Coolie

425360361_063bc272aa_b

 

 

Liquid waves of concrete heat

stop solar plexus high –

knowing knees, callused feet

keep rhythm as battered wheels

grind gravel and gritted teeth.

 

Bent and thinned, equinely poised,

the rickshaw stammers empty

with an invisible foreign weight –

strong tightened sun soaked slits

like greedy huckster eyes,

dart fiercely through chaotic void

in quest of next pedestrian fares.

 

Far into the cool damp night

the journey never ceases,

predestined destination,

speaking to the street –

the constant dream is he as seated,

the jitney pulls itself,

the pilgrimage of every tourist’s night

illuminates, becomes his own.

 

 

 

 

 

5 comments

  1. Craig,

    I love the surface message and the underlying one…

    I see all of us as coolies in way or another…

    “the constant dream is he as seated,

    the jitney pulls itself,” (even though I just added a quote of yours to Bon Mots II,
    I must add this one…It is memorable and well it should be remembered!)

    So many times I have wished the equivalent. It is good to dream,
    but if we start believing it will happen it becomes a real problem.

    My take of your poem is not meant to dismiss the plight of those
    who labor without hope of cease. I think your ‘Coolie’ is representative
    of so many ills of this world.

    Always you show us a picture that turns us around.

    Sarah

    Like

  2. “callused feet keep rhythm as battered wheels
    grind gravel and gritted teeth” and ” the pilgrimage of every tourist’s night
    illuminates, becomes his own.” We do what the work requires and find other life in lives of others. I have been there, both sides. Thank you for making me think. And teaching me a new word…jitney
    ptc

    Like

  3. Incredible poem Craig. Bit lost for words at first, then I thought;

    ‘No-one sees them come and go
    and no-one ever really knows
    the dreams they dream.

    And if they did, what might they care,
    for they have no more than an air ;
    of incidentally being there
    to serve the whim.’

    That’s what such good poetry does to me, stirs the heart and soul.

    Douglas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Craig

    Such a fine portrait study of these hard working individuals often facing the adversity of poverty and class
    distinction or casting. Your words are intense and leave a remarkable impression of this worker’s struggle and on-going resolve to prevail —

    Bent and thinned, equinely poised,

    the rickshaw stammers empty

    with an invisible foreign weight –

    strong tightened sun soaked slits

    like greedy huckster eyes,

    dart fiercely through chaotic void

    in quest of next pedestrian fares.

    The phonetic choice of words and the rhythmic line breaks, allow the reader to really enter the scene and feel its pulse, its soul.

    Thank you for this,
    much enjoyed,
    wendy

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s