Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Shopping trip

Who sings because they have a song
or because they have a say
how am I to tell them apart
and will it matter anyway?
press the buttons, twist the knobs,
turn the key and speed away.


Potatoes, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms
a pack of meat, jars of preserves
bread is boring, but devil’s food
is far too rich, this gateau’s worse
how much stuff do we consume!
and how little it takes to starve!


The parking attendant comes and barks
in his fluorescent uniform
straight cut left back long look sharp -
the coins transfer smooth and warm
abject hands give clipped commands
toot the horn and whoosh off home.


An old man stands by the red light
he wears a rim of dusty white hair
his eyelids don’t quite fit his eyes
could be his age, could be despair
he makes no pitches of his life
just offers tissues to the midday air


the glass is filmed, the scenes are dimmed
but nothing’s ever dimmed enough
a breathy, jingly radio sings
about namby-pamby fancy love
peppermint fresheners cover the stink
of dust and blood, keep windows up


Children stand on ladders by trees
trim them into top-tail smart
others dance by the side and sweep,
their broomsticks shorter than the dirt
adults and children no longer meet
at the old house, times are hard.


I carry my bags on the right side
the left shoulder’s gone a bit stiff
another peace of urban slice
nothing unusual where we live
the doorman’s smile is sad and wide
he carries all bags for a small tip.


The rallies get long, the rallies get large
songs are sung but the audience thins
somewhere tyrants are in charge
elsewhere seasonal shopping begins
but everywhere the times are hard
and bones shake looser in nervous skins


you’ll tell me where to go and when
the rest is a case of semantics
you can say it’s a song, or a slogan
it’s up to you to match and mix
some sing as they fill up on reason
and for others nothing clicks.

Shared with poets for OLN@dVerse



  1. nice...i like how you blend your thoughts into the moment...i was right there watching little it takes to starve and how much we consume really jumped out at me...some sing as they fill up on reason as well...interesting verse...

  2. I enjoyed very much the thoughts you shared. You have a gift of sharing details of life, giving life to these people with your well chosen words. You also make me thinking about 'singing' and the why's of it.

  3. I like the stream of conciousness of the holiday season ~

    For some its something to look forward, for others- sadly its just another workday. I like that last stanza best ~

  4. nice..thanks for taking us right into the middle of your life for a bit and not only writing down what you see but mingling it with your thoughts as well...

  5. Well, well...that's quite an observation of events in a day, I'll say. Stream of consciousness definitely comes to mind. I like...especially the last verse. I find most communication is in the meaning we find in what is being said.

    Nilanjana, hope you're good? I rewrote a previous excerpt of my WIP in first person POV. As you've been following the story, I thought you might want to read. Would appreciate your opinion.

  6. That's quite an observation....and intense reflection.

  7. Thank you all for stopping by and for your feedback. Much valued.