Silver Street

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics  (posted by Sarah) used for Grace’s Open Link Night
“Let’s think for a moment about street names. They’ve always interested me. I like the 19th century developments that commemorate the builder’s wife and daughters, the patriotic streets commemorating battles, or coronations, or the royal family of the time. I like the modern housing estates that scatter wildflower names, or conjure up ancient woodland.

Here’s what I want you to use tonight as inspiration for your poem. I’ve listed some street names for you, and I want you to imagine what the street is like…or who might live there…or how the name came about. Be whimsical, be dark, be quirky, be funny, be mysterious!”


Signs and streets
cobwebbed and cracked,
most of the old theaters–
with furnishings of marble,
crushed velvet,
and crystal chandeliers
allowing audiences to lose
themselves, to delve
into exotic lives portrayed
on the silver screen–are gone.
Apartments go for a pittance.
A few old shopkeepers remain
with tired, limp produce wilting
in windows. Tenacious tenants
fight to keep their moderate
rents from climbing. Rumors
of developers envelop
the neighborhood. People
are anxious and angry, fearing
disreputable landlords will
employ any means necessary
to scare them off. Signs
and streets, cobwebbed and
cracked can be repaired;

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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20 Responses to Silver Street

  1. kim881 says:

    You’ve painted such a sad picture of urban decay, Sara! The alliteration is particularly effective, especially ‘cobwebbed and cracked’, ‘tenacious tenants’, and ‘anxious and angry’.
    And it’s so true that signs and streets can be repaired but lives cannot.


  2. sanaarizvi says:

    I agree. This is so incredibly poignant, Sara!


  3. Frank Hubeny says:

    Good point that lives are not as easy as signs to repair.


  4. merrildsmith says:

    Oh, so sad–this tarnished street that once was bright silver.


  5. You have so eloquently depicted urban decay, the state of humanity and the human condition. Not all things in life can be repaired and fixed.


  6. Vivian Zems says:

    Well penned! A sad place to find oneself in indeed!


  7. annell4 says:

    The old neighborhood, we hope we can stay, they won’t raise the rent, and yet it gets older everyday.


  8. So sad.. but greed has no limits nor care for the past.


  9. Bryan Ens says:

    Love the wordplay in “developers envelop”


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