Monday, 8 June 2009

Today Already?

Obviously, I must have got waterlogged yesterday, if it's taken me 24 hours to drip dry! Howsomedever, as my Bro likes to say every so often ( his vocabulary is extremely large and no doubt used to impress his old Sis) here I am in tomorrow, today, already...Get the picture?

Despite any good intentions I had of returning to blogland to further amaze you with more tales of the unexpected, Sunday had other ideas. It lured me after lunch, to catch up on a few poetry related TV programmes I'd recorded during the week, and they started the cogs and wheels whirring in my mind.

Although I've not lived in Portsmouth since 1964, the picture of some of its more tightly packed areas has changed but little over the years. Houses in the small side roads face directly onto the pavements, and the only sign of change tends to be in the gradual increase of double glazing and UPVC front doors over the intervening years.

I decided to try and write a word picture about them. Here goes...

City Streets

Terraced houses
huddle row by row,
perspective diminishing
to grey pavements'
vanishing point.

Two up, two down,
kitchen added out back,
bathroom tacked on
as an afterthought,
following demolition
of outmoded privies
in minute gardens.

Parts of the old city
time and bombs forgot,
where life continues
despite hardship.

Cars line narrow streets,
parked on side roads
never designed to hold
these effigies of wealth.


  1. " catch up on a few poetry related TV programmes I'd recorded during the week..."

    Britain is apparently light-years ahead of the U.S. in its television programming. I can't remember ever seeing a "poetry related TV programme" in all my born days! Okay, maybe the life of Robert Frost once on the Biography channel. Maybe I'm making that up and that's just wishful thinking. But several in the same week? Either I live in an alternate universe or poetry stops at the water's edge.

  2. You got me thinking of buildings and change over time with this post Jinksy. What life has torn down and people have shorn up. Are your ironic in the last "wealth" reference? Thanks for sharing your word picture discriptive poem. I wonder what poem shows are on TV? Take care <3

  3. "Parts of the old city that time and bombs forgot,"

    This mentally sent me back to that earlier time and I realized how much a country's perspective is affected by it's experiences. We've all seen those old war movies and somehow distanced ourselves from the realities they portray with the logic of "it's someone's imagination." Poems and perspectives like you've given us bring back the reality. Thank you!

  4. I get the picture. So glad I'm surrounded by trees ;-)

  5. This is perfect!!!! Reminds me so of the area we lived in when we lived in first I thought it must not be a good part of town as there were few trees, and tiny gardens...but I was displaying my American ignorance...and soon discovered that my husband had found us a small place within our budget in a very posh neighborhood...leave it to him!!!! Effigies...what a wonderfully descriptive way of capturing the truth of the matter!!!! Terrific poem!!!! This provokes so many images, thoughts and memories for me!!!! ~Janine XO

  6. I like that last verse particularly Jinksy as we have the same problem with "effigies of wealth" in our village - cottages built before the advent of the motor car and lanes barely wide enough for them to park on.

  7. Oh, reading this has made me miss England today. What a wonderful poem! You've captured Portsmouth exactly! Jenni

  8. Is that really a poem? Doesn't it have to rhyme? I'm not being critical here, I love it. Your words tell me exactly what the place you are describing is like. However, not being familiar with different types of poetry, I struggle to understand. Please explain it to me.
    Thanks, Star

  9. This is so great! I can see the houses and feel the rhythm of the community! :-)

    Oh, and despite the fact that my main computer will not allow me to leave a comment in embedded boxes, I always enjoy your posts!

  10. I much enjoyed your word picture, Jinksy. In my mind's eye I can see the small bathroom tacked on behind. The householders must have been so very glad to be rid of the privy in the small garden. Wouldn't have been very nice to sit outside too close to the privy on a warm summer evening, would it? I did love your words about time and bombs. Those of us on this side of the pond cannot truly appreciate the awfulness of how it must have been during the war years.

  11. Very very true, you. Your words paint the exact picture of such and all those cars lining the streets.....oh my!


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