Friday, 24 January 2014

the talk on the street

on the incognito street
tramping by box buildings

(bright, busy lego block
storefronts and restaurants)

strewn, haphazardly,
against the poet mountain –

rolling through:
the dawdlers and steam rollers

(popping in and out of sweet and cranky moments
in orange and gold and red
upon the blue, or on
the muddy mottled shadow splotches)

words fall – like dry zigzagging leaves in autumn.

they drift around on spittle breezes
or drop crackling to the ground,
to be crushed in happy-sad footsteps.

mysterious words, strange words
and wonderful words:
that, occasionally, soar on giggles
or are clasped, cherished, in entwined fingers.

and then, there are the words:
that are flung and left to hang,
like slimy, cold spaghetti on branches –

humiliating the trees . . .
(I can`t help but think)

and all who pass.

note:  Incognito (from the Latin incognitus) denotes that behind an action, there is someone who wants to remain anonymous.

photo:  Against the Poet Mountain – W. Bourke 

© 2014 Wendy Bourke


  1. Love that descriptive ... dawdlers vs, steamrollers. Perfect image of street traffic! I'm def a steamroller! Don't get in my way! I might step on your heel! Ooops!

  2. From time to time, when we`re out and about (and I`m lost somewhere in time and space) my husband attempts to get my attention by calling me ``Foggo``. I suspect, that would tend to place me firmly in the dawdler category - at least, in one man`s opinion.

  3. I really like the idea of words...

    drift around on spittle breezes
    or drop crackling to the ground,
    to be crushed in happy-sad footsteps

  4. I think I'm a steam roller who would like to be more of a dawdler! You have to feel bad for the person who those words that hang on branches were aimed at.

  5. Thanks for commenting, Laurie and Robyn.

  6. I love how you introduce the topic of words in your poem, equating them to leaves that may drift, be crushed, or be flung.

  7. Thanks, Janet. Indeed, words drift and soar and crush and are cherished and are flung. I suspect, they do much, much more - but it's a poem not a thesis. Smiles, Wend.

  8. "words..." all your descriptions of them..."humiliating the trees"...that is brilliant. Lovely photo as well. Is there really a mountain named "Poet Mountain"? Or is that the title of your photo? Cool, either way!

  9. Glad you asked that question, Jennifer. The southernmost peaks of the North Shore Mountains are visible from most areas in Vancouver and I am often struck by their sharp contrast to the city below them – snow-capped in summer, their rugged slopes and treacherous precipices a backdrop to the architecture and thoroughfares and frenetic life they look down upon. Many parts of the City abruptly end at the feet of these mountains, as mountains do not move – even for metropolises. In short, they evoke a continual reminder of the power of nature over all that man does and all that he has made. A few of these mountains I can easily identify, such as The Lions (twin peaks) but most of their names, I do not know. And these, I have come to refer to as the Poet Mountains. From time to time, when I am caught up in a particularly odious aspect of modernity (such as a traffic jam, for example) I have looked up and the words “against the Poet Mountain” have come to mind. I was pleased when, at long last, the words wandered into one of my poems.

    1. I love that you named them, and why you did! I am always intrigued by the "why" of creative things from creative individuals, so this was a treat to get the background!

  10. I too enjoyed reading the background--and the poem and well. Love getting a peek at other parts of the world! (I live in S Calif).

  11. Thanks, Peggy. I, too, enjoy reading poems written by folks in other places.

  12. ha. its def nail the place, lego was a cool touch as well...the falling words...and them becoming like are words and inspiration everywhere...your verse is very cool...smiles..

  13. Thanks for the hi praise, Brian. Your verse, also - very cool.