Thursday, November 1, 2012

Toronto: “Welcome Place” ( a pilgrimage )

A place that does not alienate
The tired “New Immigrant”
Honoured as well as:
The deep poetics of refuge and refugee
Place that releases exile
                                                   In shoulder to shoulder contact
                                                   I want to believe this city will end all wars
                                                   So many countries represented
                                                   On any bus or streetcar ride

And the rush of movement through underground tunnels
Brings the touch and sound of 220 languages and dialects / Interweaving and distinct
As the doors of subway cabins open and close
As people pour in and out

From my streetcar window
The clearly visible Muslim man approaches
He's tired of being feared
His wife is trailing behind him in her yards of black cloth
( the irony )
She is more conspicuous than incognito / amongst so many dissimilar others
She has expertly sown a glaringly new red and white flag
On his dollar store jacket /  On the chest pocket over his heart
She wants us to see him / See the flag

I walk for days through these neighborhoods
The red Fall leaf in gorgeous decay
Lining the corridors of Jamaica / Ethiopia / Afghanistan
Pakistan / Greece / Italy / China / India / Yugoslavia
Live currency of Loon / Elk / Bear / Queen...and all the other animals that stand
On corners and sit in their old tea houses and dark Horseshoe bars
Smoking the glorious colours / The benign Maple Leaf
The inhale and exhale of Tarmac and the stink of
Still too many cars

Welcome Place”

I walk back into you / through brick and concrete
That hold my memories un-renovated
This city / alive in space / a sacred message and messenger
Percolating to the sub-soils of my being /  the vibrancy of true recognition
Energized by faces I'd nearly forgotten
Life long friends still searching for home in an
Outdoor museum of unconscious poetry
The interface of struggle and transformation
No walls can contain their influence

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