Here In The City


A couple of days ago I was sat on the top deck of the bus going in to Manchester city centre. It’s the same bus I’ve been catching twice a week for the last few months. Most of the time I read on the bus, but¬†occasionally¬†I just like to look out of the window at the city and it’s people below. On this particular morning, for some reason, I was feeling particularly observant and particularly inspired by what I saw. It was the simple variety of life that really struck me. All these people here in one place with vastly different lives. I saw people dressed smartly, carrying foam cups of hot drinks, and probably rushing to work. Whereas others were simply stood around, looking as though they were waiting for something. I saw a homeless man asleep on a bench, vomit and empty cans on the pavement around him. I felt sad and I felt a sense of clarity. I’m not really sure why but that morning I felt alive to the city and it had an overwhelming effect on me.

Most of the time the city encourages you to shut down, to block out your surroundings. You block out the smell and the noise and the often saddening sights, because it can all get a bit too much. But for some reason, perhaps I was more awake than usual, on this particular morning I wasn’t simply buried in my book, blocking it all out, rushing headlong to my final destination. Instead I soaked it all in and in my head I wrote what I thought was a brilliant poem. On writing it down I realise it’s not that brilliant, but perhaps it gives a sense of that variety and richness that the city offers.

The variety of life
The quiet waiting of life
The hurry of life
The love of your life
Never been so drunk in your life
The spice of life
Street life, rat life, pigeon life
The quiet life
The branded life
Life on a bench
Never been so scared in your life
The quiet desperation of life
Trying to live your life
A happy life
Never told a lie in your life
Train timetabled life
Morning life, half-awake life
The smell of coffee, alive

Photo used under Creative Commons from Man Alive!

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