Old Town

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A glimpse in the life of a city dweller.

In a gloomy, dark alley, in the heart of Old Town,

Where the shadows creep eerily o'er every dim corner,

The weight of the world can be felt pressing down.

 

A pop and a hiss are the night alley sounds

From the gaslights, aglow as their flames feebly flutter

In a gloomy, dark alley, in the heart of Old Town.

 

The grunt from a body in a box on the ground,

Asking, “Hey can you bum me a smoke?” from the gutter,

And the weight of the world can be felt pressing down.

 

Is it mere happenstance, as you glance all around,

But for chance and your will you might find yourself hither

In this gloomy, dark alley, in the heart of Old Town?

 

Dare not look, dare not shudder, dare not stare anyone down

You who have a good job, clean clothes, a warm shelter,

Though the weight, oft it seems, of the world presses down.

 

Linger not long herein, count your blessings my friend,

Were it not for good fortune, this could be your sad end.

In a gloomy, dark alley, in the heart of Old Town,

Where the weight of the world can be felt pressing down.


In the heart of Old Town, on a pier by the bay

Where the longshoremen labor moving cargo and wares,

And the bustle of industry runs night and day.

 

The clank of bells on the buoys in the spray

Hail ships, weighing anchor 'neath the moon's bright glare,

In the heart of Old Town, on a pier by the bay.

 

Containers, the cranes hoist high, giving way

to the oncoming boxes of goods, in the air

As the bustle of industry runs night and day.

 

The hard-hatted foreman, cusses “Move out the way!”

To the stranger who wanders as near as he dares

In the heart of Old Town, on a pier by the bay.

 

“Get yer ass off the pier or wind up in the bay!”

The epithet-riddled curse he declares,

While the bustle of industry runs night and day.

 

Better move on along, best not hang anywhere

A longshoreman in anger might catch you up there,

In the heart of Old Town, on a pier by the bay

Where the bustle of industry runs night and day.


In the neon heart of an Old Town night

Anything you desire can be bought for a price,

Where the hustle and the bustle and the vagabonds fight.

 

Keep your wits all about you and purse-strings in sight

Every shady street vendor and hawker plays nice

In the neon heart of an Old Town night.

 

But the shows and the theaters come alive every night!

And they line up for blocks to get in, sometimes twice

‘midst the hustle and bustle where vagabonds fight.

 

The bars and cafés are all jam-packed in tight

And you elbow your way, with a smile, feigning nice

In the neon heart of an Old Town night.

 

Cacophony reigns in the glow of the light

As you step from the curb to the cab. Oh, the price!

As you wide-berth a tussle where two vagabonds fight.

 

Tip your cap to the porter who ordered in trice

Your cab; tip your driver as you leave his device.

From the neon heart of an Old Town night

Where the hustle meets bustle and the vagabonds fight.


The city’s boulevards ring like a crown.

The tree-lined curbs of the ‘burbs where you live

Wrap all around the heart of Old Town.

 

In the hush of the morn as the moon settles down,

Your footfalls, the only sound that you give

As you walk to your house on the boulevard crown.

 

 

“Be it ever so humble,” your country friends frown.

For they can’t understand your desire to live

Where neighborhoods wrap the heart of Old Town.

 

As you reach your front stoop, a snowflake floats down.

In the chill of the morning, a shiver you give

While clouds encircle the town like a crown.

 

You turn, at your door, one last look all around

Remembering this night, the adventures you’d lived

When you wandered alone through the heart of Old Town.

 

Take measure, this life, the pleasure it gives,

No matter the circumstance or where you live.

Your home on the boulevard helps form the crown.

That wraps all around the heart of Old Town.

 

In gloomy, dark alleys, in the heart of Old Town,

The weight of the world can be felt pressing down.

In the heart of Old Town, on a pier by the bay

The bustle of industry runs night and day.

 

In the neon heart of an Old Town night

There’s hustle and bustle, and vagabonds fight.

But the city’s boulevards, ring like a crown.

As they wrap all around the heart of Old Town.

 

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