Sunday, January 15, 2012

History Raped by Progress


Brick and mortar secrets
hold together walls
of crumbling orange.
Opulence now decayed
into black molded memories
weeps in the cold light
of shattered stained glass eyes.
The brittle bones of grandeur
are broken by junk dealers
seeking rusty treasures
to sit as conversation pieces
on faux wood shelves.
A black and white document
more obituary than declaration
of legal intent is nailed
to a carved oaken door.
It reads, This property is condemned
and scheduled for demolition.
In the courtyard a stone cherub
sits in stoic silence
as history is raped by progress.
A mansion once built
to add grace and beauty
to a growing city now lies
an obstacle to be removed.
It sits on real estate needed
to build a towered parking lot.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Isadora Gruye

10 comments:

Fireblossom said...

How often has this scenario been played out? Too many times, by far. I like the "more obituary than declaration".

hedgewitch said...

Excellent take, Susie. This cherub is such a symbol of a lost time and lost ideas--way to mourn their passing.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the walls of crumbling orange and the stained glass eyes. Your point is strongly made in this piece: history is raped by progress.

Hannah Pratt said...

"The brittle bones of grandeur
are broken by junk dealers
seeking rusty treasures
to sit as conversation pieces"

These are powerful words.

Mama Zen said...

The line Fireblossom quoted is my favorite as well. Excellent writing.

Margaret said...

more obituary than declaration... Powerful!

... I have visited historic Charleston numerous times and Savannah once. Savannah now regrets demolishing a few of their old houses. Charleston was really too poor to do such a thing... one time when poverty wasn't such a bad thing as the architecture is amazing.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the idea of a demolition notice being an obituary. So true. My home city, Vancouver, BC, allowed the demolition of so many beautiful buildings, while so many of us wept at their loss.

Ed Pilolla said...

so much of what officially is life in this world and progress is actually death. what they officially put glitter on is fool's gold. seeing this is the truly valuable gift.

Isadora Gruye said...

I love the direction you have taken this, commenting on the entirety of the photo. You captured the somber atmosphere quite well. Thanks for posting and viva la

Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks to each of you for your wonderful comments.