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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1110266-The-City-A-Cautionary-Tale
by Shaara
Rated: ASR · Poetry · Sci-fi · #1110266
The city is not safe for us country folk.
2006

The following is a futuristic minstrel's tale.
It speaks to the village children, warning them of the evils of the city.



The City: A Cautionary Tale



The city chews on folk. I’ve heard her grinding noises,
late into the night, and sometimes early afternoon.
I've seen her just-dead carcasses, too,
strewn like dead flies or matchsticks -- all used up.

She reeks of dried urine and garbage left to rot.
And even the living, wear zombie casks of skin
and walk about like graying shadows,
for the concrete steals the rays of sun.

The city bellows and sighs in retched sadness,
As if weeping for a lost love -- or her next sacrifice.
She disperses grunts, sirens, blasts, and screams.
The echoes permeate her sagging, graffitied walls.

The city is a demon who sucks away life's vigor.
I have seen that in the darting looks
Of the half-dead city dwellers as
They peer from nervous, shuttered eyes.

City dwellers waggle long, skinny necks,
Made thin from fear and constant movement.
They mumble chants like brown-robed monks.
Wires wrap about and intrude inside their ears.

I have been to that unearthly city, Children.
I swear to you I've seen these visions.
See the shake of my hands as I relate this?
See the horror within my eyes?

Glaring eyes peer down from cloud-topped buildings
during moonlit shadows or summer's blinding day.
And garbage-littered streets burn unclad feet,
While each breath of air stings one's gaping lungs.

And take note, the worst of it -- is the days of mists
When tar smoke pours from smokestack nostrils.
Eyes burn and weep from acidic air,
and a blood-red stain steals the white of eyes.

Yes, even in the blessed springtime
When all here blooms in hyacinths and tulips,
the city wears only pale, pasty greens
and the trees droop rust-hued, brittle branches.

So heed me, Children; listen well.
The city sups and drains one's soul and heart.
She corrodes all quiet joy and peace,
And like a cancer, dines upon healthy cells.

I go to the city with dread and only because I must,
yet each time I journey forth, I clutch my purse,
urge my deeds with the haste of fluttering wings,
then bolt for home on speedy legs.

The city is a maggot, Children.
Do not let her crawl inside your flesh.
Turn away before her mouth parts
Nibble and bury deep inside your soul.

Stay here, Children, stay here
Where peace comes in smiles,
And greetings flow with love.
It's here that safe harbor resides.


~~~~

Prompt: Write a poem of that captures the pace of a large city. Try to use as many of the five senses as you possibly can.
Feel free to use free verse (structured or unstructured) or formal poetry.
Please stay within 40 lines. (I later added some lines.)

© Copyright 2006 Shaara (shaara at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1110266-The-City-A-Cautionary-Tale