Today I will take to the street, the living street,
Where life is happening always and endlessly.
Today I will lose myself in the restless street
And add my feet to the thousands of other feet
That move along it, indifferent to me.
Today I am tired of voices filling a room
And the little hollows bound by wall and wall.
Today my spirit is restless for more room
And the highest roof would still seem like a tomb
And all I can hear are the public places’ call.
Today I’ll go out without a past or a name
Or anything else that makes me who I am.
I will search the street for something I can’t quite name
That draws my steps and fills my heart with a flame
And calls to me from a crowd or a traffic jam.
Today I want life in the raw, life caught by surprise;
Life happening all at once, life bubbling over.
I’ve almost forgotten the world is a vast surprise
And I stand in awful danger of growing wise
And losing the startled ecstasy of the lover.
Today I will glory in litter that blows on the breeze
And street corner preachers and little unvisited lanes
That run off the bustling streets, so that only the breeze
Runs through them. Today I want raw, rugged melodies;
The rumble of traffic, the gurgle of water in drains.
Today I will take to the street, the echoing street,
The street that is thick with tales and sudden with story.
There is something ancient that lives in the day-bright street
Some spirit too lively, too hurried, for death to defeat,
That remembers Rome and Babylon in their glory.