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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Mysterious and Impermanent"
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl inspired by . It also fills the "art" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Walking the Beat.


Mysterious and Impermanent


The streetscape of Jamaica Plain
was colorful and constantly changing.

What Dale and Kelly loved the most
about it was the street art.

Dale's favorite was the mural
of flowers along the side of
Botanica San Miguel.

Kelly preferred the chaos of
Graffiti House, where each wall
featured a different image.

Sometimes they felt
saddened and confused
to discover a favorite mural gone,

but also hopeful that
another one may
be in the works.

Street art was mysterious
and impermanent like that.

It could appear or disappear overnight.

If you loved it, you had to learn
how to live with that.

So when Jamaica Plain
struggled to adapt to a surge
in new immigrants and refugees,

the community carried on
its conversation about the issue
through street art.

There was the mural
in Jackson Square that read,
We Are Family alongside
Welcome in several languages.

Youth Aim got together
and made a mural that read,
Time to take back our streets.

Dale and Kelly smiled to see
the changes, and took pictures.

There were guest presentations
by artists and immigrants, who talked
about how identity, like art, could be
mysterious and impermanent.

Not content with painting the town,
a local swim team painted themselves
safety orange and then floated in
Boston’s Fort Point Channel,
clinging to innertubes.

Each swimmer raised
10¢ per minute from each of
their sponsors, and the longest
of them lasted four hours
in the chilly water.

"Guess whose swimmer
outlasted everyone else,"
Dale said, showing Kelly
the results from the event.

So they ate a lot of ramen
that month, but it was totally worth it.

Some things have value without being precious.

* * *

Notes:

"I felt saddened and confused to discover my favorite mural gone, but also hopeful that another one may be in the works. Street art is mysterious and impermanent like that. It can appear or disappear overnight. Murals like these are at risk of desecration, transformation, erasure. Someone's gonna piss on it, draw a mustache on it, tag it. The weather's going to make it fade. That's part of the beauty, I think. Murals have value without being precious."
-- Emily Raboteau

See the mural of flowers at the Botanica San Miguel.

This is the Graffiti House in Jamaica Plain.

Here is the We Are Family mural.

See the YouthAim! mural.


These are the orange swimmers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: January 3rd, 2018 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)

I tweeted!

And I'm enjoying the topic.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 3rd, 2018 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I tweeted!

thnidu From: thnidu Date: February 2nd, 2018 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my, yes!!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 15th, 2020 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Janet Miles here.

I love this poem! I think there may be a couple of words missing in one of the stanzas, though?

Kelly preferred the chaos
of Graffiti House, where
[seems like something belongs here?]
featured a different image.


I like street art; I prefer murals to tags, though.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 15th, 2020 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>I love this poem!<<

Yay!

>> I think there may be a couple of words missing in one of the stanzas, though? <<

Fixed.

>> I like street art; I prefer murals to tags, though. <<

Simple tagging requires no skill. Illustrated letters or images are much more interesting. I quite like watching trains, which have everything from sloppy tags to impressive pieces.
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: September 17th, 2020 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are SO MANY fantastic murals in my neighborhood of Chicago. I love the giant CHICAGO mural, it is right noext to a 2 story portrait of Quincy Jones. The mural by the el station has been redone twice and we are on the 3rd one. They keep getting ruined with gang tags, then have to be painted over.
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