My City

st. bernards no more
I actually went out with my camera again. It’s been quite a while since I went in search of interesting places and spaces. I am amazed at how readily my city tears itself down in ongoing urbacide (urban suicide). There are more real estate signs on vacant lots than I could ever hope to imagine. It seemed sad to remember the places that stood in those empty lots and how all that may remain is someone’s fading photograph. There is a feeling of security in seeing familiar buildings that still stand – a bit like seeing an old friend.  And when those buildings are preserved and reused – all the better.  But too often they are torn down and just an empty space is left.  People don’t want to invest in what was.   What was, is too often viewed as an eyesore, an ugliness, or too costly and is removed – often with the excuse of safety concerns or in the name of progress; when this happens it not only changes the skyline of the city but also the skyline of the cities soul.  Something is missing.   When I got home I wrote this,

HOLES IN MY CITY
There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Empty spaces are all that remain
where factories made my world.

A dream that never was
cannot be remembered or built upon.

There is no foundation
there is only dust and wind.

Remembrance is only a delusion
sickness of mind and soul
for a community that is trapped
in its struggle to free itself from nothing.

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Places where people lived
where the voices of children could be heard.

Now there is silence
even the ghosts don’t linger here.

Some say silence is golden
but the same silence can drive a person mad.

There are holes…

*note – the photo in this post features what used to be St. Bernard’s School. A wonderful stone and brick structure that was originally build in 1887 and was one of the oldest buildings in Akron. Demolition began on 3/28/14. Another hole has been made.

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