Twenty-One

by Colm   Nov 15, 2011


I wake up every morning to an alarming sound,
the sound of no sound.
The city has stolen the voices of the wild,
and birthed the tepid desire
to stroll to the shop each morning for breakfast
(watching everything)
and come out with twenty
mercenaries of a bloody rebellion.

Smoke seems to eminate from every nook,
my tobacco breath fuses with the excretment of factories
and lurks in the air, heavier than mist.
The canal disappears below my feet, as the pidgeons
flap amongst bins and regurgitations.

Navigation of the streets has become easier.
I vary my route sometimes, up by the flats,
their windows littered optimistically
with phototropic blouses.
Or through the park, the schoolboys
armwrestling over the new set of swings.

I forget my umbrella but when it rains I don't mind.
I bow my head to watch for the dirty puddles,
counting the raindrops tickling down my neck
as streetlamps warm up to dusk's descent.

Beyond the twilight hour, the web-like lines
of terraces and alleys quieten. Curtained kitchens
are selfish with their dim light,
yet I cant help but allow my glances to linger,
nor my ears to strain to hear the murmurs
imprisoned behind centimetre-thin glass.

I arrive home to see the clock has again advanced
further than before. I put on the kettle
but journey to bed before wetting a cup.
My eyes try to adjust, as I lay and wonder
if they will ever sell cigarettes
in packets of twenty-one.

6


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Latest Comments

  • 11 years ago

    by xoxShorteexox

    Well-deserved win on this poem. The detail and the imagery that plays on my mind when I read every line was astonishing... Superb job.
    5/5

    -Heather

  • 11 years ago

    by Karla

    I always like what you write.It is a pleasure to read your poems.

  • 11 years ago

    by Decayed

    SO WELL-DESERVED Colm :)

    Congrats.

  • 11 years ago

    by Decayed

    I don't know.. I think I really liked the whole picture of a city in my mind. It kind of reminds me of Adele's HomeTown Glory.

    Maybe your style, Colm, shows so much flawlessness, too.

    All the details and actions of people (your journey, too) make your piece alive enough especially with the sharp notice of yours to small details that to me, have a great effect on volume of ideas.

    At any level, the 21 idea... mmm.. interesting, I like the interpretation of Hellon.

    But, also... does it reflect age? I mean being a twenty one guy, soon.. I don't know. my thought only..

    Anyway, I really love this.

  • 11 years ago

    by Hellon

    I really enjoyed this one and I'm glad I have just regained my SM status so I can nominate it.

    To me this told the mundane life of a person living in a mundane city. It's so very typical of how life is for some in UK/Ireland where a walk to the shops for the morning paper or cigs seems to be the highlight of their day. Mrs...So and So will be walking her dog as you pass while Mr Whatshisname will be there on the corner as usual and give you his usual morning greeting. Sometimes you will take the longer route just to avoid them and see if something different is in the next street...it seldom is.

    I found the idea of 21 cigs in a pack very ironic at the end. I think your suggesting that...if there was then perhaps you would be able to delay your morning outing to sit and enjoy that 21st cig. before you have to start the inevitable all over again.