Ode to New York City

06/04/2009

have you been to the capital of the world?
a French lady stands at the door in wait
she welcomes all to the streets of gold
tell her whatever you need, it’s never too late
the bulls are let loose down walled city streets
cobble stones slow a bruins advance to the market
the vendors have all made their hasty retreats
the hunters can now take aim on their target

on the streets you’ll encounter every nationality
from visitors who’ve come for leisure or business
to new natives in Chinatown and Little Italy
leaving a taste from Korean Mandoo to Irish Guinness
we all have a chance to enjoy in their cultures
bringing in their own ways a mark on the island
in restaurant cuisines and in museums their sculptures
the world is available for all to find at their hands

further up north many artists’ find their niche
from lofty expanses to libation-filled establishments
restaurants plating lasagnas, meatloaves and quiches
an old university surrounded by humble tenements
old speakeasies live on as legitimate bars
giving poets and writers fodder for their stories
some of these taverns have earned Michelin stars
serving the comdians and authors Long Island Ice teas

in the square there is a place for many to gather
convening to share their testimonies and their opinions
updating the denizens of all important matters
the grassroots of democracy and its groaning minions
telling of what is lacking and who we’re attacking
trying to open the of the eyes of the public
hoping that they’ll receive proper support and backing
alas all they find is a fading republic
no one pays attention to our national debt
there are corrupt politicians, unfair taxes and wars
and many more abuses that go unchecked
but here all they see are the corporate stores

escape all of the chaos and go to the garden
there are shows every night defying all reason
either in a wooded area or ice that has hardened
the spectacles there depend on the season
perhaps there’s a concert, a game or a circus
children and adults can find an attraction
all trains stop near by, making it easy to access
drawing visitor’s interests from every direction

the buildings have grown from brownstones to skyscrapers
erected as monuments to the city’s grand prosperity
tourists climb one hundred and two floors and become gapers
taking in the views from the observation deck of the city

ascending the streets to the higher numbers
options in performances become overwhelming
some theaters show classics and lots of up-and-comers
flashing signs naming musicals and the top billing
here actors prove their worth masquerading live
their characters criticized or hailed by patrons
careers are made here and others don’t jive
differing in section 8 or a house in the Hamptons

just down the block varying businesses thrive
service and retail, trading and accounting
hotels and high fashion, all midtown enterprises
from the outsiders view this all seems so daunting
but locals carry on through the hustling streets
past diplomats in the East and politicians from the South
celebrities of all kinds, cops pounding their beats
out-of-towners are easily spotted by their awed open mouths

in case too much concrete leaves you wanting some green
just wander over to the park where it’s easy to escape
wild walkways offer the eyes a myriad flowers to glean
the reservoir, baseball fields and meadows make the landscape
small streams and sailboat ponds, pictures of serenity
fast paced races or leisurely joggers sweating through the grounds
in an amphitheater Shakespeare lives as someone performs Hecate
without the looming buildings it’d seem the park had no bounds

each century had its centers, such as  Constantinople
capitals of empire’s long lost, that were taken by force
there were no kings deposed and no government to topple
the power gained by this city was democratically endorsed
bought from the natives for inexpensive trading bobbles
the island grew as a settlement for people seeking asylum
now it is priceless in Pesos, Yen, Kroners, Rupees and Rubles
turned from humble farmland to a citadel made of platinum
now if you’ve not visited the capital of the world
make time in your life to make this your Hajj
a pilgrimage to the crossroads where all flags are unfurled
and tithe with your culture while paying your homage

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