Demolition

Demolition

 

It has been a long haul to leaving

 

And there is a strange kind of regret

 

For damp classrooms, store cupboards with Tetris trays

 

For graffiti, stains left to fester over time

 

For the foolish laughter of a distant child.

 

 

Pathways worn to dust, bare as old slippers

 

And the secret mysterious places

 

The cobweb filled, derelict greenhouse

 

Full of melancholy and long dead things.

 

 

With the last flick of the light switch

 

A pacing backwards into light, a sorrow descends

 

Almost as thick as grief, grief for the rooms

 

For the long, silent, empty corridors

 

For the time that slipped away, lost forever

 

For the raucous shrieks, the vulgar cat calls

 

For working late, besotted by the twilight

 

Twenty years of muted conversation

 

And, best of all-

 

On the days when rain thrashed the windows

 

Grief for, the heads down, quite contented

 

Steady hum of silence.

 

 

 

 

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Demolition

Delighted to have poems in Dappled Things-a very attractive quarterly publication from the USA, focusing on ideas, art and faith, Contemporary Literary Review India and Carillon this month.

My poem Demolition below, draws on the emotive resonance of the spaces of our schooldays. It was written in the days leading up to the demolition of The City School Sheffield, my place of work for over twenty years. All the schools I have previously worked at, and both schools I attended as a child have been demolished. The act of demolition has a corrosive impact and carries a virus of semi-rational fear. Will be memories too be erased? They will certainly be distorted over time, taking on a life of their own.

The accompanying photograph shows girls from my old school, relaxing on the sports field during sports day- sometime in the mid 70’s 

Portland Schoolgirls 1975. Mark Hazlehurst

Portland Schoolgirls 1975. Mark Hazlehurst

Demolition

It has been a long haul to leaving

And there is a strange kind of regret

For damp classrooms, store cupboards with Tetris trays

For graffiti, stains left to fester over time

For the foolish laughter of a distant child.

Pathways worn to dust, bare as old slippers

And the secret mysterious places

The cobweb filled, derelict greenhouse

Full of melancholy and long dead things.

With the last flick of the light switch

A pacing backwards into light, a sorrow descends

Almost as thick as grief, grief for the rooms

For the long, silent, empty corridors

For the time that slipped away, lost forever

For the raucous shrieks, the vulgar cat calls

For working late, besotted by the twilight

Twenty years of muted conversation

And, best of all-

On the days when rain thrashed the windows

Grief for, the heads down, quite contented

Steady hum of silence.