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A Political Urban Legacy – a poem by Joe O'Donoghue

Jean Michel Folan, a Belgian artist, has illustrated brilliantly, in bright color form, the desolate voids of 20th century cities and their inhabitants. This blank verse of “A Political Urban Legacy” was obviously influenced by Jean Michel’s graphics. Jean Michel is best known for his illustrations of Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”.

A Political Urban Legacy

Bureaucratic-honed streets of emptiness, where, in angst silence,

most pass each other by.

Elongated spaces, rimmed by offish, impermeable concrete erections.

Looming Parnassus like, these structures dampen the hum

of moving toxic engines.

Everywhere, separation intoned.

Strangers all, to all

A Nietzeschian fear embalmed.

A Zeitgeist Nihilism embraced.

As light and evening to dusk fades

Hear now a cry!

A muffled shriek!

A loud reverberating booming sound

Screeching, skidding wheels

A distant siren, wailing.

Notated; another victim

Yet roaming still at large unfettered marauders,

Meantime, laconic officials

In catatonic mien,

sleep unperturbed


June 24, 2008
Joe O’Donoghue

Joe O’Donoghue, past president of the Residential Builders Association of San Francisco, is a prime earth mover in the new Oakland Builders Alliance of Oakland. He is also a poet.

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