The Pune streets are paved with folk
Living and dying for all the world to see
Giving the world energyLighting it up with their youthful smiles
Happiness in the mire
Heaven in our perceived hell
Enriching life with the colour of saris and flowers
The scent of sandal wood and other things
A mass of humanity pulsating through the streets
All bustling together through the days and nights
`Please come for dinner in our home!'
A stranger is never one for long
Always welcomed and warmed by their generosity
You are never alone.
`You'll be a changed girl', they said
My values seemed quite fine to me
But seeing there was a life more real
More vital where the worries were
Not `what shall I wear?'
But `will I eat tonight?
Does anybody care if I die here in the street,
Old and bony, dignity stripped bare?'
And yet a freedom to the people there
A call to simply live the life
Rules and paperwork are unknown to those
In their simple huts beside the streets
`I cannot hope for more than this
This is my destiny, so shall I live in peace.'
In simplicity there lies a depth
I cannot find here easily
Achievement seems our only goal
There must be more to make one whole
How have we lost our dignity?
We may have choice, we may be free
But folk are lost and purposeless
The quest for pleasure our only perceived happiness
No deep spirituality pervades our lives
Unselfconscious and exuberant in expression
With festivals to bring the tired bodies back to life
Framing life with significance and purpose.
The Bangor1 streets seem quieter now
The odd person hurries past
His expression is closed, stressed and grey
Unsure if life is worth living
On this cold and blustery winter's day
Where the nearest hint of life
Is seen on the TV
Our quest for space and privacy
Closing us off from each other's lives
We no longer need each other to survive.
1Bangor is a provincial seaside town in Northern Ireland