Tuesday, 6 August 2013

City, Early Evening

It is Ramadan
and in nearby mosque müezzin sings
and his soothing rhythmic call to prayer
permeates, sweetens sultry summer air,
plane drones lazily overhead,
distant seagulls squawk and screech,
leaves rustle in a whispered breeze,
mimic ebb and flow of salty seas
gently crashing into breakers.

Beneath canopy of softly swaying trees
discarded life snoozes drunkenly
as fellow flotsam sits beside her,
eases bottle from her hand
and washes down remaining cider.
Shoppers compare buys and chatter,
men discuss as women natter (:o]),
children squeal as pigeons scatter
and in the café dishes clatter
amidst the annoying hiss of coffee maker.

Revellers reach their destination
as bus sets down at central station,
girls alight in giggling groups
tottering on their high-heeled shoes,
dressed to the nines to go a-pubbing.
Lads aloud with false bravado,
raid cash machines with credit card so
to impress the girls with apparent riches,
win their hearts and go a-clubbing. 
Boy racers cruise with music blaring,
annoying all and pigeon scaring,
cars all souped up and flash with chrome.

Vendors vie, shout Chroni-kell, Big Issue,
accordionist squeezes tuneless air,
church swings out its bells a-ringing,
street singer croons in city square,
and in the distance sirens wailing,
paramedics rescue lads a-ailing,
felled by youth and drink excesses
as girls pass by in tiny dresses. 
And in the station
weary workers board their buses,
glad to leave the city rushes,
glad to leave the day behind,
glad that they are going home.

Anna :o]

This poem reflects sight and sounds of my city (in which I work – not live) observed across an hour, early evening.  The call to prayer of the müezzin is a case of poetic licence as, as yet, this does not happen in the UK.  I needed to research to discover as to whether an imam ‘sings’ prayers and found this not to be so and what I hear (often – and it is truly beautiful) is the imams rhythmic voice, which has the quality of beautiful music, breaking through into the night air.

(I couldn’t find an image to truly represent my hours observations, it was between 7-8pm and broad daylight and all was well with my world as I awaited my bus home.  The image is not that of my city.)

This poem also heralds a welcome halt to writers block; oh so many prompts attempted and after a reasonable start, words and thoughts dried up or there was nothing at all.

Shared with the good folk at dVerse Poets Pub OpenLinkNight– thanks dVerse!

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Author: Brylcreem 2


Mary said...

You have written a vivid scene here...so many sights and sounds. I can almost hear the accordianist.

Anonymous said...

Many of your images reminded me of Newcastle upon Tyne where I spent 3 mostly happy years as a student back in the day - although it could be almost any city in the UK these days.

The muezzin's call, which I experienced in Calcutta, is far form melodious at 5 a.m.

Anonymous said...

beautiful and soulful-- you've created a rich, meaningful picture of the city, captured it's hums and clatter superbly. I especially enjoyed the rhyming scheme that you employed here, made for an incredibly enjoyable read. ~peace, Jason

mrs mediocrity said...

You made me see it, and hear it... I felt like I was there. W0nderful.

Brian Miller said...

whew you have really engaged the senses in this one...esp in all the cacophony of sound that bombards you in teh city and so many people at various places on the spectrum as well socia-politically...some days it feels good to escape back home and shut the door just to breathe....

Glenn Buttkus said...

Out damned writer's block, by gone I say, and do not darken my cortex again for ages to come, time for poetics to flow hot, piercing, beyond voyeurism & introspection, to catalog the big/little significances that surround each of us of & in this world; really enjoyed your wait for the bus; thanks.

Ray Sharp said...

so imagistic, lively, the sounds of the city!!! I love this poem

Grace said...

This is full of sounds and rich images of the city ~ Very well done on the capture and happy to read that you are back into writing ~

Happy week ahead ~

flaubert said...

You certainly did place us in the moment, Annie. Nice. It is nice to see you back as well.


kaykuala said...

My, you took on the whole city! Amazing skills of observation and on to the many details in revelation. Brilliant write Anna!


Jyoti Mishra said...

Welcome back :)

really loved how you incorporated the tiny little details of hustling city.. full of energy and activities.. and in midst of that the voice of imam..

there's a mosque nearby where I live and I know how soothing the voice feels..

Lovely read

Poet Laundry said...

You put me there with your very detailed poetic description! Lovely work.

^.^ said...

One of these magical moments ... an Imam's voice heard across a bustling city ... your poem is beautiful ... full of precious memories as well as tears.

Jenny Woolf said...

I have to say I am glad muzzeins do not call. It's not too bad in the daytime but not much fun at 5 AM. Although I suppose at least it means you don't have to look at the clock.
It's amazing when there are loads of them all calling together.

Jenny Woolf said...

I like your poem's ironic contrast between the call to prayer and Ramadan, and the drunkenness that so often passes for fun

Anonymous said...

I love the rhythm of the poem!!! You have painted a very vivid scene makes me think of the weekends where I live as well and those few nights in which I have ventured forth into the thrilling nauseating (too many people, too much noise for me) experience that is night life haha

Dave King said...

Fascinating. So many of your images I found surprising in the context. All of them clear and vivid. A little masterpiece.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you for your welcome comments folks - much appreciated.
Anna :o]

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Your ability to write in such a vivid manner is very rare. Each blogger has their own strength...something they do better than most. I think yours is the vividness in which you describe things :)

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the scene you depicted. Many thanks. Eid Mubarak! :-)

Greetings from London.

Ursula in Aus said...

Wonderfully vivid imagery ~ I was almost disappointed to hear much was poetic licence... I wanted to "visit". :-)

Steve E said...

In very center of city I worked in the bars, and became a part of that sublime chaos which you describe so well, Anna. At end of my shift, I COULD NOT WAIT to join them...make my mark!

Now...it is cannot wait to get home, or somewhere to settle in.

To let you know, though...I LOVE being once again in those (mostly) "good" days and nights.


Anonymous said...

Anna, I especially enjoyed the contrasts that you paint between each stanza, from the sacred to the almost-profane. Isn't it interesting how one city can have so many facets, so many personalities?

Susie Clevenger said...

Such a vivid picture you paint with your words...A postcard for the imagination

Anonymous said...

The new prompt is up =)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is incredibly vivid and beautiful...so many sights, sounds, and feelings were captured here. Great work :)

Manzanita said...

Very interesting. I also always take note of cities and small towns and their moods'
I used to live in Morocco years ago and that put memories to the fore of Ramadan and the whole city that smelled of hashish. Now I live in a small town where the silence hurts my ears.

Martin said...

A great pleasure to read : )