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.

43 thoughts on “autumn landscape from a downtown window

  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.

  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.

    • 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 30 | Jingle

  6. 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

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  8. 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

  9. “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

  10. 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

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

  12. 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.

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