Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

WISDOM OF GRAFFITI ( formerly "What Lasts")

Today I walked a city street
feet pounding out a steady beat
and I watched all of the people's faces
all different classes and all races.

All wore looks of fatigued worry
as they passed in their private hurry.
Not even one could spare a smile
their eyes downcast all the while.

The concrete canyons I walked through
soaring glass that blocked the view
no hint of nature anywhere,
no scent of forest in the air.

Then I ducked down into the subway
joining in the anxious fray.
I waited, no one noticed me
so I scanned the myriad graffiti.

Then I read a single phrase
which has haunted me for days
"The words of the poets are written on the shifting sand
where they soon turn vague and bland."

In this gritty place I'd found
a thought which follows me around.
Most words don't last, they fade and flee
including any writ by me.

Yet against this truth I rage
as I face yet another page
hoping some verse within a rhyme
will last a bit beyond my time
thus breaking through time's silent pall
and wind up written on some wall.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
I am unsatisfied with the title and welcome your ideas
Editing stage: 


Loved this write, does this need an apostrophe in the title :- Last's,
I have a last that has lasted is feet are bent and hard,
they cannot walk the concrete jungles but help others to,
It is made of cast Iron, and I wonder what cast should it go to India.
Cant say much on the poem it is better than my knowledge allows me to critique.
Take care young traveller, the aspens bow beckons your ways.
Are you sending me another Arrow head as prize lol..
Yours Ian ..

Words can build a nation

"better than my knowledge allows me to critique"? Really??? We both know you are well versed enough to critique anybody's scribbles lol. Always good to see you come by and I hope all is well with you and yours

author comment

Your scribbles were beyond reproach, is what I meant to say.
Back to the aspens young woodsman they live away from the concrete jungle .
We are all OK thanks,
My love to you and that lovely lady of yours, Our love always, Ian xx

Words can build a nation

older folks can just keep on keeping on and hope for the best

author comment

title could be Wall Graffiti
The one important thing that I feel you left out, if you were in any city in the world, any town, that a good 2/3 of the people are looking at the cellphone. In a elevator, waiting area, Starbucks, bus or subway, closer to 90%.
Now, as to how many are checking out Neopoet...or other poetry site...i suppose as many who are listening to Wagner in their earplugs. one per 100 million.
Poets can lie a bit, and I would change as to not mimic Paul Simon "and the words of the poet// is written on the subway walls" if you know what i mean, nor use that exact expression "the words of the poet are written on..." (anything can work-
"Poet's words are written on the shifting sand" etc. changing the object to the sand is a very good twist. Find a wall not in the subway. I've seen graffiti on garbage bins, stop signs, buses...
the conclusion of the poem does its job. Has honesty and it comes through.



I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Hmmm....I like the idea of using graffiti in the title and will think on that for a day or two. But you might want to recheck the line "the words of the poets are written on the shifting sand." not subway walls. The flow is the same or almost the same but the message different as the shifting sans I hope conveys the impermanence of the words written by most of us. Thanks for your thought on this

author comment
(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.