Saturday, May 28, 2011

160/1SS - cityscape



see the jewel
shining from afar

an ant hill undisturbed
built on the backs
of her inhabitants

men in high places
use a magnifying glass

to burn
their heads off

The picture is by Scott Wyden who is featured today at One Stop Poetry. And I wrote it in 160 characters, so I got to tell Monkey.

82 comments:

Monkey Man said...

These 160/1SS combs are great. Thanks for playing along.

dustus said...

"built on the backs
of her inhabitants"

That has a great ring to it. Indeed a great combo. Tight write and like how you played off the prompt. thanks for everything, brian

G-Man said...

GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

To burn their heads off.. that's for the Monday to Friday run

adeeyoyo said...

I like the photo - excellent illustration for your words. Unfortunately men in high places are totally out of touch with the ants below.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the surreal image of the city which you have created here.

Lorraine said...

wow and you're right there are too may psychotics out there, and I'm back (not psychotically) just you know, through blogger....

Dave King said...

Brilliant. Punchy and telling. Spot on.

Lydia said...

Really cool, Brian.

Daniel said...

A cool picture that stirs the imagination. Nice.

the walking man said...

If enough of the hills inhabitants move out from under the high places they will collapse in on themselves. Then the ants can feast on them who once held the magnifying glass.

It may be the only solution left us now.

kez said...

nice one!thank you

Tara Miller said...

After reading your poem and then looking back up at the picture it's really a perfect fit. I can see the ant hill and the heat from the magnifying glass....burning their heads off (yuk!)but fun love.

ayala said...

Cool, Brian.

Ixy said...

Love the imagery in this poem! Very strong writing and the picture is a great finishing touch.

annell said...

Some jewels are more beautiful from a distance.

happygirl said...

I see it all. Thanks for the words. So much truth in 160.

claudiamargarethe said...

ha - i chopped your head off and you burnt my head off..smiles...great minds...esp. liked (next to the beheading) the built on backs of her inhabitants - big cities are always crowded with victims and villains - both in starched shirts

Helen said...

I may never look at a cityscape again, without thinking of anthills!

Tom said...

yeah, some days it feels that way

Bonnie said...

You've nailed the city and the capitalists who build them. Wow Brian!!

Pat Hatt said...

Wow that is so true
The ant hill was a great analogy too
Never really thought about it that way
But those ones higher up do cause the little people dismay
So burning those below like ants
Would probably give them jollies in their ummm pants
Really enjoyed this one
Very well done

Mama Zen said...

This is really cool!

Isabel said...

great poem for the prompt. city described as an ant hill-love.

lori said...

At first I thought it was going to be all sweet with the first two lines. I was wrong.

Best ending ever.

:)

TechnoBabe said...

It feels like we are ants.

Sean Vessey said...

Great ending. Positively dark. Pass the glass!

Sean Vessey said...

Great. Positively Dark! Pass the glass.

CM said...

Interesting take, I like how you used the ant hill metaphor. Nice write. Reminded me of our downtown area and all the people I see in suits when I'm working. They all look so miserable.

Christine said...

That was great, loved it.

David Allen Waters said...

interesting take, that last line has a punch...brilliant ;)

hedgewitch said...

The truth, it burns! Great use of minimalist imagery, distilling all that into so few words, and a darkly satisfying take on the glowy prompt.

Alice Audrey said...

You mean Donald Trump? *evil grin*

kaykuala said...

Brian, It blends, the picture and your writing, blends very well!

Lolamouse said...

Wow! 160 characters say so much! You've summed up the anomie of a city perfectly!

Magpie said...

Beautiful photo...disturbingly real words.

Glynn said...

Cool one, Brian, transposing the anthill to the cityscape - and who's heads are being burned off?

brenda w said...

I love where the picture took you. Damn ants.

Laurie Kolp said...

Love the ant hill metaphor!

PattiKen said...

No wonder i sometimes get headaches when in the big city... Very cool -- er, hot -- Brian.

rosaria said...

"...men in high places use a magnifying glass to burn their heads off."

Very disturbing!
I hope Monkey Man is pleased.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Ooh social comment!

elisasspot said...

It's difficult for me to comment on anything connected to this image, as the image itself has me hiss with distaste. Nothing but the sun in it beckons to me and the lack of nature has me wanting to gag. I wanted you to know that I did take the time to read, even with my revulsion at the image prompt.

I came back after reading some of the later posts, and I'm starting to be able to see what others did with this and laugh! I like the idea of burning off heads!

Margie said...

It's amazing what you can do with so few words!
Spot on!
Excellent writing, Brian.

Reflections said...

Love the metaphor you have chosen. Brilliantly translated.

libithina said...

such imagery Brian ~ Ouch!! ~
not even million factor could deal with that one ~ Brilliant ~ Lib @Libithina

Patricia said...

Love this! I could see you as a little boy destroying that ant hill (Calvin and Hobbes style). Good one!

Shrinky said...

Gosh, powerful stuff Brian!

Betsy said...

that is a great metaphor! Not to mention how from the top of those building, the people below really do look like ants.

nance marie said...

you is good at this...and such a boy with ants

wolfsrosebud said...

Nice capture of the photo.

Victoria said...

I felt the tension between what many perceive as success and the cost to those on whose backs success is built.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Once again, words that comes to my mind after reading your poem..."The rich and powerful," The working class,
insensitivity, 160 characters, picture,Scott Wyden and Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

flaubert said...

Brian, you had me from the first word in this piece. Love it.

Pamela

Baino said...

Ah so that's how I should eradicate bull ants huh?

Evelyn said...

those first two lines are magnificent.

Fireblossom said...

Whoa! I never saw that ending coming!

yellowhousecafe said...

nice, powerful social commentary...and only 160, amazing!

Alegria Imperial said...

You reduced people into ants in your poem, an apt metamorphosis of workaholics or rats perhaps so tiny they need a "magnifying glass" to see even their own selves. What a brilliant thought, Brian! And again, in such spare lines you unhusked the essence of the photo prompt. Thank you for sharing it!

Henry Clemmons said...

Ants, social commentary, creativity and all in a few words. Excellent.

KB said...

Living in a tall building like that would make me crazy...maybe I should say crazier :)

Felicitas said...

A wonderful analogy and perfectly crafted 160!

Heather said...

this was good! hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Lovely description of concrete monstrosities dotting the skyline in all cities and stand up like sore thumbs defacing the beauty of nature. This is one of man's achievement in the name of development but at what cost? Nature is being wantonly destroyed and this is not going to help us in the long run. Yes, man is burning his head off only to create monoliths to impress his superiority without understanding the havoc it will create. It is one such monolith which was attacked on 9\11 and how many people died in the process.And consider the repercussions and retaliation after that. Two terrorist regimes were uprooted, one in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq, and the war on terror is going on without an end in sight.

Yes the concrete buildings dotting the sky line speaks of man's progress but it is only an ant hill in the larger sense. If the high structure collapses thousands of people will die. But who cares? There is a great demand for such high rise buildings. People are prepared to pay high premiums for apartments near waterfronts. Corporates in the business world flaunt their financial power by locating their offices in skyscrapers.

Man's quest for development will never cease and along with development will come destruction,devastation,loss of lives and grief.

Have I wandered far away from your post which beautifully embodies great thinking and carefully selected words to create a visual portrait of man slogging like ants? You have provided excellent food for thought.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Eileen said...

Vivid imagery and tight writing. Love the image of the city as an ant hill.

Cloudia said...

those men in high places may find their towers turning soon enough!



Aloha from Honolulu

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Helena said...

Kool! Brian ~.^

Jerry said...

Now I know who else mentionsed ants...Like the anthill idea...

kkrige said...

All the more reason to make a run to the country I guess.

TALON said...

Loved your take on that stunning photo, Brian!

Celestial Dreamz said...

beautiful analogy ...

Sue said...

This really works.

=)

ladynimue said...

an ant hill ..

those three lines were most fantastic 1 the bone of the post !!

:)

tracy said...

OMG, what a wonderful idea. It could be the perfect crime. Although, "crime" has become a matter of preference - kind of like you either like spicy food or you don't.

James Rainsford said...

Great take on what I thought was a very challenging prompt this week.

gautami tripathy said...

"men in high places
use a magnifying glass

to burn
their heads off"

I can see the magnifying lens

sky-scrappers

Casey Freeland said...

Easily one of my favorite from you. I love this. The imagery at the end is perfect.

Well done.

Casey

Syd said...

Lots of burning heads in that rarified atmosphere.

Olivia said...

Oh yesssss.. you said it!
Magnified indeed.. :)

xx

Steve Isaak said...

Love this, perfect, timely, multilayered effect.

haikulovesongs said...

you are SO good at the short writes, Brian! but then, you're amazing with the long ones, too. and the medium....oh, hell, you're just one fabulous writer!
d

Liza Ursu said...

this piece is wicked cool Brian.