City of God

4 train at Grand Central 42nd Street

City of God

Into the breach again

All ties dissolved behind

Ahead a platform, a staircase

A daylight world

Of unformed possibility

A swirl of probability

When I don’t fall I throw myself

I forgo sunglasses, preferring

You see my eyes

What you’ve created

The beauty, the depth

The endless blue

At a certain distance

Blurred by a tear

Of recognition

That I am created

That what I see is only beauty

Stark, effortless

And human

Moving, climbing


In the filth, in the sharp

Voices and guarded glances

Sirens, hawkers and

Wide-eyed children

In abject weariness of overload

And the poverty

Of disconnection

In the rubble of

Walls that crumble


At the gentlest touch

Of something human

I reach out, creator

At the strangest moments

To test the give in a wall

Dig a little dusty mortar

From between heavy stones

Moisten it with a tear

And build a home


©2014 Jason Anderson



Again it’s been too long since I’ve tended this WordPress garden.



They set out with no notion of what awaited, they had heard the streets were paved with gold or mud, that the new world was paradise or it was a graveyard tended by plague and cutthroats, promised land or hell, and in between lay a purgatory of desperate ocean, miles across but miles deep as well and the journey had the potential to go in either direction, that the journey was salvation or it was doom, and they set out into the unknown trembling with bravado and seasickness, and the drink ran out and then the food ran out, and when it failed to rain the water, and if it wasn’t hunger and dehydration it was the interminable rolling, and if it wasn’t the motion it was the rats, and if it wasn’t the rats it was the stinging flies, and if not it was the endless unflinching horizon mocking their eyes from every direction and the tireless monotony, and about halfway across the ocean they left behind conversations about what lay ahead in Eden or hell and retreated to the privacy of their thoughts, and at about the two-thirds mark they left rape in the wake for the stench of their fellow travelers was unbearable and they were clothed in tattered sores, and theft too for there was nothing of value and nowhere to hide it, and murder because one person would be missed and an extra corpse inconvenient, and they clung in the desperate hold to their book and on the sun-scorched decks to the rails and retched out the last of their pride and greed and lust as the sky heard the evidence and the sun judged and the ocean yawned wide to receive their sins, but at the first call of seagulls and tender whiff of brackish mud on the offshore breeze hope returned with a vengeance, and into the new world pulled a battered boat filled with liars, thieves and cutthroats, purified by the worst that was now behind them and the conviction that mere survival was divine decree that the sprawling garden that received them was theirs.