Posted in Poetry

City Renew

City, City, Body City, renew
my dry rustic soul, you rhythm maker,
where I roam, muttering your avenue’s

songs, night birds singing ‘til morning’s breakthrough.
Warbling, drumming, a cadence pacemaker
City, City, Body City, renews.

This quench of your warm wind is overdue;
set ‘em up barkeep, be my sin taker,
where I’m home, muddling your avenues.

With empty hands you mix a homemade brew
of brandied cherries in sky-scraped shaker
City, City, Body City, renewing.

Waves of lightning, finger this scabbed tattoo,
thunder of the streets, a cresting breaker,
where I’m home in puddling avenues

of fading ink, once called my mere undo;
O-Town’s arms are mine, I’ll not forsake her.
City, City, Body, City anew
—there I’m flown to your strange avenues.

© Jilly’s All Rights Reserved

Join me tonight where I am hosting Poetics at dVerse Poet’s Pub.  We are applying a bit of ‘Urban Renewal’ to our writing by focusing on the theme of Cities, both large and small.


A wild soul writing poetry.

48 thoughts on “City Renew

  1. I love the sounds, cadence and repetition of the Villanelle form ~ I want to try this one:

    With empty hands you mix a homemade brew
    of brandied cherries in sky-scraped shaker

    Thanks for hosting Jilly ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel a busy city vibe in your poem, Jill, evoked by the form and the rhymes and rhythm. I love the end of a busy day feeling in the lines:
    ‘where I’m home in puddling avenues
    of fading ink, once called my mere undo’;

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Are you doing NaPoWriMo? it is a form of madness, but there is something in me that likes that kind of challenge, and it is where I started poetry blogging, so it feels important to do it.


      2. Yep! I love the madness of it. I pull prompts from GloPo, from Poetic Asides, dVerse, and from mid air. This year I ended up with this little series about these two people.
        We just passed the 1/3 mark!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, jazz is without doubt the music of the city. Your poem had a bop, unconcerned feel to it. Like nothing can surprise you. I especially like,
    “set ‘em up barkeep, be my sin taker,
    where I’m home, muddling your avenues.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I live for jazz – it has been the music of my soul since I was a kid, and I hear it in every street and every step. And, yeah, living in Orlando, nothing much surprises. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jilly, as much as it is possible, I think you captured the cadence and the steam of O Town in a poem. It’s too much of an exotic bird to tame in a cage of villanelle — but you painted enough of the plumage and its beak to catch and hold the reader’s eye. A wicked cocktail of a tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HIya neighbor. When I came to Orlando in 1980, ’twas a different place, twixt cow town and suburbanopolis. Routes to bars were my ley lines to divining the city — seems we share that burp — but the music was more Romantics and Culture Club and Van Halen. There’s a great vibe of Whitman here, embracing the body of this city; I love these sense of draining the lakes for ink. The newspaper I worked decades for is almost a ghost now, and my commute into another job in the city is fraught with ironic echoes. Glad someone else is singing the soul. Do you know Susan Lilley? She’s O-town’s first poet laureate, and she’d love this poem. Well done, and great challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ‘vroom’ is too, too accurate! Our traffic is insane. Mix one part locals who need to get to work with one part lost tourist and one part Internationals learning the rules of the road in a new country. Whew!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I must say first, I love Carl Sandburg’s Chicago … and so many other of his poems. You’ve captured his spirit in this poem.
    I especially like the words “where I’m home in puddling avenues of fading ink,” as it reminds me of you, the poet, in your city here. The refrain is very Sandburgian (can that be a words?)….and brings an oral energy to the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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