Treasure Island

Elizabeth Fontaine Grieco

(08/14/1957 / Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Concrete Jungle


Hunched over a garbage pail,
A beggar chews scraps of bread.
The city the never sleeps,
Swallows souls that can't eat.

Frigid night, as wind sweeps
Across city's howling streets,
Festive spirit crushed beneath
Soles of the passer-by,
Ignoring pleas from those
Who can no longer fly.

Breathing wool swaddled cacoons,
Begging for warmth, lying upon
Steps of St. Thomas Aquinnas Church,
As if their mere existence
Was poised upon a human curse!

Submitted: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Edited: Sunday, April 29, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem was written Janurary 15,1998, during the Christmas festivities in NYC, after I visited the Christmas tree in all of it's granduer, at Rochefeller Plaza. What seemed very ironic was the splendor that existed among the resident's of New York City, but yet the extreme poverty was also evident. Today in the year April 29,2012, poverty is much more evident, because of the high unemployment in the United States and the global recession.

Comments about this poem (Concrete Jungle by Elizabeth Fontaine Grieco )

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  • Nalini Chaturvedi (5/14/2014 4:46:00 AM)

    This verse has universal appeal...for a moment I thought it could even be New Delhi....it touched my heart and once again made me think if its all about Karma from previous lives or just aroll of dice that decides about our fates. thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Lucy Lae (5/15/2012 7:54:00 AM)

    I like it, especially with that bit about your inspiration, I lived there for a while and I see what you saw, city that never sleeps swallows souls that cannot eat 9/10: ] (Report) Reply

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