17 Nov 2010

Ode to the City

Rock solid
With a heart of glass and limbs of steel
A mosaic of human complexities
A promised land, a magical kingdom
A hive of activity, a network of new horizons
The mother of all inventions,
A vacuum, a pool of destitution
A road to nowhere, a dead-end destination


Your heartbeat - unmissable
Your pace of life - quick and fast
Your attraction - magnetic
You are everyone, everything
You make dizzy, you are risqué
You weave dreams right from the edge
Make the impossible feasible
You create fashion trends,
Dollar signs all around
Inhabit the rise and fall of celebs
Launch fads by the conveyor-belt
Turn them into fast-moving consumer goods
You manufacture beauty and happiness
You are capitalism personified, you decide
Free trade, free will, free spirit, freemason
You enthuse, you inspire, you move, you consume
You fathom your own rules, you lead, you plead


You control, you happen, you are at the heart
Of where things happen - good and bad
You are an art form, a social movement
Grace and reason, a lifestyle, a prayer
Ever-changing, ever-marvelling
Never asleep, never doubting
You press on, push on, move forward
You are life and turn lives upside-down
You are the nerve centre, the focus, the obsession
Hope, faith, past, present and future
All rolled into one big human reason

To surpass oneself, to vanquish fears
Aim for tomorrow today and never mourn yesterday
To grow bigger, stronger, to rise higher
To elevate your spirit and your soul
Scrape the sky with your intentions and your goals


You are ambitious and a success story
Demanding of yourself and never content
You are proud, you are rich and a pauper too
You run, you jump and boogie
Whizz down to the sound of time and money
You have fun, kid yourself, you kid us
Take the long way home, break hearts, go bust
You are one last call, one last-ditch attempt

For you are one big illusion too
And a lesson to those ready to question you.

by © Nathalie Hachet 2010


Photographic references (from top page down):
  • Robert Doisneau, Issy-les-Moulineaux, La Ceinture Verte (Parisian green belt), 1949
  • Rockefeller Center under construction, New York City, 1932, by Hamilton M. Wright for Aerial Explorations, Inc., N.Y., 1932, from the New York World-Telegram Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress, via Wikipedia and Flickr 
  • L.S. Lowry, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, 1930

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