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City Faces

I’ve added a new poem to my Portraits page.  It’s about commuting.

When I was younger, I lived around Sydney and I worked in the central business district.  Sydney is a great commercial city – busy, dirty and changeable as today’s newspaper. Its unique, yet interchangeable buzz links it to hundreds of sister cities around the world that have achieved a certain density.

I remember Sydney’s peak hour and I know it must have grown more intense in the years since I endured it. You’d think this mass of being would fill a writer’s larder, and sometimes it did, but more often it was enervating.

The crowd surged in and out, an inexorable daily tide.

I remember the faces of the crowd. Not the rare uninhibited strangeling or the couples talking.  I mean the mass of people, each alone, who clothe their faces in ennui when they commute.  It’s not done to reveal too much of yourself to strangers en mass, especially when you’re alone. There are too many bodies to constitute a tribe. You could get blown away in the mass. Someone might actually talk to you!

But all those thousands of individual people are alive, thinking and acting beneath their commuting cloaks.

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