Monday 9 May 2022

Street vendor


The city skyline is a step function,

the song’s just static on the radio,

splattered pigeon droppings on the windshield,

and drizzly leaf reflections come and go,


there are leopards in the clouds and the lake

is rippling with their roaring open mouths.

Knots of students and their drooping backpacks

slowly move from the north towards the south.


The road’s a patchy old moulted snakeskin,

the signal at the crossing a beggar’s claw

telling you to slow down, stop, throw a coin,

make eye contact, perhaps unclench your jaw


but the crossing’s a dead end and a slim

young boy stands there selling a smile that's dim.

I've no idea where this has come from :) It's not Kolkata and it's certainly not any city in Fiji I've been to so far. The ones I've visited don't have skylines, all low rise buildings dwarfed/masked by the coconut palm trees...Even after so many years the whole process is utterly incomprehensible, what the brain dredges up from years ago and twists like one of those balloon shaped animals in an instant to look like this and presents as poetry. 

Happy Mother's Day! - to you if you are mothering/have mothered, irrespective of gender. And have an equally happy week ahead.


  1. Hari Om
    ...has almost a sci-fi edge to it... great imagery. YAM xx

  2. So descriptive! Maybe someplace from your dreams?

  3. The mind is indeed strange. There's a story there even if we don't know what it is.
    Happy mother's day to you too.

    1. Quite. It's a bit frustrating not to know the story, but one can't have everything, every backstory, reason, analysis...have to make do with however much is made available

  4. Evocative and more than a little chilling...
    Happy Mother's Day to you dear friend.

    1. Thank you. Yes, the chilling part was a bit unsettling really..

  5. Hope your Mother's Day was a good one. We had a fine feast with Ray's folks. Your poem is eerie and bits of it - I think maybe you've been to Detroit - a sad shadow of itself, all with hollow smiles. Hmm. Very unsettling indeed.

    1. The feast sounds great! Glad your M Day went well.
      I'd love to go to Detroit past or present, not yet been. Though I did read Arthur Hailey's Wheels way way back in the 70's, so...can't say if that has anything to do with it...

  6. Happy Mother's Day to you Nila! You must be missing your son! Yes, it's wondrous where something that's been in your computer of a brain comes out when you least expect it. That boy at the end has a story to tell.

    1. I did miss him sorely, Denise. I'm rubbish at being a groovy empty nester :)