26 june 2012

Church Street, Pretoria

Right down the street the traffic lights are green
and a couple of homeless men stand around a fire
in a half drum and ambulances and police cars scream
while they past rows and rows of flats for hire
and a couple of kids stand smoking at the stream
and this is reality, the heart of the city.

On the sidewalk pedestrians walk in crowds of men,
women and some children, some booted up to the knee
others with mini skirts short enough to condemn them
and my city stays lovely to me.

People queue for fried chicken, fish
and chips at shops and cafés and the smells fill my nose
and tomatoes and onions, lamb and steak are fried with a hiss
and in the traffic an angry speed-cop tries to retain his pose
when a minibus taxi almost runs him over, gives him a fright
at a flickering traffic light
and cars stream by into the coming night.


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Comments:

Tomás Ó Cárthaigh,  

It could be Church Street here in Tullamore. Homeless people and people renting,and we cant sell our empty houses.

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other poems: For now and for always, The temptation of being near to her, Your walking away is measured in watt, In the garden (ABECEDARIUM), Just for a moment it is there, There are people, Unknowing we may be living in a war zone, Holiday, I yearn for the secrets of nature (sonnet), At 52 the nuts of my country are stripped, A strange dream (triolet), The beach, the morning, Where star systems do disappear in the nought (sonnet), Come to my flower garden, Warriors of the civil service, This morning the sky glitters blue, You must not show any fear, My dear loving God, Sad tidings, Morning, Mirror image, The sun hangs orange red, Divorce V, Divorce IV (Espinela), Divorce III, Divorce II (cavatina), Divorce, Respite, At times we are only set on passing (American sonnet), The peach tree, The gardener, The old guitar (cavatina), Dear Lord God, Still life, Two sides to everything (cavatina), I have missed my country, The sardine run, He lies stretched out in the sun, Africa, There’s no other country, When death’s fingers do me touch, I wonder where is an untouched place that firmly does stand, You never came, I am afraid, The silent countdown, Without matter, Dare you character?, Once I wrote a kind of happy song (Orléans rondel prime), There is no other saviour, Alone we come into the world (for my mom on mother’s day), With hunger in your eyes, Please do forgive, Hoba West Meteor, When I do consider how my time is spent, I see him doing carpentry, When the two of us met, John Phillip, On Pretoria (Italian sonnet), Return, Cecil John Rhodes (Italian sonnet) (in answer to Rudyard Kipling), Afterwards, I walk in the veldt near to Majuba hillock, Vain are the words and deeds that are mine (Rubiyat sonnet), When I do find no place of peace (sonnet), Why I remember the Anglo-Boer war (John Dee sonnet), Lord, only in Your footsteps (Persian / Rubiyat quatrain), On a night, Far too quickly time rushes on (Persian /Rubiyat quatrain), Like any other person, She lives beautiful (sonnet), Where this world is but a grain of sand, On the day of my birth, The crucifixion of the Son of God, Today my heart is full of joy, A prayer (Sonnet), On my birthday, My heart has gone quite in me (Persian / Rubiyat quatrain), Come to me, Soldier: yesterday, At this place I have been before (sonnet), There had been a kind of loneliness, When the early the morning does begin (cavatina), Constantly I am astonished, When I hold you tight, Life is a gift, Bus trip at night, I have not seen the spark of life, Kamikaze, Lucifer at sunrise, The things in a town, When from me she is out of sight, How chilly like winter, Some times, I love you, Long Beach, As my eyes gaze into the dark night, I see her dancing gaily, Right against the morass, African September, A room in the past, The secret room, It had been a hell of spring with the sun hanging scorching, The marsh, For my darling, with New Year, The old year, Today people are not interested, South Africa is also my country, In this distant country, What fanciful lives we lead, As if they are beacons, You are my darling (sonnet), On Christmas, Last night I dreamt of you, Where are we now?, I had dreamt of you, At night the mind plays its tricks, Inside you and I dance, One Military Hospital, Something about a bird in a tree, While the year hangs skeleton, I gave my love to you, No other painting, Field of maize, The red arum lilies, Would my words, When the front door, At dusk, Child, Cry, Maybe 4, Maybe 3, Maybe 2, To be us, Photocopy machine, I do love Africa, While everything is turning brown outside, The crumbling man, My small Jack Russell dog, With self contempt I stand in the veldt, The fallen Cuban soldier, There is a time when night sneaks in, After the farm invasions in Zimbabwe, The small redbreast sings and dances, I love you, Walls, A child is a strange thing, Baby lies so fast asleep, It is a pitch-dark night, Hecuba, A pastor,

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