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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

urban poems

urban poems

there are places in a man where a city might grow.
Dark hallways leading down into the street, the
messages of strangers found under the door, bridges
leading out over the water, islands that look like a hand.

once I came to such a city. We meet in the night as
I left a train and stood on that platform listening
to the wind talk of boxcars, split rails, and a
fireman $ severed hand. She took me home to a straw
fire, a camp in the darkness, the smell of the
hunted underneath the smoke.

show him the door. And 0 it was beautiful. Here
were dark buildings where your friends lived, cars
where you felt safe, a window that couldn't break.

but in a city a man can become lost. You stand in
that street trying to remember your address. Is it
even the right city. Airports, harbours, railway
yards — they all ask questions. It is easy to leave.
It is hard to return.

D.S. Long, Christchurch