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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

The Stench of Urban Mornings

The Stench of Urban Mornings

The waft of summer roses mixes with

The stench of fetid bins.

The clouds of vanilla vapes, as

The cafes newly begin

To fill the air with the sizzle,

Of sausage dripping fat.

While pungent plumes of morning weed,

Drift from open window first floor flats.

Enticed by the smell of

Bakery fresh baked loaves,

Seagulls swirl round

Bags of discarded chips,

In screeching vicious droves.

The pub doors are open

Inhaling last night's spill of beer.

Stale and carpet soaked

Empty echoes yesterday's cheers.

Coughing and spluttering,

The buses wheeze diesel fumes.

Coughing and spluttering,

The old man leaves his musty tobacco-ed room,

To walk among the dust and dirt,

The concrete and the grey.

The smell of disdain and indifference,

No good morning or good day.

Coffee shops conjure an elixir,

For office workers and commuters.

Lost in caffeine reverie,

Before staring hopelessly at computers.

Now rain drenches freshness

On quiet, waking streets.

The smell of wet dogs,

The sweat of joggers

And the smiles of those who greet

You, and pass with a lingering

Minty fresh, aromatic breeze.

Fruity Zing, the shower sings

Cleanliness, yes they're ready to

Seize the day, as they station stride,

Full of ambition, expectation, hope.

Ignoring the stench that rises from a doorway,

Where a sleeping bag contains

Squalor, sadness, no hope, no soap.

The stink reaches you

Long before the sound,

Of binmen's banter,

Black bin day, green bin day

A whiff that travels round

Shops and offices welcome,

The new business of the day.

Disinfected, sanitized, deodorized in a

Lemon scented, pine fresh, mango and coconut haze.

The streets now are humming,

An urban landscape ripe with odours.

Life lived in the olfactory,

Sensory overload of conflicting aromas.

The stench of poverty,

The stench of austerity,

The stench of deprivation.

The stench of wealth,

The stench of inequality,

The stench of this divided nation.


A walk around the early morning streets of Worcester, imbibing the various smells of the new day. And there were many, synonymous with society.

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