City beauty

A sequence of short poems inspired by Claudia McGill’s reflections on geraniums at windows.


There is joy and beauty

beneath the city grime,

and the blackbird’s song

is just the same

beneath this sky.


There is beauty in the stone that glints

with the colours of the changing light,

and in the chaotic fluttering of sparrows’ wings.

There is kindness in the dirty blanket

laid beneath an old dog’s head,

and happiness when a greeting is returned,

a stranger’s uncalculating smile.


The earth is deep and dark in the garden plot

where snails creep,

elegant and unhurried,

among the stalks.

The earth is deep and full of life

that shoots and climbs higgledy-piggledy,

without order or patience,

riotous and lush,

because the sun and rain fall here as anywhere.

The earth is,

deep and eternal,

beneath my tread,

and over my head,

the sky.


And on a lighter note


How grey the sky and damp the air

and loud the screech of tyres complaining.

Beyond the cloud and heavy mist

somewhere there’s sun and it’s not raining.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “City beauty”

  1. I love how Claudia’s reflections on geraniums inspired your sequence.
    The sun is out here, and it’s actually beautiful. I have geraniums in the window box outside my kitchen door.
    Now, I need to go read your story. I kept seeing the email notifications announcing each part, but I had to finish my work.

  2. Thanks for the mention and I am honored that my work set you on this path. I love the feeling, a little melancholy and reflective. Especially loved ” stranger’s uncalculating smile”. Hope and trust amid the cares and chaos. Just beautiful.

      1. Thank you. I enjoyed seeing a window into your mind, through these pieces, as to how you saw what I did. Kind of interesting. And then, the results, taken on their own, regardless of where they came from, said a lot to me, and I strongly agree with your point, every day, no matter how dull or pale, has something to note, something that sparkles.

      2. Nosiness is vicarious pleasure in someone else’s business. Curiosity is the search for knowledge for its own sake—something different entirely 🙂

      3. I think you make a good distinction. I enjoy observing but I have little urge to judge. Because I’m not in a position to do that! I just think life is interesting as it goes on in front of me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s