected me greatly.

    “breeding ground for ghosts”
    “tomorrow’s dry cleaning
    hung like gallows”
    “skin of sky”

    You really made a rainstorm and traffic and early evening vivid and sharp. Thanks for the brilliance.

    September 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    • thanks, starving. dig your stuff too. ‘preciate you stopping by.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

  2. Loved it as well. My favorite lines by far were;

    “It’s five thirty
    and the streetlights are coming
    remorselessly on,”

    One question – Have you experimented breaking up the poem into stanza’s? Just curious how it would read based on where you put your break points.

    crb.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:30 am

    • toyed with the idea for a bit, but couldn’t find clean places to do so; since i sort of envisioned this as a single portrait/description and i liked that it all sort of flowed together, i left it break-less. thanks for the consideration, tho. it’s always nice to have a second opinion. editing my own work is one of my least favorite pasttimes :)

      peace
      jsl

      September 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  3. sad times as summer slinks away from the city…
    naked arms and loose shoulders will soon be bound and jammed up toward earlobes frigid

    chiropractors heart winter

    Rene

    October 3, 2010 at 12:08 am

  4. this sure does have some incredible momentum.
    Very good poem

    October 3, 2010 at 3:57 am

  5. ooh, love the image.

    October 3, 2010 at 9:19 am

  6. breath taking…
    u shall link it up to our poetry potluck today…
    Thanks for the beautiful talent shared.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm

  7. Thanks much, Arts.

    J.– glad you liked it; the image probably took as much effort as the piece itself :)

    Rene– loved your lines, and the way you continued the alliteration there.

    Jingle– indeed; promptly. thanks for dropping by :)

    jsl

    October 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

  8. Great imageries, Siubhan, love this :)

    October 5, 2010 at 2:33 am

  9. Dear Siubhan
    What an amazingly different autumn and the image of vehicles stopped at the red light is very stark and interesting. Your choice of words and imagery is beautiful. Like the perverted jail cell or street lights remorsely on or wiper blades huff… your last lines were so good…

    “Only the rain continues
    to fall without surcease,
    clinging to the skin of sky
    and city alike …”

    Thanks for sharing..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

    October 5, 2010 at 7:49 am

  10. Thanks Imagina–always nice to see your lovely gravatar around :)

    and Shashi, glad you enjoyed; off to check out your own stuff very soon…

    October 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  11. Amazing imageries my dear, a visit here is always so very special! Hugs xx

    October 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

  12. Great description and imagery.
    Wonderful job.
    Real fun.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

  13. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 30 | Jingle

  14. The words invoked the scenes live…more like I was watching than reading. Nicely done.

    Cheers!

    October 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

  15. I could clearly see the picture you were painting with your words–and what a stunning one it was!

    October 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

  16. Hugs back atcha, buttercup! thanks for dropping in. :)

    Madan– nice to have you here. you’re welcome to drop in anytime.

    Emmanuel, Gretchen– so glad to have your reactions. that was kinda the effect i was going for: painting a scene rather than telling it. thanks for your feedback.

    cheers, all

    jsl

    October 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm

  17. NotATameLion

    Makes me wish I were really there. I love both rain and the coming of fall.

    Thank you for the poem.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:57 am

  18. Joanna, I think I have had commented on it earlier but since I dont see it here, let me say it again that i liked it so much…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

    October 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

  19. ladynyo

    Great, descriptive poetry. I was THERE!

    Lady Nyo

    October 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

  20. For me, your poem is so cinematic. How I wish I could describe things in words like you do. And thanks for visiting my blog. :)

    October 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

  21. Pingback: Agreement 4 Thursday Poets Rally Week 30 Participants | Promising Poets' Parking Lot

  22. I’m amazed that you can create such imagery out of something so simple… beautiful..

    October 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

  23. Thanks for the lovely participation…
    the link is originally in to honor you ..
    Glad that you used it as your entry.
    Happy Thursday!

    October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

  24. brilliant…
    heart-wrenching at places..
    but lovely flow..

    im here from Jingle’s blog.. you can read my poem at

    http://megzone.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/autumn/

    Reply

    October 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

  25. Gripping, not a wasted word.
    I truly love your writing style and rhythm.
    “…after a second or a century” sounds like something I would use.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

  26. you make the imagery so vivid.. a lovely read, Siubhan! :) the first few lines made me ponder!

    My Rally Entry is Here!
    http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/night-nuances/

    October 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

  27. Shashi, thanks again. i found your other comment (above) but am flattered you returned for a second helping :)

    Lion, ladynyo– thanks so much; glad you found a real sense of ‘place’ in this piece.

    dhitzunako, likewise appreciate you stopping by, and the kind words. loved your site.

    pollutedpoet, glad you enjoyed. sometimes the simplest things come through the clearest. :)

    megzone, Leo– thanks for coming by, being wrenched, pondering. always a pleasure.

    Gio, happy you found something useful here. your Emu piece is still a highlight of my day :)

    and Ji– thanks again as always for putting this together and making it a true community.

    peace & love
    jsl

    October 7, 2010 at 2:19 pm

  28. a perfectly depressing ode to the end of summer. felt like i was caught up in a collective rat race that i cannot escape. or trudging through some old communist life.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

  29. “jail cell
    set on its side”

    amazing twist there.

    Love the writing

    October 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm

  30. ana

    “After a second
    or a century the light
    at the corner of Fourteenth and
    Main clicks from yellow
    to red” Loved the bit of humor in this somber piece

    October 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  31. This is absolutely beautiful.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

  32. Thanks for allowing me into your world! You write a moment/scene with such depth…

    You are fantastic and your poem is almost as fantastic as you : )

    http://itslovelyannie.com/2010/10/06/different-rally-week-30/

    October 8, 2010 at 9:47 am

  33. a lovely scenario indeed!

    October 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

  34. thanks so much fiveloaf, Angela.

    Annie– you are too sweet!

    ana, woih– glad you found some lines you liked :)

    musings– exactly.

    ciao,
    jsl

    October 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

  35. Hi there, Siubhan!

    You’ve stopped me in my tracks!
    Blinded by neon tubes emitting
    cool florescent blues and reds,
    you kidnapped my attention,
    and took me for one helluva ride!

    Quite intense, I must say.
    A different take on the road not taken.

    Nice to meet you! Peace :) UT

    October 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm

  36. Pingback: Your Poetry Rocks! (Highlight of Rally Week 30) | Promising Poets' Parking Lot

  37. brilliant piece.

    visiting you from jingle’s TRP (Thursday Rally 4 Poets).

    October 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

  38. thanks kindly Uncle Tree, trisha :)

    October 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

  39. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/thursday-poets-rally-week-31-october-21-27/

    I invite you to attend Thursday Poets Rally week 31
    let me know when you are ready.
    Thanks a lot.

    two awards for this week’s participation.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

  40. likewine

    Joanna this one is just as beautiful. I am very impressed with all of your writings on this blog and I will most definitely follow them all and read them all. Love your imagery, love the emotions, love the wording.. very very talented.

    October 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm

  41. done by an expert hand, beautiful!

    November 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

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