Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

#4-“The Other Side of the Street”

This poem is the black sheep of the BE.aGaIN flock in that it was written over 20 plus years ago and the scene is both real and geo located at a point in time.Also a good idea of a teenage poet’s stylistic inclination.

The Street isn’t really a street-it’s College Green on the bend towards Grafton Street. The City is a before the turn of the 21st century Dublin. At the time I studied and worked on the North side of the City all week and would only dare venture to the well heeled exclusive Dublin 2 on lunch breaks on a Saturday or sometimes to get the overly Green DART train back to Wicklow .I had also of course at this stage bought a small notebook (you can never be too pretentious!) to document “History” or so it be bequeathed to a museum on my demise.

The poem opens with the phrase “Scenes of Redemption”-There was a man who would, in chalk,turn the concrete into a church ceiling for his weekend audience of shoppers and tourists.My mind always wandered to-how does this guy know it wont rain! And what would the Sistine sidewalk look like if it did.But secretly I was also impressed that he chose to transform the pavement into prayer ahead of anything else.

The “Saving Places” in the piece are men who, mostly clad in fingerless gloves,even in summer, would hold signs all day for the latest offers in retail stores.

There is also an early sense of duality in the rhyming couplets that litter that work-I guess I thought at the time it would be a song.

The last part deals with the reality of loneliness in cities and the “lifeless souls pulled out of rivers”.On more than one occasion in broad daylight or from an apartment window late at night,I had seen those with mental illness or drowned in the scourge of addiction at the end of the rescue service’s rope coming out of the Liffey.Unfair city.

BE.aGaIN is out now



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