July 13, 2010

Ode To A Wrecking Ball

Some people decry letting old places die
Cringing at the thought when bulldozers are brought
To knock down the walls of decrepit dance halls

With their voices raised and eyes wet and glazed
They bemoan this ‘great loss’ like it’s Jesus on the cross
They simply cannot see that all stories are History

Sentiment for old shelves is us trying to save ourselves
Trying not to be forgotten when our children plant new cotton
New buildings and new dreams replace those old, dry-rotted beams

These vast empty shells where dust and ghosts dwell
Do no good for the living and that’s their misgiving
Heart-felt, emotional pleas against hard financial realities

Stuck in once-upon-a-time, aging starlet past her prime
Once glorious and new, now forgotten like an old shoe
Better to remember May, and forget November

Turn-of-the-century wonder will soon be torn asunder
As its Art Deco charm falls without much alarm
Architecture is divine when the taxes are not mine

Buildings aren’t meant for the dead, but for those left in their stead
To use as long as they’re needed, ‘til their usefulness is exceeded
Then best that they be replaced than just left there to go to waste


  1. ah but it makes me sad if a beautiful building is torn down and replaced by some soulless glass and metal monstrosity. that's just me though.

  2. No, it's not just you; modern buildings are mostly empty shells.

    As a rule I, too, tend to be romantic about such things. Detroit has lots of wonderful old buildings.

    This was just me writing in my most pragmatic voice.

  3. Some deserve the wrecking ball. Eventually, all will fall to the pendulous swinging ball that is time.

  4. I too often prefer the old buildings to their more modern replacements. It's a metaphor though, isn't it? - are we willing to let the past go, to embrace the now? Loved the poem, well done!

  5. a perfect fit to the theme,
    extraordinary job...
    Thanks for sharing...

    Here is one of my entries, an award is attached, thanks for the support.

  6. You make a good point. I especially like the line "Buildings aren't meant for the dead, but for those left in their stead." So true!

  7. I certainly agree with you, but I still get wistful for the olden days when a beautiful piece of architecture has passed its prime.


  8. A brilliant look at the realities versus the sentimental!

  9. new buildings and new dreams replaces that old rotted beams- that alone makes up the whole poem- very nice!

  10. Love this take on letting go of withered tales, and moving forward to create new stories in there place.

  11. Dear Eric

    So nice.. I enjoyed it very much.. thanks for sharing... your words 'These vast empty shells where dust and ghosts dwell' got me.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

  12. I'm generally pragmatic about things, but I also have a strongly sentimental side. I love old buildings - Detroit has great examples of art deco architecture - but when they become crumbling firetraps it's time to tear them down.

  13. Although it's people and not things and buildings which should mean most to us, it's hard to separate the two sometimes. So many important moments and our livelihoods are connected to buildings every day.

    Old buildings seem to have more presence than new buildings, more character and charm too. I enjoyed your thoughts here Eric. :)

  14. Conveyed the message beautifully through your poem...well written

  15. I like the angle of this poem. Yes sometimes buidlings do need to die like plants and animals. :O)

  16. Very powerful Eric- this one!
    You said it- modern buildings are shallow.. That said, bringing a building down is like tearing through all the memories and thousands of moments spent in it..!!

    Love xx

  17. Glad to visit you today again
    We treasure your input at our group poetry efforts and would be thrilled to see you again this coming Monday.
    Any poem is acceptable, simply share and enjoy...
    Keep writing, Keep inspiring!

  18. Interesting thoughts of old buildings... I hate when they take the individuality of the old buildings and replace them with glass and concrete cookie-cutter ones.

  19. Strong imagery powerful theme. I like, yes very much, good words sir.

  20. I love this. Such a strong poem. You have so many great lines here, but this is my favorite stanza:

    "Stuck in once-upon-a-time, aging starlet past her prime
    once glorious and new, now forgotten like an old shoe.
    Better to remember May and forget November."

    Thanks for sharing.


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