Weep, My City

My city wears a sullen look today;
a reluctant bride in a grey corduroy veil,
dragged down a flooded aisle
to kiss her unyielding groom;
her mud splattered dress held high
over shivering stalagmites,
that impale the moulding piety,
trying to puncture the soggy mask
of the unrepentant sky;

Just watch how my city
pouts her ash smeared lips today;
her concrete bosom,
her reinforced waist,
sagging in the incessant rain;
she gathers her wounds
weighs them in mountainous heaps,
do you know you can make offerings,
oblations of sugar or gold or bananas
equivalent to your weight,
to appease the gods?

But you aren’t here. She trembles alone.

This city wrings her hands today
bleeds frothy brown liquid debris,
that rushes in search of the ancient lakes
entombed alive by glass and chrome,
the dregs of the monsoon
lapping her under belly,
on them the footprints
of another time
that spilt marigold rain
on moonlit terraces,
when onion fritters tasted of longing
and old movie love songs.

But this isn’t about us. How can it be?

Come hear my city moan today,
the cry of a mammoth in pain,
she calls me to nest in her matted hair,
taste the nimbus in her murky eyes,
howl aloud with the wind
that lifts her shirt to wipe her clotted nose;
my city that wore magnolia crowns,
bird song ringing from her anklets as she swayed,
watches the train of black umbrellas
and weeps for warmth.

I hold her.
I hear her.
I watch the black umbrellas.
I see you leave bare headed
walking into another rain. Another day.
I sink into her potholed arms
and weep with her for a sun ray.

Linked to Poets United and The Imaginary Garden

48 thoughts on “Weep, My City

  1. That hits! A landmark poem, showing all that is not beauty, and yet, and yet, amongst the twisted, drenched concrete and metal are the deep notes of sympathy that cannot be hidden – if one searches among the graphic, rain-swepted words.

    Srylistically I really, really like how you led up to the last stanza, with those one-line pinctuations inserted. One could almost weep, too, as a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish..delighted you liked it. I wanted to tell two stories… a broken love and a broken waterlogged city weeping together without getting very sweet and cloying. Not sure if it worked as intended 🙂 I changed those intermediate lines to italics right at the end.. to separate the two stories and still keep them connected in a way…I think!


  2. Dark, dark, dark. I shuddered at the thought of a corduroy veil, and the shuddering did not let up. What a great, painful, muddy image of how water can devastate. So heavy and relentless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As one who loves the smell of city concrete after the rain, I learned a new way of seeing here as the murky ground water flows and the magnolias break and fall. Ugh! The only vantage point for pleasure is to see it from above, but there the funereal umbrellas, the cities obbing and the dear love leaving merge and enjoin my heart in weeping too. Brilliant!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ah…loss of warmth is so very painful…there’s a deluge in the heart of the city on the verge of breaking down and also in that soft trembling voice in the italics…love the depth with which you treat every theme…fantastic….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your imagery is powerful and stunning. I was intrigued by the telling of the two stories and the italics worked really effectively to offset one from the other. Too many wonderful lines to quote. A brilliant write.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Through the worst of the rain, it seems we always have to realize that we won’t be holding on to the black umbrellas forever. I think, however, that rain during the time one is mourning a loss of love makes the loss even more intense…as everything is shades of gray.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am always happy with more rains. 🙂 But yes…. higher rains place greater strain on city’s infrastructure and clog the city streets. Like the one we had recently in Mumbai….problems exacerbated due to the feeble sewerage system in the city. However, farmers, who account for 15% of India’s economy, welcomed the rains…..
    Deep reflective piece…. loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! I feel as if I too know your city now. At least you have given me some sense of ‘her’.


  9. The rain resembling tears image works well as an extended metaphor in your poem. Tears for a love lost and rain trying to wash away the gloom of the metropolis sets a melancholy mood and makes for good reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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