I struggled with today’s Poetic Asides prompt.
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Urban (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Urban Cowboy,” “Urban Warfare,” “Urban Daydreams,” “Urban Living,” and so on.
I felt this should be an easy poem. We’ve been living in our city for nearly two years after 22 in the burbs. I like to compare and contrast, and material should be plentiful. I try to pay attention to my surroundings, to the world around me. But inspiration resisted. Concrete images hid from me in this concrete jungle.
First I tried mind-mapping. I wrote single words initially as no phrases came to me. Then I began to write a few phrases. I abandoned the process and refilled my coffee. BTW the ink was Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron in a Parker Sonnet, brushed steel, chrome trim, fountain pen with a steel nib, M (a beautiful writer).
When I sat down again, I pulled out a new sheet of self-printed writing paper, BELL_FAST Bond. Not my favorite, but we’ve had a ream kicking around forever. These images are not bright enough, but it is cream colored, almost as rough as Mohawk linen, if you’ve ever used that fountain-pen-fiasco. I then wrote out some paragraphs about the differences between city and suburban/country life. Near the end of the page, the first line of my poem came to me. I stopped writing and typed it into a new Word document. It’s a letter to my daughter who just bought our old home from us. Our son will have to get a different letter 😉 It took less than ten minutes to write. The ink on this sheet is Noodler’s Bulletproof Black and was written with another Parker Sonnet, black with gold trim, 18k gold nib, F (an even beatifuller writer).
The City is for Children
We moved to the suburbs to provide you a life
Of safety and opportunity, we sought perfection
Large lots and no sidewalks
We didn’t realize friends could not walk to visit
We thought city life was too dangerous
That you’d hook up with wrong crowds
Life would be miserable and contained
We wanted to give you free reign
And now you are grown and seeking your own
While we have no need for a lawn
You now want your own maturity
While we want to rediscover our youth
Our car stays parked, mostly
We watch the street from our fishbowl apartment
The city struggling with life, with itself
Location does not equal communication
I walked to a pub last night, two of them
I drank beer from my personalized mug
And read poems to a small crowd
At the house I read poetry to the trees
It might snow today, but that’s all right
The driveway is no longer my problem
I can walk to the market for coffee and food
And the only child I have to amuse is myself