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Monday, May 17, 2010

Bildungsroman

So many changes
will change
as we come of age,
sometimes we will toil
far away from all the turmoil
in our cities. Sometimes we leave,
sometimes we stay;

for we are villages first,
consisting of fresh fields and open air,
then we become towns, wanting to be cities --
so we open up our first car parks,
put down concrete and ask people to stay.

Then we become what we wanted to so much;
cities that carry memories, graves,
houses and businesses -- and suddenly
we yearn for the villages again;

but that is never to be. The concrete is always
here to stay. In knowledge of this, we become
large cities that hold loves and hopes, still going strong,
until finally, we become something called a metropolis,
and in this, what we carry is the carcass
of all the others.

It harbours all we have built.
Here when it rains, it rains quite heavily.
When we were villages, we loved the rain. It was muddy,
but it was simplicity. Cities drown, sewers block, and roads
can flood to put a damper on all hopes
of driving out to other communities. We do little
but stay indoors, even if the clouds are merely grey,
saying: I think it's going to rain today.

How we forget the courage we had
in wide open spaces! -- where even distant thunder
gained an elegant sound as it came to war;
the R rolling off God's tongue,
accentuated by an O as it rises,
and the A gently sliding down
to head with a fainter R,
like the low rumble of percussion
at the end of an orchestra piece. In a village it is music
of a kind, but it sounds ostentatious
in a city. In a city we just want peace of mind.

Yet, and still, there is always a small part of that village
in the sprawling city. Even behind the glass caged windows
it still remembers the rain without fear.
Its scent is as fresh as a new thought
fresh in memory. What is rain after all, but short little descriptions
of a journey? -- a chemical brevity
of the many things nature has encountered
in a far noteworthy cycle than the concrete
we wrap around our cities,
never to fade away.

From the collection: "Myth, the City" (Turkish Vistas) >>

Read more from Handprints >>

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