All that Glitters is Gold

Noir City: San Francisco 1940s (San Francisco Public Library)

The night was all around, soft and quiet.
The white moonlight was cold and clear,
like the justice we dream of but don’t find.”

Another hard luck story
Everyone’s heard them
Not many know them
Stories trodden deep down in the cracks of pavements filled with humanity’s grime
Along with the indifference and neglect that clog the dark arteries of the city’s lost soul
Dark streets cursed havens for ghostly apparitions in the shadows cast by baleful stars
High atop lamp-posts

“more die of heartache”
He knew
I know
We had a life – once

Before they took it and sold it for a quick buck
Those who own the day and make the night hell
Those who make the “hard” decisions – hard for us not for them
Those who hold all life cheap but their own

Like death – thieves in the night they steal your dreams and hock them for a fountain pen

All that glitters is gold

4 thoughts on “All that Glitters is Gold”

  1. Ah, Tony, this is one of the most famous of all adages, and I remember it well, in the slight corruption from Shakespeare’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, where it’s meaning is the same as what is expressed here in this poetic treatment of the phrase as well as the noir it informs. (I am still thinking of the film you are making direct reference here, but I think I’ll need to ponder further. Ha!)

    All that glisters is not gold;
    Often have you heard that told:
    Many a man his life hath sold
    But my outside to behold:
    Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
    Had you been as wise as bold,
    Young in limbs, in judgement old
    Your answer had not been inscroll’d
    Fare you well, your suit is cold.


  2. Hi! Tony,
    Nice screenshot (I like the ethereal appearance of the blue-black clouds in the nightsky in your screenshot)…I think it (the screenshot) depicts or captures the mood of your very well-written piece too…Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee 😉


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