Take It All In

We don’t have boulevards to forget

Our dreams lie broken on dirty streets

Nicotine stained fingers prod for meaning

Calloused hands wring out the last

Drops of chance we believed were waiting

Don’t tell me about hope and the possibility

Of what may come

I see it, smell it all around me, the hope

It stares me in the face, around every corner

Hangs from light posts and street signs

Flows through the gutters like paper boats

Made from yesterday’s news

It’s been dropped, thrown, torn to pieces

Left, to drift on the wind

It’s stepped over, walked through, trampled on

Trapped in a cycle of rot and growth

Yes, there’s hope, it’s all around us

But how many are too tired to stop and pick it up

Too weak to carry it, along with everything else

That fills their arms, lives on their backs

Sometimes, we manage to tuck some away

A fragment here, a fragment there, hope

Left waiting, as we check an empty pocket

For the moment to present itself, maybe tomorrow

Will it still be there, whispering through footsteps

Trying to keep up, crying out to the forgotten

As it fades to black, accepting its fate

To fertilize one broken, one forsaken, one wrong

Path after another, as their polished boulevards

Gleam passively in the distance

From my poetry collection, Left Waiting, available from Amazon.


  1. Hi River
    Very powerful verse – palpable feeling of despair. It’s there in every city, town, village – turn right or left and there is a street that is the mirror opposite of the well-heeled areas. The boulevards are often the walls between rich and poor – bastions of privilege – well that’s the old European model.
    I’m happy to have bought your 2 books of poetry a while back – well-worth the outlay.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Eric
      Too true about Left Waiting.
      And I look forward to buying your new book, as long as it isn’t madly expensive. I like your poem Imagined Real – captures the beauty of travelling by train in the UK – OK if you can afford first class. I felt the sense of train motion in the opening 2 stanzas – either that or it’s vertigo. Great humour in your poems – it’s disarming, and you can get away with murder if you make the reader engage with you in looking at the droll side of life.
      Steve (West Midlands)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. A searing verse that’s a true bolt between the eyes, River. I love the idea of hope as something we can all carry with us but don’t always get to experience it, and the thought of it ‘whispering through footsteps’. Fantastic, and skin-tingling. I must remember to look and see if I’ve got any every now and then. Outstanding.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hope some treat as a four letter word reserved for liturgy and politics. In every sense of the definition hope feeds the hungry, clothes the poor, shelters the homeless, and heals the sick. I should know – without hope my life would surely have been over long ago. As a castaway liberal in the US, our hope becomes even more important than ever because we have so much taken away from the aforementioned groups on a daily basis. Your verse gives voice to those who have little to hope for but must reach to pick it up where ever it can be found.

    Liked by 2 people

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