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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Life is full of surprises, places, people
Upstate, summer, on the lake,
the people from 82nd. street
a cottage, timbered, at water’s edge,
unbelievably quiet.

Not that far, a pub, all invitation, local noise,
we drive, a half-hour, too far to walk,
the small village, a  boat repairer, two shops,
sold everything. Like my childhood.

So quiet, remote, far removed yet so near
to a city that defies gravity, huge, confronting,
A city that is America, loved and hated,
brass knuckles, noisy, ambitious,
A city of universities, bookstores, theatre.
hamburger joints and Chinese laundries.

A city where unreachable minds, unreadable people,
created ground zero.
Often we think that it could only be there
that we could watch a building disintegrate
while so many people die.

It may have places of quiet dignity,
there maybe an old world charm,
But we see do not see this beauty
and rarely realize its charm.

We see instead downtown canyons
that never see the sun
yellow cabs and rushing people
speaking in a hundred different voices

The world is there; It is a city like no other.
It is the future for all others.

1 comment:

  1. Peter,
    I have not been paying attention. I did not realize you are also a poet. I like your poetry. Your pieces on New York and Mandela are especially appealing, perhaps because I from New York and a New Yorker deep down. I love the city, for all its warts. And we do need more Mandelas . . . everywhere, but they are few and far between. It requires too much courage and too much honesty to be a Mandela. But congrats on your poetry. It is a good thing.