New Occidental Poetry

The Roots Run Shallow

The houses here are stacked on top of each other,

Like boxes from a hasty move to an unknown house

And, upon arrival, the new occupants didn't have time

To clear the clutter and put things where they belong

The streets are straight but full of holes,

Like good people who've made many mistakes

And work hard to do their jobs

But carry the baggage of bad choices

The people are plentiful but isolated,

Like prisoners in cells;

Always touching but never talking

Desperately awaiting the day they leave

The trees are many but their roots run shallow,

Like office workers with made up jobs

Pushing paper and stocking pens

Sending memos they did not write and no one will read

These thoughts, with others, spring unbidden, as i make my way down familiar paths to a place pouring poison at too high a price, and, content to esteem myself enough above the fray to obtain a poignant objectivity, as i pen these words, herding them like unruly, wooly sheep into my mind's enclosure, begin to order them into neat rows of intention and length, hoping to capture the thoughts of strangers for a moment to show them what i see through words i steal from generous Webster, i am suddenly confronted with a smell i know well but have of late found lacking...

Petrichor.

The soft, subtle smell of water and dirt. 

The effect of the sky and the earth mixing for only a moment.

And with this old smell

This now long forgotten friend

I am content to stay

-Frederick Algernon