:: Article

Street Psalms & Other Poems

street psalms
the late night streets
alive with beauty and wonder
enough splendour to charm
snakes from their baskets

we ramble under
neon lit glory that lights
our way through
the concrete jungle

cars pass with stereos
blaring out the latest
in vogue sounds
attracting excited
screams from
scantily-clad party girls

vagrants beckon for our
attention and we stop
to give what we can:
a few cigarettes and loose change

the pubs, bars and clubs
embrace us and we feel
animated; electrified

for a few hours we’re
away from the working world:
the factories, the banks, the shops
the delivery jobs and the dole
tonight, no one will sleep


when something’s dead it’s died

walls are wet, a
white fur grows, corroding
wires, slugs
leave a glistening silver trail
over cheap carpets, cobwebs
hang from ceilings, as
spiders watch on, windows
rattle in their frames, a
freezing breeze enters from gaps
around the front door, everything
smells of damp, we
cough on dust, cleaning
in vain, chemicals
don’t work, bricks
crumbling, turning
to powder when touched, when
something’s dead its died


misogynistic voices
pumping out
weary sex tales
and typed
by fervent fingertips
in the early hours
nothing innovative
nothing distinctive
just more of the same
more of the same
more of the same

you, i
clammy air
bed sheets
sunlight protruding
around curtains
writhing nakedness
sweat of infatuation
coming like bullets
out of a machine gun


something safe
pitter patter
rain on sill
dripping from plastic guttering
concrete homes
double glazing
lurid metropolitan scenery
pavement slabs; uneven
roads potholed
litter drifts to be
caught on dying trees
carbon monoxide tainted
blood stains
broken glass
dog shit
viral wastelands; left to putrefy
boarded up shops
windows smashed
graffiti urban art

developers will come; luxury two bedroom flats
rebranding; something cosmopolitan
something safe.


A collection of poetry and a novel are forthcoming from Jim Quinton. He has had many poems and short stories published worldwide and is Managing Editor of the celebrated Open Wide Magazine.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, July 14th, 2007.