Friday, 26 May 2017

street mingle


in the weekday early evening hours 
people on the yawning downtown city streets 
carry the stuff of their lives with them

there are never any children, after 6:00, in that place – 
rarely a dog and seldom an ancient

we stroll, amble, plod, march, mosey, and text
at assorted speeds and trajectories, 
in a myriad of postures, positions, body languages, 
fashions, affectations, sizes and colors: 
we do not acknowledge one another
  
we – each of us – have our own story of fate, fortune and folly; 
our various levels of sagacity in the game-of-life hinted at 
by diverse expressions of scowls-to-smiley lip curls 
– the labels in our clothing:  less definitive – 
though, many of the suited-ones,  look beat-and-bushed
– heads hanging heavy – as in:  bad day … or bad week … 
or relationship … gone bad … street people mingle in the mix

we are all the same, at that moment, in that place:
we are . . . . . . . . . . passersby . . . . . . . . . . in
every sense of the word – and we take to the role 
with the studied street-smart acumen 
we began honing with our first timid steps 
onto the playgrounds of our lives

eventually, we get into cars or onto public transportation;
we enter buildings or houses or plop ourselves down on sidewalks,
huddled against concrete facades ... having passed by ...
and having been passed by
  
photo:  Street Mingle  in Downtown Van - W. Bourke

© 2017 Wendy Bourke

23 comments:

  1. Very, very clever. The key word is "We". No matter what one takes away from your words, "We" is deeply implanted. (we and all that entails)

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  2. having passed by ...
    and having been passed by

    Loved this!

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  3. I sense in this the utter loneliness in a crowd, a very special time of day, that early evening... and yes, the "we" signaling the common ground despite the differences ...

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  4. and text
    at assorted speeds and trajectories... this is the truth of the day, perfectly captured.,always connected, always alone.

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  5. having passed by ...
    and having been passed by

    Beautifully deep!!

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  6. Loneliness hurts most in a crowded place, then everything passes you by.

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  7. It is an all too sad scene.. there but for the grace of god.. i love how you have captured the sense of being in a space and time, sharing but also the chasm of difference

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  8. A strange feeling to be lonely but still very much part of a crowd!

    Hank

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  9. ...at least we are at peace in this condition you write about; I wish it'd be the least harm we could work around... ~ love your using the words, details of everyday life...

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  10. this is how disconnected individuals become a part of a whole "we are all the same, at that moment, in that place:"...

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  11. Your last verse captures the eye of the observer brilliantly...bkm

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  12. "having passed by ...
    and having been passed by"

    Luv the function of your "we" in the formation of macro world in your poem

    Happy Sunday Wendy

    much love...

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  13. Cities have thousands of stories wandering about in them. When we look outside our own stories for a moment, we can see how they are all connected.

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  14. The sense of connection and disconnection is piercing... "having passed by...and having been passed by"

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  15. This is beautifully written, and reminds me of people-watching while waiting in airports for flights, back in the time I traveled for a living ... all of them "carrying the stuff of their lives".

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  16. A stark contrast between the fortunate returning to cozy homes, and street people slumping against concrete, Wendy. You have captured the city. I am struck by how rarely one sees a dog. When we do, it often belongs to a street person and then we have to worry about both of them living in such distress. I met such a duo my last trip to the city. As I handed a bill to the man this beautiful black dog's head emerged from under a blanket sniffing so hopefully, hoping it was food. It broke my heart.

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  17. i love how you say have been passed by, makes it all the more poignant. Wonderful write

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  18. Stunning how we can be with others and so alone at the same time--you have captured that so well here!

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  19. I am part of that city crowd - lots of strangers and passerbys, but we move on with our daily routine. Not a lot of acknowledgment and everyone too involved with their phones or books. Lovely capture ~

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  20. An interesting and engaging study, Wendy.

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  21. "we are all the same, at that moment, in that place:
    we are . . . . . . . . . . passersby . . . . . . . . . . in
    every sense of the word" ~This is so deep and philosophical. Enjoyed reading the poem, Wendy.

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  22. This is so insightfully observed, Wendy.

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  23. lovely poem and picture. I also learnt a new word from it :)

    ตารางคะแนน

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