Poem – Broken Bricks, Broken Promises, Broken Hearts


the length of a few dead people from our carnegie centre,
is a miserable dusty heap of rubble trouble
toxic to breath – noxious to even view

this is the pantages demo site owner hopes to convert unreal estate
into huge loads of fast food dollars via new and sterile condos
while the good real peole living nextdoor rot ……

an errant brick flew out and concussed an innocent person
guilty only of walking along that part of hastings street,
you then see: we materially poor people just don’t matter.

this owner/developer labels this block a “dead zone”
he feels no one here could write a poem, pen a song,
paint a masterpiece, or just have a sweet dream!

asbestos now rules this ghastly demolition site
just as money values onerously drool rule
all such speculators, developers!

they don’t want so called “revitalization” at all,
they want the mega-profits and social status
while people hereabouts can just go to hell.

broken bricks broken promises broken hearts
don’t make this a civil or a “liveable” city –
for decent folks demolition-tractors have no pity.

so newer towers may as a result sprout, like capitalist weeds,
whilst many of us folks are unceremoniously pushed rightwing out,
questioning value of any of our personal good deeds!

upscale eateries, sports bars, snotty clothes stores
will proliferate much like the many cockroaches
that 24 hours infest OUR sorry dilapadated sro’s!

while gregoire’s rennie’s or pantages’ profits soar
our inner rage will bubble up and tiger roar
and so-called hockey ‘riots’ may seem minor!

but decent social housing is not a mere fantasy,
united in protest, we have the real power
to oust these real estate slummers –

and build a community so very rainbow unique,
based on love, mutual respect, care,
even the odd dream!

john alan douglas vancouver bc kanada september 3, 2011


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