Tag Archives: new construction

#297: Front Yard Haibun


Mid April, that Japanese maple explodes first with leaves and the giant oak trees follow its little footsteps a few weeks later. It all happens at once. Most years no one sees it. One day there are no leaves. Next day a million leaves. The grass greens. There’s a hammock sometimes to nap in and those darn squirrels are at the bird feeders at all hours. In the distance there, beyond the road, there used to be four solitary homes, also covered in green. They were also hard to see, hiding, blending in as if they belonged there. In this old photo, the roofline of one juts out from under the greenery. But while the blooming of the front yard appears to occur overnight, the disappearing of old homes, rentals, the removal of all that vegetation, and the building of new roads, new lines for water, sewer, gas, and electricity, and thirty-two new houses, these things take years, so that, without photographic evidence, it is hard to remember or imagine how different things used to be in those greener, quieter days.

A story erased
so that new ones can replace
and then germinate.

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#266: New Buildings–A Ghazal


We watched the four houses across the street destroyed for thirty-two new buildings,
the surrounding trees and plants and invisible creatures unearthed for new buildings.

In our old neighborhood, across that street, an outpatient hospital was demolished
to make way for an entire block of townhomes, bringing new people into new buildings.

This has been our experience, 26 years in two different homes, that some old thing
was ultimately torn asunder and replaced through the noise and dust by new buildings.

Lew’s Dari-Freeze is fenced off and ready for bulldozers. Our town’s oldest fast food
joint, terrible food I remember, but the place–old, classic, a marker, soon: new buildings.

On every block of our old stomping grounds, the old is going down and the new springs
up like weeds, only much nicer, but too expensive, too modern, these new buildings.

And in SE Portland many of the main thoroughfares are unrecognizable in their newness, all the old buildings and businesses replaced by giant sky-born new buildings.

It’s all for somebody’s good and benefit, maybe yours, maybe ours, and yet, something
goes missing, something disappears, and in time, the memories are erased,
replaced by new buildings.



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