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Passions in Poetry

Under the Overpass

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Corinne
Member Ascendant
since 10-28-1999
Posts 5247
state of confusion


0 posted 01-01-2000 10:17 AM       View Profile for Corinne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Corinne



Under The Overpass

Immaculate rows of ivory bungalows
nestled on a quaint and winding lane,
juxtaposed to an ugly addition,
gray background to taut turf.

Shadow castle streams a steady drone,
invisible gasses poison bay breezes,
neighbors wave to one another,
figure eight dance of the push mower.

Under the overpass they live,
constant combat of the cast-out.
A man sets up shop at rush hour,
on the median he rests on a cane,
cardboard sign and green fatigues.
Drivers trapped there look anywhere
but into the Vet's hard blue stare.

Tiny frosted holiday lights
display white cyclamens, isn’t it nice!
Pair of shoes tied together
dangles from telephone wires,
street signal for “drugs sold here.”
Angry citizenry post their riposte,
“Drug Free Zone.”

One night, a gun fight,
Drug pusher “A” killed drug pusher “B.”
In thick terry robes, carrying lamps
Ritual revelries held over a corpse.

House values soared for a time,
Along with white hopes,
old cars replaced by “beemers.”
Until one day a pair of shoes appeared,
the cycle of urban, suburban war.

© 1999 Corinne Bailey

© Copyright 2000 Corinne - All Rights Reserved
Denise
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Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


1 posted 01-01-2000 11:09 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Excellent poem, Corinne. I guess this describes any city...but it sure sounds like mine.  (I didn't know that those shoes meant that,though) We have a town watch group and about 5 years ago some of us neighbors brought up the house on our block that was obviously a drug house (selling drugs right out the front window) asking for help, suggestions...
they suggested that we knock on their door and tell them we don't like what they are   doing....yeah right...that would work!  After severeal busts and arrests they always came back. What finally forced them to go was the Electric Co. turning off their electric. Too bad someone didn't think of that long ago...but then that only solved the problem for my block. They are, I'm sure, the scourge of another one now. Complicated social issues...don't know if anyone will ever be able to solve the problems. Again, Corinne, wonderful piece about the problems facing modern day society.  

 Denise

Corinne
Member Ascendant
since 10-28-1999
Posts 5247
state of confusion


2 posted 01-01-2000 01:01 PM       View Profile for Corinne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Corinne

Thank you, Denise!

Wrote this about the city of Berkeley, where I work.  I am always struck by the contrasts of this city.  

Berkeley is infamous for horrific traffic, so I was looking for a shortcut to the freeway, when I stumbled on this cute little block of houses, very well cared for. Then, I saw the overpass above the end of the block and as I approached, saw the shoes and the homeless people living beneath it.  

Kind of blew my mind, and I pictured the never ending battle of the people on this street trying to keep their lives safe and houses nice while right down the street, homeless people were stuggling to survive, and drug trafficing was obvious.

I also read an article about how one neighborhood took back their street after a drug dealer was killed by another drug dealer, and they fixed up the "crack house" he had lived in and sold it for a 1/4 of a million dollars.  

Difficult and contraversial subjects:  the right to live in a safe place vs the rights of homelessness (and the criminals that take advantage of everyone).

Thanks again, and Happy New Year, Denise!

Corinne
Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


3 posted 01-01-2000 01:54 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks, Corinne, I wish you and yours the same!  

 Denise

Echo Rhayne
Senior Member
since 09-17-99
Posts 1538
Canyon Country, CA


4 posted 01-01-2000 01:54 PM       View Profile for Echo Rhayne   Email Echo Rhayne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Echo Rhayne

Wow I jsut dont even know what to say


 ~*~ Hell is not a place of fire and a devil with a tail and horns. But a place of torment because the light of God is gone. To escape this, accept the blood of Jesus Christ! ~*~

hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


5 posted 01-02-2000 12:26 AM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Wow, to think I almost missed this one. Great imagery in here, I loved it  
Corinne
Member Ascendant
since 10-28-1999
Posts 5247
state of confusion


6 posted 01-03-2000 02:32 AM       View Profile for Corinne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Corinne

Thank you very much, hoot_owl_m!


Corinne
whiskey
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Senior Member
since 12-28-1999
Posts 1302
Australia


7 posted 01-03-2000 02:56 AM       View Profile for whiskey   Email whiskey   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit whiskey's Home Page   View IP for whiskey

Wonderful, great imagery  
Fred Hobbs
Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 353
Tallahassee, Florida, US


8 posted 01-03-2000 09:48 AM       View Profile for Fred Hobbs   Email Fred Hobbs   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Fred Hobbs's Home Page   View IP for Fred Hobbs

Great urban documentary set to poetry Corrine.  You've done a wonderful job of combining social commentary with powerful verse.
PhaerieChild
Senior Member
since 08-30-99
Posts 1829
Aloha, Oregon


9 posted 01-03-2000 10:00 AM       View Profile for PhaerieChild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for PhaerieChild

Great piece Corinne! I used to live in San Pablo a few years back and remember all too well the shoe signals. I got out dodging bullets during a drug war. It was pretty intense and a lot of kids were getting caught in the crossfire. You decribe it so perfectly. Back then Berkeley wasn't so bad but I guess things change.  

 Poetry~ Words falling on paper, painting a dream.

Shawna R. Holder
Boise, Idaho

Meadowmuse
Member Elite
since 12-27-1999
Posts 3317


10 posted 01-03-2000 11:12 AM       View Profile for Meadowmuse   Email Meadowmuse   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Meadowmuse's Home Page   View IP for Meadowmuse

Great work and insightful portrayal of the contrast and conflicts taking place in our cities.
Pepper
Member Elite
since 08-19-99
Posts 3134
Southern Florida

Official Passions Reader
11 posted 01-03-2000 11:23 AM       View Profile for Pepper   Email Pepper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pepper

Powerful piece with excellent imagery...
Wonderful writing here Corinne...

 A soul that writes from the heart and shares it, truly gives a gift extraordinaire!
Shannon


LngJhnAg
Member Elite
since 07-23-99
Posts 3654
Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


12 posted 01-03-2000 11:39 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

Corrinne

This was a very thought-provoking poem.  At first I wasn't sure where it was going, but then the imagery kicked in and I could feel the desperation of each group of protagonists (geesh, I hope Nan doesn't read this!).  At first it appears that the Beemers have it made, but then it becomes clear that each group is really just trying to get by.  You wrote this so very well.  I can almost feel the desperation.
Corinne
Member Ascendant
since 10-28-1999
Posts 5247
state of confusion


13 posted 01-03-2000 12:59 PM       View Profile for Corinne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Corinne

Thank you so much for your comments!  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  this group is a very supportive and nuturing environment within which writers may grow.

Thanks again!

Corinne
 
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