City-Streets: A Poem Inspired by NYC and Constantine Cavafy

Bustling sensation surrounds me,

I hear the burnouts, see the rich,

reaching for the unattainable.


I will never understand.

The old-timer with the hot dog cart,

Or the young, oblivious one who wants to start a new life.

I can merely observe; see the spirit,

All around me.


The path is a rising crescendo,

a falling diminuendo.

The businessman on the phone

doesn’t realize imminent danger,

the protester lying in a tent

can’t tell his attempts are futile.

Bankruptcy, the 99%.


I see it all, but I choose ignorance.


I focus on the fleeting:

bites of street food,

lights at night,

children playing.

The old and the young, equal in harmony.

I try to learn from those who hold knowledge, who know more,

than I ever can.


Nothing is sustainable.

As I cross the street, I can sense that


Eventually, this will all be



Of course.

But, in the moment

it’s not important.


I stop, take a breath,

and notice the wonders around me, 

I feel the catching excitement of

The Great White Way

See the king from Queens.

And read the time in a Midtown square,

At the intersection of history and the seventh dimension.


Who am I?

I  am still learning.

I don’t know everything

Nor do I pretend to.


All I know is where I want to be

where I already am.

witnessing the joy, the spirit, wisdom

Of New York City.


Inspired by Constatin Cavafy’s “Ithaca”

Thoughts? I wrote this a while back for an English assignment. -PAFT


2 thoughts on “City-Streets: A Poem Inspired by NYC and Constantine Cavafy

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