Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Multi- cultural Buffalo NY



The warm weather in Buffalo has been a lovely treat after the cold and wet of Glasgow. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes to lift the spirits up! It must be so much more for the locals after that awful snow-dumped winter of 2014! But this city and its people are resilient, as soon as the sun is out the city wakes up to the summer chimes. The Canalside is all spruced up and ready for the summer tourists and locals festivals.


 I am getting into a rhythm of reading, writing and enjoying family time. I started with 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins, a  real page turner. I was transported to scenes off a train window, like the London commuter in the book. It was perfect holiday reading. Simple but well structured novel, worth a read.


The news media are all about the police brutality and  racism all over the country. Here in Buffalo I find that the races are living in harmony. I was so impressed with Amherst where I stay, that I did a bit of research into the different races living in the city. As always history is fascinating. I may spend all my time learning something new about this place. The ancestries are interesting : "The top 5 largest ancestries include German (13.6%), Irish (12.2%), Italian (11.7%), Polish (11.7%), and English (4.0%). Buffalo has very sizable populations of Irish, Italian, Polish, German, Jewish, Greek, Arab, African-American, Indian, Macedonian, and Puerto Rican descent. Major ethnic neighborhoods still exist but they changed significantly."( Wiki) The University attracts a huge number of international students. This has made Amherst, in particular, a wonderful melting pot.  My poem reflects that. 

 Melting Pot
 
The colours of the mosaic glimmer in the sun
Blue pieces against the bright reds and oranges,
A tiled beauty that catches the eye, to look again
The platter enhances the tasty food on offer
A table laden with ethnic bites, a tempting fare.
 
Smiles from the crowd, a melting pot of races
Or is it still a salad bowl, together and apart?
The German, Irish, Polish, Italian and English
Mix with alacrity with African American, Arab
Indian, Chinese, a veritable United Nations
 
Ancestry, history, fused together with work and toil
New beginnings for the incoming young and old
 Forming a new city, forging interests, diversity at its best,
 While retaining their roots, culture, language and heritage
 A commingling, heading towards a harmonious future.
 

I hope you enjoy reading the poem. There is constant awareness of the lack of diverse voices in mainstream literature, hope small contributions, like this poem,  however modest, will be the first few steps in redressing the balance. 

Of course my own work, the two novels and set of short stories is always available from Amazon. I had a great review recently by a committee member of Weegie Wednesdays, Layla Blackwell for my second novel Bombay Baby. Here's a link.  Please read it here: http://phoenixandthethistle.co.uk/?page_id=221





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