Litkicks Message Board Archive

Vancouver re-visited

Posted to Poetry




Emerald city shrouded in fog
Damp but warm
Majestic peaks overlooking
Bustling city
Alive

Gastown
Historic architecture
Provides heritage façade
For despair and downtrodden
Playing in the streets for
Spare change
Blocks away from the mega profits
And flambouyant business
Flaunting style and capitalism
In the face of poverty
Sleeping next to the steam clock
For warmth with its cruel irony
As it whistles that its time
To go to work
Or not

Blocks away in the shadows
Of modern glass towers and historic
Glamorous hotels built on
Sweat and spikes and the broken backs
Of the working man
Treasures hang on brightly lit
Guarded walls as performances for the
Chauffeured echo down the darkened streets
While he plays his tune
For pocket change and uncomfortable stares
“Hope he doesn’t talk to me” or
“Sorry, no change”
as guilty minded souls prejudge
why is he there
is it his fault
no one will know unless they stop
and give
a moment of human kindness
compassion
Instead it’s downcast eyes
To Robson St in and out
Of boutiques screaming sales
For the trendy who will dispose
Of income he could never dream
Of having

Westward the city fades
Its glitter, its noise
Its fancy designer labels
Don’t translate into eastern tongue
And even the great Safeway
Is a mere antiquated shell
Holding on only because
Its community keeps coming back
To live

Southward to the beach
And the newer model gleams
Of trendy full service
as condos sprout from the shore
as beacons for the anchored freighters
in the bay dwarfed by the giants
in the clouds

To the east Yorktown
Mecca of the upwardly mobile
Willing to overpay for staples
While the street musician cries
for quarters to buy day old bread
It’s no coincidence
It’s close to the bridge
So guilty consciences
Quickly can steer their import cars
Before they catch a glimpse of how
The Other half survive
It could be them
That scares them
It should
They cringe at the thought
They may one day be asking
For handouts and someone
Exactly like them
Will walk
By