Boston’s Buskers

by Bodhirose

A couple of months ago, or so, the members of dVerse Poet’s Pub were invited to submit poems to Nain Rouge a start-up “e-zine” publication showcasing urban life.  This invitation came during the celebration of our first year anniversary.  Any portrayal of city life was the assignment.

When I first read of the invitation for submitting poems, my mind immediately went to my time of living in Boston, MA.  I spent a few years there with my husband and two daughters when we all were quite young.  It was a great city to explore and very easy to navigate with the subway and bus systems.

My favorite part of living there was the entertainment that showed up literally at my feet as I walked throughout the city.  The street performers were so much fun…and what talent!  You could hear classical music being played on the subway platform while waiting for a train.  Or, hear a story being told by Brother Blue, the outlandishly dressed and lovable character created by Hugh Hill, Ph.D., a Harvard graduate who also served in World War II. ..and much, much more.

My idea came in an instant to write about the amazing talent of the street performers (buskers) who added so much enjoyment to my stay in that part of the country.

It was a total lark that I decided to enter my poem…what could it hurt…and I took maybe a couple of weeks of working on it before I sent it in.  So imagine my total, stunned disbelief when I was contacted by editor, Mark Durfee, where he announced that I had been chosen “The Editor’s Choice” for a special placement in the magazine.  Me?  It still hasn’t sunk in quite yet but I am so honored and very pleased to have achieved such status.

I really enjoyed the first issue of the magazine…a wonderful and very entertaining variety of writings.  I waited until the publication came out to post my poem.  Enjoy!

Here is the link to the first publication of Nain Rouge out today:

Google Images:   Brother Blue

Pedestrians gather
around a pavement stage,
a sidewalk garnered for a
busker’s play.

Strolling through Cambridge
in bustling Boston, a juggler’s
antics grab your attention.

Colorful garb and witty barbs
bring cheers from the crowd,
and deep, thankful bows.

Heading across the Charles River
on towards Harvard Square,
the sidewalk may offer up clowns
or mimes, comics or dancers,
a magical act or be-bop singers.

Here too you may have seen
Brother Blue…regaling those
gathered with storytelling hues…
his presence huge.  Wearing bright,
crazy (blue) costumes, painted,
animated face…drawing
you in with his wit and truth–
wisdom expounded like a
philosophy sage.

Following flights of stairs below,
the city regards a rare, melodic delivery;
the subway pace slowing for a moment.

Guitar case bared for any tossed
bills or change, we’re engaged
with an elegant interval…a Berklee
student picks out his chords.
Another act–drawing in
several waiting–a man sings
while strumming a mandolin…classy
execution to be found in this place.

The performers of Faneuil Hall
(and Quincy Market)
have their pitches
protected, free to capture
disparate niches.

Enchanting visitors with
expertise and grace, their
infectious exhibitions
delivered with taste.

Throughout the metro
setting is found
entertainment extraordinaire
of variety and renown.

Sometimes gritty,
sometimes sweetly
refined…these performers
enhance our endless, grey streets…
a busker’s heart adds soul to the city.

Google Images:  Street Performer, Harvard Square

First published; Nain Rouge 2012


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