the great cloud-whale
wanders idly through the blue mid-winter sky
gazing at the silent city.
fading yellow school buses
cut through restless streets
and grumbling traffic lights,
plucking out fine stitches
of this vehicle embroidered city,
one by one,
like a countdown.
a curious kitten peeks quietly from behind
the tall sack of fresh green lemons, uncannily perfect,
at clamouring people: unpractised smiles,
meaningless sweet-flowing words,
clicking their tongues in the ever-flowing rhythm of
‘sweet oranges! two for ten!’ echoing faintly
over a hundred, four hundred distant voices,
and the hovering cold tinkling of polished new coins;
a sunburnt breeze breathes deeply
with the flaking, blue tarpaulin roof,
unnoticed, like innocence, painting the marketplace
in light sunlit dust.
golden-winged kites circle high in slow motion
above asphalt roads- burning, melting
into hushed murmurs of late afternoons.
paint crumbles off cemented walls
into stray winds in surrender
to oversized names and brand new
windless elevators; grey pigeons
now ventilate a dozen flights of lonely stairs;
rusted railings chuckle and sigh
when grandmotherly grumbles
about “this generation” and “back in my days”
echo down the corridors,
a sweet breeze of homely spices
and faint clinking from the curtained kitchen
spill over the oil-stained window sill.
cracks that spread like veins
along tall ancient fortress walls
that watch over their timeless city,
smoulder like charcoal in the sunset;
they cradle their dear cloud whale
and the winking evening star
each time they fall apart over the city.
the golden moon
floats into the starry mid-winter sky
gazing at the silent city…
T. E. Pyrus