Enough free verse for a while. Poets United,, challenged the writers to write something from the point of view of an inanimate object. For some reason, my mind jumped to a hotel on my old beat when I was on the St. Louis Police Department. I won’t mention its name, because I haven’t been there in over thirty years, and it may have been revamped. However, it immediately became apparent, to write about it, I would have to rewrite The Shining, so I set my sights a little lower. This English sonnet would be the words spoken by that hotel’s sidewalk, thirty-odd years ago.

by Mike Patrick

Achers-Schoolboy Hero!!!!

The rich and famous strode along my length
while darkened doorways led to love affairs.
Celebrities, returning from their trysts,
would duck their heads and hide behind my stairs.

Forgotten now; the business loop has moved.
Ignored for years, my cracks are choked with weeds.
No one recalls parades along my curb
yet many used my pathway to succeed.

The blood of homicide now slowly flows
where once red carpets kept my concrete warm.
Now the whores and pushers masquerade
as something in a softer, gentle form.

If only time could turn back once again
and take me to the I-remember-when.

This entry was posted in Iambic, Old Times, Pentameter, Poetry, Poets United, Rhyming, Sonnet and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. amtrumble says:

    this is beautiful…

  2. Ella says:

    I loved it; I loved the time worn glance back. What was then vs. now~ So well written; well done~
    I may have to try this prompt again! YOU did a fantastic job~

  3. pmwanken says:

    Mike, I am constantly in awe of your ability to finesse a sonnet. One day I will have to again try to tackle it…love the line:

    The blood of homicide now slowly flows
    where once red carpets kept my concrete warm.

    Nicely-captured point of view!

  4. Susannah says:

    Oh how these places could tell their stories. You gave voice to this one well. 🙂

  5. siggiofmaine says:

    I love the “back in the day”
    words of looking back at what once was…
    thank you…
    just love the approach
    and the personification of the sidewalk.
    ☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

  6. earlybird says:

    Very good, Mike. I thought the image of blood/carpet third stanza particularly skillful.

  7. Isabel Doyle says:

    A wonderful sonnet woven with memories and stories – well done!

  8. Tilly Bud says:

    How lovely, Mike.

  9. Rinkly Rimes says:

    I love the flow of these verses. And, yes, I’m sure neglected buildings have feelings deep in their stones.

  10. vivinfrance says:

    This has to be one of your very best, Mike, I could read that many times over. It reads well aloud, which is a good recommendation for a sonnet. I love the way it is nostalgic without schmaltz!

  11. madhumakhi says:

    The hotel sidewalk has a story to tell and you have given it a very powerful voice.

  12. margo roby says:

    I taught a unit on sonnets with my tenth graders, one of my favourites because I love the form, not to write [it reduces me to swearing], but to read. The voice you give the sidewalk humanizes it and is believable. And I have another sonnet to add to my collection.

  13. Mike,
    A most delightful read and one which reminds me of so many cities around the world.
    Glory days long gone. My home city of Belfast being one of them and the city of Geneva, being the other.

  14. So many old hotels like this where I grew up (LA) many years ago. And here in Reno. And in most big cities, I suppose. You are so good.

  15. wordcoaster says:

    Beautiful–I think I’m actually catching this meter thing! If so, then there’s one hiccup right in the line “Now the whores and pushers masquerade”– A metrically sound version, though perhaps inferior, would be “Now whores and strumpets often masquerade” Right? Thanks for your patience and desire to teach me–I really appreciate it 🙂

  16. Mike Patrick says:

    You are exactly right. In my line, “Now” and “the” are both unstressed words messing up the iambic start of the line. I did not catch that. Now, I’m debating on changing it. Well done!

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