and the gangs

along with the heat,

dust rising, stirring

the smoking air,

cigarettes butted

revved-up engines

and short tempers,

beer bottles broken

on grafitti-divided walls,

gun-shaped bulges

under oversized shorts

and hand-signed gestures

selling drugs and hate

nearly killed the city.

Then someone said

Let’s build a park

bring wheels that don’t smoke

battle skills not wills

carve hills where

litter and fear used to pile,

know their names

and say them often

sit back and listen,

smile when they get it right

watch them

faces streaming sweat

colored boards and ankles

shirts flapping, wheels slapping


flips, dips and hanging edges

fear gone, and play escapes


in peals of laughter




Filed under Poetry, Uncategorized

17 responses to “Community

  1. I love the almost rap rhythm and the optimism of this poem.

    Good job.


  2. You got me to smile at your image and your fun writing. 🙂 Have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. Transformation does the trick – one step at a time..
    Loved the pace of your poem!! I was reading it aloud, and it sounded real neat!! 🙂
    Happy Weekend!

    • You read it right, girl. I wrote it out-loud, and my fingers kept tripping over the keys just trying to keep up. They’ll never be the same now. I’ll have to stick to haiku. Thanks for your comments.

  4. This was so fun!!! So wonderful and sorry so late…I had withdrawls!! Loved the poem my friend!! ~ Hugs x

  5. Beautiful Brokenpen. Community building is one of the greatest accomplishments. I love the smoke references. ‘The smoking air’ (Brilliant) “Let’s build a park, bring wheels that don’t smoke” And from this seemingly simple idea, to reclaim a city park from the perversion of drugs and smoke, hatred and gang violence…it could be (it is) a model for us as a global community too. Really nice. Thanks, Sue

  6. Thanks, Sue. Last night’s news showed a neighborhood in Calif (Yolo?) where two guys opened their garage and yard. Every Friday evening, people come and contribute to a comedy club – families, singles – young and old – no charge. The whole community is loving it – strangers two months ago, now friends – all laughing together.
    I thought it was so good, it inspired to write the poem. The photo was one I took last year outside the family court parking lots. There’s a dog park and next door, a newish rollerboard park, and it always fascinates me how so many kids of different ages/types/cultures seem to get along really well there. Inside the courthouse, families are falling apart, but in the park, kids are building something good.

  7. I like the transformation in the poem…and like you if anyone said I wrote something that sounded like rap my son would want to personally pay for their treatment.;-)

  8. wow.. i like it

    “lightly” and with Shine..

  9. Fine rhythmic quality, a pulse to it, a city pulse. Movement…great.

    • Key word here being pulse – I’m so glad you felt it. Subconsciously don’t we all walk through the pulse of places – the heart? Don’t we raise our psychic antennae and feel our way around, is it safe, do I fit, does it wrap around and comfort me or stir me up and make me crazy. Can I change it, can I trust it, or do I even want to bother. I’m a country girl, and cities scare me, but they fascinate me too. Never been able to stay in one for long, but each stay remains vivid in my mind. Thanks for your comments – reminded me of another pool, one I forgot, and left in the garden, growing stagnant. Time to go and stir it up.

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