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Poetry: The Park

The Park


How do you sum up Washington Square
Think of the blind men and elephant
Many people feeling at home
Each in their own private element

People play music for money for fun
Some do gymnastics play chess
There’s statues and dancers and some just hang out
Watching the lives of the rest

(Photo by The Village Sun)

Music is present in myriad forms
Folk singers jazz groups brass bands
Pianos are wheeled in set up and played
It sometimes gets quite out of hand

Dogs bark at skateboards yelling is heard
From the playground where young children play
Sirens go screaming down streets by the park
It’s all in a typical day

(Photo by Milo Hess)

Some days a concert takes over the park
Drowning out casual song
The other activities just carry on
They won’t be distracted for long

Rarely you’ll find a quiet day
If the weather report says rain
Enjoy it ’cause likely the very next day
It’ll start all over again

(Photo by The Village Sun)

The park has changed from its early days
When the sunken fountain space
Let acoustic music of every kind
Coexist in subtle grace

Around the sunken center
At the curve where the shade trees stood
The wall formed private little rooms
Each a different musical mood

(Photo by The Village Sun)

Now each time society takes a strange turn
Protesters swarm to the arch
Now that the law’s changed the pot dealers find
They don’t have to hide in the dark

All ’round the fountain they set up their tables
Displaying their pre-rolls and buds
Bicycles tear by as customers browse
Hoping they don’t buy a dud

(Photo by Milo Hess)

Citizen groups think that they run the park
But nobody pays them much mind
Flowers get planted garbage picked up
Action of every kind

Cops and park officers wander about
Past rules that are posted on signs
Each rule’s ignored continuously
Rarely they write up a fine

(Photo by The Village Sun)

Sometimes it seems quite dangerous
As skateboards and bikes fly through
They say there’s too many to rein them in
So your safety is up to you

In the evening the mood turns more prickly
As more and more people show up
It feels like a party but right on the edge
Of where everything might just blow up

(Photo by The Village Sun)

Then there’s the night when the park is closed
So the authorities say
At midnight the cops move on from the park
Then the rats and night dwellers hold sway

People who see it as tourists don’t know
That regulars come to the park
Daily    It’s not just a new passing show
For them it’s a lift from the dark

For pigeons and squirrels the park’s as much home
As it is for the regulars there
They scramble for food leftovers and nuts
While hawks menace them from the air

(Photo by The Village Sun)

It’s a complex world each day in the park
Each life parallels others
There’s students professors and ragged crazed souls
Skateboarders bicycles drummers

An amazing place that the world wanders through
Yet a local institution
A sophisticated mixing place
Famous for revolution

It’s an image in small of famous New York
As people strive for the top
Living complexity every day
And it will never stop                               

                                                 — September 2022


  1. Sandi Sandi October 21, 2022

    LOVE this!! Totally captures the park!

  2. Stephen DiLauro Stephen DiLauro October 20, 2022

    Most excellent! Great fun to read! Thank you!

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