Santiago Poems

Anatomy of Santiago

What is a city?

Santiago has a heartbeat

It beats beneath our feet

It thuds from the hill of Renca

To the tops of La Reina.

It pumps a stream of cars

Through arteries of tar

Clogged are the paths around

With road, train or bus.

The dogs know the city best

Sentinels through unrest

And calm; they weather each storm

Both happy and forlorn.

The labourers are the hands

That toil upon the land

At dawn the market calls

Moving until nightfall.

Offices are ears to the call

Of the markets: it’s rise and fall

Always busy, never done

Stresslines visible by midday sun.

The trees deeply breathe

Soaking up with their leaves

A mouthpiece that speaks warnings

The bark hides its calling.

The mountains are the soul

The city but a bowl

A cup for them to drink

Until the sun sinks

They’ll still be silent there

Stretching thin and all laid back

Until The city is a body that is no more

And another rises up from the floor.

Would I?

If mountains spoke to me

Would I understand them?

They’ve stood at depths below the sea and looked above beyond me.

If a bird spoke to me

What would I say?

I’ve never soared upon the wind nor seen the dawn begin.

If sand spoke to me

Would I comprehend?

I’ll never age so gracefully nor share space so peacefully.

If you spoke to me

Would I want to listen?

Though we share the same lifestart we walk a path apart.

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