The City On The Sea: Not All That It Seems To Be: A Poem

June 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm (Commentary, Culture, Life, Poetry) (, , , )


The City On The Sea: Not All That It Seems To Be: A Poem

To live in a tourist attraction
is to live in a fish bowl
A city full of natural beauty
Mountains, sea, trees, flowers
But the world of man intrudes
A city of mainly working poor
struggling to reach the middle class
but the dice is loaded against them
But the natural beauty
The mountains, the sea, the trees, the flowers
So many do not really want to leave
So they stay and work in their serfdom
Thinking that somehow they will eventually break through to the next ceiling and eventually reach the glass ceiling
And some will
but most won’t
It’s a city now a playground of the rich
A world-class city
And sadly that also means a city
which can only be truly enjoyed
by the world’s most elite class
And so I am trapped in this strange paradise
A city which only seems to serve the rich man Divas of that Biblical parable
And the poor man Lazarus has not even the dogs to lick his sores
Too poor to stay in this city
And paradoxically too poor to leave
I call people I once knew in my home province
asking if someone can put me up for a bit until such time as I can get back on my feet
Oh, they have plenty of advice to give
Plenty of advice
but not a helping hand
The old saying is all that glitters is not gold
And indeed it isn’t
but even the glittering gold itself isn’t worth it
As King Midas discovered when his loving flesh-and-blood daughter turned to gold at his touch
The city glitters
Sea, mountains, trees, flowers
beckons to the eye of the visitor
but on the sidewalks and in the alleys
broken people and broken dreams
but they are neither added to nor subtracted from the city’s GDP
For it is all a game of bookkeeping and accounting
and appearances
For what is of value is the gold and the assets and the profits
what is not of value is the people
Such is the city on the sea!
-A poem written by Christopher
Tuesday June 21st 2016.
Sent from my iPhone


  1. anaatcalin said,

    Oh, Chris, don’t even get me started. Very true all over the world. I was actually talking to someone about times ten years ago, when a job allowed paying all your utilities and even saving, while today most jobs barely cover utilities. Greed has reached unpreceded highs. Yes, people have plenty of advice only, because they barely pay for their own utilities. Many crumble under taxes. I don’t understand this world anymoreโ€ฆ I’m grateful to anyone who can help me understand.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      It seems to be pretty bad all the world doesn’t it, Ana?

      If they had had reality television back in the 1930s, that could have distracted people from the Great Depression but they didn’t.

      So people knew the Depression was going on.

      Since the economic collapse of autumn 2008, the world has reality television (today’s equivalent of Rome’s bread and circuses) so most people don’t realize they’re caught in dead end jobs going nowhere in a dead end economic system going nowhere.

      They’re too busy keeping up with the Kardashians on television to realize they’re not even keeping up to be able to pay the rent.

  2. Hyperion said,

    Poignant, Chris. As Ana says, a scene from every city in the world. There are no more paradises left but with enough money, you can visit a small island of glitter, just don’t venture too far or you’ll be exposed to the truth. Keep rootin for your share of the acorns.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      As I told Sherrie, I actually managed to find one station that plays Classical music on the radio since I can no longer listen to the Baroque Music Channel on TV with my TV service gone.

      And listening to CBC Radio 2 that plays Classical music, as the show’s host talks, it’s amazing how most composers were only able to survive by having a Patron or Patroness of the Arts to support them.

      Hayden, Mozart, Chopin etc.

      Today’s rich no longer seem interested in supporting arts for art’s sake.

      Quite a change from the Medici of Renaissance Italy and the Austrian Emperors in Vienna.

      Even John D. Rockefeller back in his day arranged to have Radio City Music Hall built.

      Today’s rich are more interested in debauchery and making more money with the least amount of risk than they are in supporting the arts and artists.

      • Hyperion said,

        And strange enough, the largest majority of the elite rich are sports figures who only have one objective, self service. Art is supported by the middle class which has become a very small percentage of the population. Yet, art is thriving like never before. Mass media has made a space for every artist to put their work in a public venue. The result is 90% is given away for free. Not much of it sales for an amount that supports a good middle class income. We are awash in creativity which unfortunately lowers the value. The 2015 book sales report said the average oncome for authors per book was $500. Not the millions everyone hopes for. And of course the single genre that outpaced all others by millions of dollars was romance/erotica. So, unless you include a picture of Mr. and Miss Happy on your book cover and describe all the warm wet places they vacationed together, sales will remain lackluster for the largest majority. I guess nothing has changed since the Greeks were running Mount Olympus and Zeus was getting his freak on with all the fair maidens.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        No, nothing much has changed since Zeus and his escapades.

        Somehow Shakespeare managed to eke out a comfortable living.

        Not wealthy.

        But a comfortable living.

        As did Charles Dickens.

      • Hyperion said,

        And neither of them wrote an awesome Vampire Diary. I think you have a lead on that. Someday, it will all fall into place. In the mean time, gotta keep plugging away in the secular world. I’ll be turning off the blog on Sunday but will still be out and about reading on WordPress. Your Vampiress with Amnesia got hundreds of looks. The seed is planted. All you have to do now is water it. Get that Book II of the septology ready to go. Dickens won’t have a chance when you finally bust through the crust. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Yes, I’ll have to get my cable Internet hooked back up somehow.

        I can only upload manuscripts to Amazon from my Toshiba.

        I can’t do it from my smart phone unfortunately.

      • Hyperion said,

        It would be a big bowl of awesomeness if you were able to get them all formatted and ready to go on your Toshiba and then when the opportunity came along, you could upload several books at one time. It would be like Vampire Novel extravaganza.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Yes, I still haven’t figured out how to do the formatting yet.

      • Hyperion said,

        It’s very simple. You only do three things if I remember right. Use Times New Roman 12 font, set your paragraph indent at the top like setting a typewriter and don’t use tabs. Don’t use return just let word wrap take care of the line returns. Use the Header format for titles and auto table of contents and you are done. the hard part is copy paste from the website into a document and editing. The help file in your word processor will show you everything you need. No need for any advanced stuff. Get a practice manuscript and whack away at it until you have it mastered. Start tonight. You’ll be glad you did. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I’ll take note of this quote and remember it for formatting.

      • Hyperion said,

        Go back to Amazon Self Publishing and in the help section they explain everything step by step. Your word processor will work very similar to Microsoft Word which they mention.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,


      • Hyperion said,

        Remember, enjoy yourself with glorius abandon. Think of Amazon self publishing as Sherrielock Holmes and you the fresh set of buns. Then whack out those novels every day of the week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        LOL !

  3. doesitevenmatter3 said,

    Hey, Christopher! Good to see you here and writing!
    Such truth in your poem!
    I am fortunate to live in a rural area…so nature is my respite…birds, trees, insects, skies, etc., far outnumber the people, the cement, the cars, and the asphalt, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I find my joy and my peace in the music of the trees and leaves…the birds and frogs singing…the moon a spotlight on the whole show! ๐Ÿ™‚
    The world seems so complicated today…and it’s so much about wealth and fame…and yet people seem less happy and connected. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    How is your new job going?

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      That’s what brought about the angst in this poem, Carolyn.

      I was let go after 3 days.

      Telemarketers there are supposed to have at least 3 sales a day.

      And I hadn’t had a sale in 3 days so I was let go.

      So now I’m once again stuck without a job, I’m homesick for my province of Alberta, I have no money to pay my rent next month and no money to move elsewhere.

      I feel like I’m stuck in a concrete gulag with no way out.

      • doesitevenmatter3 said,

        Darn. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m so sorry to hear this, Christopher! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        The world is baffling and tough today. Seems so many of us are struggling. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        I know prayers might seem trivial at this point. But, I do pray for you.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thanks very much, Carolyn.

        I appreciate your prayers.

  4. ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

    I came here a day late as my day or days (week) is or was pretty busy, despite that in the early morning I got a few hours time. Even then, I limited it to maximum 3 hours time from 5 am – 7 am. Then, I would start to manage and settle load of things at home of which has to end to it all. I need to remind myself that I am a mother and that housework goes around at home like clock-work. I have no Nanny at the moment because my cousin who stayed and cared for my kids at home for ten years is now gone away to another town with her Dutch boyfriend. And she got a babysitting job there as well. She needs to go forward because she too, has a life of her own.

    Gladly, that I have one cousin from Malaysia is no the way in summer and she needs a job as well and replace my other cousin’s place as our Nanny and at the same time the housemaid. I need both for as long as that person do their job well enough and that I trusted my children in their hands. The good thing about family members is that, if you know them that well enough, you know there is nothing to worry about.

    For now, I have like three times work to be done at home and that is time consuming, really. But still, I am satisfied with everything at the moment.

    To read this poem of yours had my heart beats with sadness because it is the reality of many. If I stay closer at your place, I would have give you a shelter and place to stay for a while. Probably you can babysit my kids! hehehe … My kids would’ve call you ‘Uncle Chris! Uncle Chris!’ everyday and force you making pancakes! LOL

    I am still worried, always. As a mother, I am always being THAT Mommy for everyone and treat them all with love and well. I even give you FOOD COMA with my cookings! LOL

    I wish you all the best, Chris.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thank you, Sherrie. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, your new teaching classroom and tutoring will certainly keep you busy.

      That’s really bad about all the rain and flooding that’s occurring in Germany at the moment.

      Yes, I’m discovering that a lot of my friends are having intense troubles of some sort at the moment.

      So it’s not just me.

      For some reason, almost everyone I know is undergoing trials of some sort.

      Nice of your kids to refer to me as Uncle Chris. ๐Ÿ™‚

      They make pancakes eh?

      I love pancakes. โค

      That's really shocking about Britain voting to leave the European Union.

      I wasn't expecting that result.

      Angela Merkel no doubt spit out coffee all over her computer screen when she read the result and asked her aides to bring her Sherrielock's Bavavian Magic Mushroom Cleaner. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        Had my dinner of a bowl of fruits and few cubes of cheese. I had not the appetite to each anything much these days. I am going through so much problems lately that it robed off every part of me bit by bit … I am not in a good shape, either. But still, I am glad the least to have a job and kids that keeps me busy 24-7.

        Yes, my friends here as well are undergoing trials as well. Since now that Brexit won and it has effected many jobs, companies, international market, etc … We will see what is coming our way this time … Many people are upset and angry about it, yes, and many also are happy. Many English folks said that the truth is there is nothing much change can be done even if Britain left European

        And as for me, I was glad, indeed, to leave my husband’s company as they are now underdoing ‘closure’ since another colleague too, had left a week ago. There is a rumour that someone’s else is going to buy the company and that my husband and his friend (who is the manager of the medical & ambulance transportation firm) will join the new business friends in combining power management to use two ways of service marketing. The company itself is doing completely well, it’s just that because I had left and took with me the 12% share and the other colleague had left a week ago had his share of 15% had made it a total major problem all in all financially and they need a new management to make it work fast as my husband wants that profit keep flowing in rather than to slow down.

        I hope you are doing okay for a moment, Chris. I hope you have all the good plans on how to move forward.

        You are in my thoughts and prayers!

        Take care!

        And I wish you a happy weekend!

        (ใฅ๏ฝกโ—•โ€ฟโ€ฟโ—•๏ฝก)ใฅ โค

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thank you very much, Sherrie. โค

        I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

        Yes, everybody I know is going through severe trials and tribulations at the moment.

        Yes, your health has not been the best for quite a well and I've been praying for you as well, my friend.

        I hope your tutoring will be a success and it will bring you a feeling of independence and joy.

        Have a wonderful weekend and God's blessings upon you, my dear friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        (โยดโ—ก`โ) โ™ก
        Yes, the tuition class will be going until the end of July and then six weeks off. The good thing to be a teacher is that you have all the holidays in your pocket as well.

        I am not sure what I am going to do this summer but there are few travel plans to go up to France again or to Poland or Belgium. I will travel alone, as always, because the bigger kids go with their friends elsewhere and my other little ones wants to be closer with grandma and want to spend some time with grandma too.

        So, I am doing an early holiday plan for all of us. Let see how it goes. I really do need vacation like any other people, just to be elsewhere than the four walls of my home and having a good time that might heals you in the process. I want to be in my best shape again.

        You too, have a wonderful weekend, my dear Chris. Hoping that new things comes your way as well and do tell me what’s new in your life. Keep us update on it, my friend!

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I hope the tuition class goes well.

        And I hope you have a wonderful vacation and holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I’ll definitely keep you updated on what’s happening in my life, my friend.

        Have a wonderful week ahead. โค

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        The classes did go well, of course.
        But there are three kids who had really a very bad educational background. One of them are really at worse with Math. He knew not what 10% out of 100, for example. And he is already in the 4th grade. Geezzz … I hope I really can help these kids to achieve the least of that success in school.

        I had ordered and researched for top education materials and I had a complete set of books for idiots. LOL

        I do whatever I can.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Poor boy.

        I feel sorry for him.

        When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher never taught me how to do long division.

        So to this day, I do not know how to do long division without a calculator.

        In Grade 9, my math teacher never bothered teaching Algebra which is a prelude to High School Math.

        So I struggled in High School not being able to do Algebra.

        Sounds like you have a real challenge with those 3 students.

        I pray that God will give you the wisdom necessary to help those students learn how to overcome their challenges and be better academically.

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        I was good in Math because I did studied hard. It is not my choice but it is a-must in the school and if one fail Math’s test, you are in big trouble, really.

        It requires Math, English and one of the any other subject to get further for the next grade. Math is a-must included subject in those days and no one can avoid it.

        I am okay with Algebra and I think it is my favourite. Yesterday, I taught kids on Solving Problems by Finding Equivalent Ratios. The kids did well and you can see those “Aha” reactions in their eyes. Then comes the smiles.

        I just love the fact that helping these kids are the best thing I do in this life. I guess, it is the right time and the right choice I made.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I think it is very much the right time and the right choice ๐Ÿ™‚

        That must be a wonderful feeling seeing the Aha! reactions in their eyes and the smiles on their faces. ๐Ÿ™‚

        It’s a great thing helping those kids.

        My dad was a wonderful teacher and I think teaching is among the noblest professions. โค

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        The parents did asked me of what material subject I used. Of course, I didn’t say it to them I use the ‘Idiot’s Method’. LOL
        That would have humiliate them.

        I just told them it is a modern, short and simple education system. Nothing complicated and it is true. I used just simple teaching technics and you got these few brilliants tutors and teachers online. I had a few tricks from them.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Good idea to check out the brilliant tutors and teachers on-line. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Yes, when my dad taught math and science, he just made it short and simple.

        He only started teaching more complicated material once his students understood the basics.

        I hope your students learn and do well!

        It’s rather hard for people when they don’t grasp the basics of schooling when they’re younger.

        That’s when good teachers and good tutors help.

        And hopefully your students will grasp what you teach and go on to learn and succeed in their schooling. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ั•ะฝั”ััฮนั” โˆ‚ั” ฮฝฮฑโ„“ั”ัฮนฮฑ said,

        Most of my cousins did not grasp it all because they’d missed the first few basics. The main root was not made known to them when what they got was an immediate gigantic tree with complete limbs, heavy branches and endless leaves in their arms. No wonder the kids are overwhelmed by the heaviness of the burden that they’ve to carry.

        So, far the first few weeks are good for them until they are reaching the most difficult part of some lessons. But I am proud of them because many of them did managed some simply task.

        I hope for the best future for these kids.
        แƒš(โ—ส˜โ€ฟส˜โ— แƒš)

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I hope for the best future for them as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mahevash said,

    What a deep poem, and so full of truth. Sorry about your situation, praying that things turn around for you really soon.

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