I am of the Street [poem]

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i_am_of_the_street

[Dedicated to Mike Robinson, poet & philosopher]

“I am of the street”, said he,
excusing what he thought to be
his uncouth background’s
strain of dark vulgarity.
“Vulgar” was the term he
(over)used, esteeming his fine
self to be devoid of lakeside
views and tender music’s
much-refining me-defining
ever-shining undersea.

Why does he believe the street
should always be considered
as a place without perfume?
For some are bordered all along
by trees that leaf and bloom
with song from birds which
roost all night then soar.
Other streets are paved with gold —
I don’t mean plated, low-grade, rolled;
but purest carat: twenty-four.

Such a street came in my head
when reading all his words to me;
I saw no other street instead.
Although the gutter may have
bred the rougher edges of his
light, it sparkles nonetheless —
for just as faces seem more
real with wrinkles, rust and time
so his rugged brightness seems
with my own soul to meld and rhyme.

Then I felt with my whole heart
a surge of wanting just to
hold him close in hope that
I could instigate a spark
of self-respect in order to
regenerate the long-neglected
soul of him which bursts onto
the bonded weave of every
precious page he writes —
he doesn’t know how he delights!

It aches to see a humble soul
demean himself (or hers) by
switching on the cruise control
[they make such good self-saboteurs]
thus playing down the proper speed
such angels need to rise up through
the air in flight and then achieve
sufficient height from where their
wisdom will be widely strewn —
their poems our angelic tunes.

© 2011, Alan Morrison

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