hung about with the street people. I began writing regularly for a local arts paper and for a publisher of horror stories. I wrote this poem in 2004 and it was quickly published. I am just looking back now at that time and it is hard to believe it was 50 years ago. But everything changes...
IN THE CITY OF CHANGE
by Larry Eugene Meredith
Poetry to the beat of the rail seam,
In the trickle of rain,
The rising steam rhythms from summer heat;
Crackles of ice off long cold station gutters under strains
From winter snow piled deep upon the roof.
These teaching me all the beauty and pain nature sows
From which reap pleasure and vice.
In my life of change
in a time of change,
The streets were colorful as flowers bloomed.
New music boomed with meaning,
Cool, yet laced with care;
Against the bloody pool of war and hate.
And I struggled to paint upon the page
And each fool
I met while there.
In the park in the dark
passing shadows change
with each changing hour and all seasons.
In Salvation Army store dress,
With Stocking runs;
Pea Jacket dour.
Came men who love men;
Druggies on their prowls;
Hippie girls with flowers in their tresses.
Poets and writers and actors;
All pals adding to the bowers
where my words grew.
Changes came into the city of change.
The nightlife shifted streets.
Head shops went dark.
Psychedelic posters dimmed to new art.
As Hippies came from Beats, they went to Goths.
Rittenhouse square is where now old men range.
They occupy the seats and sing no songs.
So though I trod old walks and find them strange,
Memory’s Glow entreats their tales like moths
That I attempt to change back to butterflies.
(All photographs by the author)
Edited by e. jean lanyon (Poet Laureate Emeritus of Delaware 1979-2001)
and Joe Allen
2nd Saturday Poets
University of Delaware Press
Poetry by Larry Eugene Meredith