City rise!
Draw towers from earth,
make roads and messageways
to find all those
who seek you;
dare them with greater heights,
to cast nets further
and draw the clouds nearer.
Light the night,
until you burn like a field of stars
in the crown of your doing.
Let noise burst forth
as song from a mighty water,
let voices sing and babble
in a million tongues bound
by you with brick and mortar.
Life stirs within you,
and the earth is forgotten.
You define season and time,
make epochs of transience,
give birth to the new and miraculous,
sing with the delight of your invention,
steam and exhale the dreams of millions
congregated in your streets,
your homes, your castles;
your never ceasing song cascades.
As the old falls, the new rises;
each layer another melody,
unknown harmony, until now—
you reflect all that we desire,
all that we wish to be,
defeats, profits, triumphs, losses,
all find their home in you.

City Rise! Draw towers from dust,
lift us above ourselves
into your beating, gleaming heart!

(This poem is the start of my fifth book: South of the Iroquois Shoreline. It is a love poem song cycle for my city, Toronto. I hope you enjoy the remaining poems when I post them this month.)

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