NYC Poems

74707-poetry-friday-logoI’m in New York right now, participating in Teachers College Summer Institute for Reading. What a week of learning this has been! I’m always inspired to write by the sights and sounds of the city around me, but it’s tough to find time and mental energy to devote to it. Here are a few in-the-works poems inspired by the sights and sounds of NYC. 

Broadway buzzes by
he curls around his black bag
a sleeping question

©Molly Hogan, 2019

A Subway Moment

swept into the subway
by torrents of rain
and arcs of lightning
I stumble onto the train and stand
pressed against passengers
a humid mass
of bedraggled humanity

through the window
I see a man
sitting on the platform
his hands dance gracefully in the air
drumming an inaudible tune
against an invisible drum

his bag of belongings behind him
he sits in his island
taps and beats until
his hands agitate
as if tripped up, bumping up
against microscopic motes
He grimaces
cocks his head
his hands still
Until…in a moment
his face smooths and
he resumes
his drumming

above us thunder booms
rain pummels the city
my train pulls away

Molly Hogan ©2019 (draft)
(Note—I edited this after first posting)


A man slept on the street
his naked feet
pale and surprisingly pink
peeked from beneath
a dingy blanket

Who washed these feet
when they were small?
Did anyone count and kiss
each precious toe?
Chase the little piggies
all the way home?
wee wee wee
What a journey

Molly Hogan ©2019 (draft)

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by children’s author, poet and wonderful photographer, Buffy Silverman at her blog (here). She’s sharing a peek into Helen Frost and Rick Lieder’s book “Hello I’m Here” and a wonderful original advice poem. What a delight!

25 thoughts on “NYC Poems

  1. You’ve made your observations come to life–I especially love the image of the man drumming an inaudible tune on an invisible drum, and his reaction to the thunder booming. Enjoy your nyc week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    Wow, Molly….I can feel you finding the contradictions of the city. The question mark, the toes. Very thought provoking. I like the subway moment…those moments that are so vivid. The man drumming. What song was he keeping time to? A lovely piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tabatha says:

    Well done, Molly. You bring us fresh looks to help us *see.*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katswhiskers says:

    Oh, Molly. Your poems make me so sad. They’re beautiful. Those pink feet… Who indeed?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, how wonderful to be there studying at TC! I ove your Musings! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. margaretsmn says:

    Such wonderful observation poems. This city life is different and you are noticing. I just realized how close the words humid and humanity are to each other. I need to steal these words for a poem.
    The wonderings about the washed pink feet got to me. Every homeless person was once a small child in some loving mother’s arms.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. a sleeping question… brilliant! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cweichel says:

    Just wow Molly! I’m there watching with you in the subway poem, and my heart is left aching after Journey. Living in a city is an ongoing experience the best, the worst, and everything in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! These poems certainly show only one perspective of city life and don’t reflect my full experience at all! There is so much more–positive and negative.


  9. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, you captured the sights and sounds of NYC in stark reality. I have seen the beauty and the gritty realism of the city so many times over the years but I have never seen pink feet exposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. maryleehahn says:

    In the midst of all your learning, you’ve made some amazing observations…and created beautiful art from your noticing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Mary Lee. I’m looking forward to spending some time reflecting on my visit. At the moment I’m still traveling, but home is on the horizon.


  11. haitiruth says:

    Wow, I love your New York observations. Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh Molly, that last one- so very poignant. You’ve made all of your observations incredibly vivid in each poem. Inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kay Mcgriff says:

    You’ve beautifully captured both what you saw with your eyes and with year heart. Enjoy your week of learning, reading and writing

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your “Journey” poem it sings with heart! I’ve written poems from my romps around NYC–it’s so full of energy there. Hope the conference was good, thanks for sharing all.


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