you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone

Posted: October 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

Image result for images of broken towns

dverse Haibun Monday # 23 – contemporary cityscape Posted by “I would like your brief poems to have an element of season. Please keep your prose to less than 150 words, and make sure that the short poem adds a dimension to the writing, and if you choose to add an image try to let that complement with a third dimension. “


Main Street is mainly empty buildings now, crumbling brick, cracked windows, display stage strewn with debris of a discarded past. I walk along cold, lonely streets that once were filled with shoppers, people waving, greeting one another, stopping to gossip about the day’s headlines. Then, they built a mall on the empty fields that lined the new bypass and the downtown died a slow strangling death. Now a new, nostalgic generation hopes against hope to re-energize the city. I see their handiwork of mural painted buildings. Renovation of the old movie theater has begun. A coffee shop, a used bookstore, and an arts and crafts boutique struggle to stay open.

They tore down the Grand Hotel to build a parking building.
They tore down the parking building because they built a mall.
They tear down and build up and call it progress – it’s a lie.


  1. Brian says:

    A poem echoed across thousands of Main Streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is wonderful Debi, the image of that dying city, and your short poem is exactly what I wanted to see this week…. but maybe like a Phoenix it needs to burn before it can fly again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the contrast of what the planners and developers have done with the city and the nostalgic generation’s desire to regenerate the place they love(d) with heart and spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kanzensakura says:

    Yes. I saw it happen in my hometown but…the downtown has revitaized itsef the last few years, touting the “outdoor” shopping experience. There are several coffee and juice bars, several cafes and restaurants, several chain and non-chain shops..the several m0alls are now the ones closing stores. The city in which I 0inow live have 0not made a recovery. Glad I live in the country!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This scene repeats itself all over. I don’t know how many “great new developments” I’ve seen torn down. The saddest is when it just remains a vacant lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glenn Buttkus says:

    As a kid, we used to go downtown to do Christmas shopping, visit the open air market, go to a movie. Now malls grow up out of historical buildings, & multiplexes, strip & super malls strangle the suburbs–progress is a bitch with smeared lipstick & mall rats carry Glocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Misky says:

    You and Joni Mitchelll say this so well!! I can just hear her laughing at the end of that song. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paved paradise and put in a parking lot! Very real and well depicted haibun on the plight of many cities across the country. It’s always a sad sight to see those failed attempts at revitalization and progress. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bryan Ens says:

    We seem to progress backwards. Here’s hoping for the sides of those small businesses!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mish says:

    Oh yes, the struggles of downtown being choked by the chains of the big box stores. Less personal, more commercial. I’ve seen it in my own town. I really enjoyed your poem, especially the last line!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This piece has a lot of truth to it. Many bustling towns and cities have died a slow death due to so called progress. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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