Via Berthollet

blooms with civilisation's discontents;
no twee thoroughfare for solid burghers
to spray as their domain. Instead,

a free sea of human jetsam,
glorious scum of all the continents,
washed up, beached, stranded in the lee
of Victorian buildings in an alien time,

where ladies of the needle
purvey short bliss, offset
baby-faced paramilitaries,
their fatigue camouflaging
a deeper ache.

This sidewalk, smeared
with canine excrement,
resonates with human longing.
These grey kaleidoscope shards,
alive, reflect our flinching eyes.

Bryan Murphy

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.