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The Web Poetry Corner

Jon Lishman


Llanelli, Wales, UK

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A Time of Two Cities


Jon Lishman

Long time
Easy going trees permit with patient equanimity
Our animal dependency.
They perceive these faster creatures' inconstancy;
And I, this dependent, despondent creature of their wood
Covet these solid, long-living bodies that I see;
Their superior society: their noble continuity of no more than life.

Time breathes long and easy in their leaves, these 'trees',
Atop their tall metropolis, bending in the wind.
What fear of unfulfilment should they feel?
Filled, as they must be, with some slow pulse of regeneration,
And surely resignation;
So a silent song of sadness they must sing,
When I'm there. And I am sorry.

On and on in dreams of green
And rain and soil and sunlight,
In direct dissent from entropy,
These masters of their own destiny persist
With perfect feats of upward engineering;
In their long, harmonious battle with adversity.

And we? We supply their CO2,
And they our oxygen:
A tale of two types of city, then:
One, hell-bent on its dissident course,
The other, heaven-sent and remorseless.