National conference downtown allows brief time for exploring familiar noisy streets. Walking with a friend to art museum through civic park reveals underbelly of city. A few paces on hot concrete in summer sun induces sweat. Try not to notice drug deal under shade of fountain colonnade or homeless lounging against marbled wall near bronzed statue. Pigeons investigate remnants of fast food, old newspapers and cigarette butts. Step across colorful chalk-lettered sidewalk declaring “Black Lives Matter” while handful of protestors camp under tree. Police car cruises by, another has stopped a car of rowdy boys. Keep focused on destination while avoiding curbside drunks.  Hastily cross boulevard ahead of traffic bearing down. The beautiful main entrance of memories is under construction and visitors are directed past dirt piles to alley door. Once inside, relax in climate-controlled air and stroll past paintings and exhibits, admiring the polished side of human culture.

pillowed hotel room

sirens howl in the night

dazed lights of city


Linking with dVerse Poets where Bjorn hosts modified haibun Monday.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian
    Oct 20, 2016 @ 13:50:11

    It is interesting how, despite the suburban flight, there remains a center to each city where everyone washes up on dangerous shores.


  2. Mish
    Oct 19, 2016 @ 23:13:58

    Strong contrasts with the feeling of unease on your way to the museum and the security and comfort of a hotel room. It is amazing how the world can change within a walk.


  3. writerwannabe763
    Oct 19, 2016 @ 22:09:56

    Very vivid description, and I can remember having a similar experience in our busy city, while going to a theatre downtown… Diane


  4. Victoria C. Slotto
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 18:00:33

    The short sentences create that hurriedness you felt walking through those darker areas of the city. Very effective, Lynn.


  5. georgeplace2013
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 15:42:25

    underbelly of city and the polished side of human culture… I guess you can’t have one without the other. (Nice contrasts)


  6. whippetwisdom
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 15:05:13

    The contrasts are very vivid, including the way you reduce your pace from rushed movements and alertness as you walk through the streets to the relaxed stroll indoors.


  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 13:00:25

    Those are the contrasts… seeing them makes us appreciate our air.controlled refinement… maybe never notice that we balance on precipice..


  8. kanzensakura
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 12:45:33

    All the things you have described are the typical city….good write. Glad I escaped the cities, no looks back.


  9. lillian
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 11:05:17

    Can’t help but think about the meanings of “climate controlled air” once inside the museum or hotel as juxtaposed to what you’ve described outside.
    So tough to see the grittiness of a city — but it is a part of it and very hard to admit we “let it be.”


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