Poem: What Was. What Is.

What Was. What Is.

It was built over years. A careful superstructure
teetering on wooden legs and imagination.
A wonder in its day. People paid to stay there
and gaze over the ocean sipping their tea and whiskey.

But wonders take maintenance
and the maintenance here is hard, dangerous,
and inevitably, neglected, bit by bit
legs became flotsam, the weaknesses exposed.

You know the rest. All that is left are pictures
and a few beams dangling from the mountain.
Any rebuilding was done elsewhere, on solid ground,
less spectacular perhaps, but lasting

and at your age,
that is what matters.

About this poem

A poem for anyone whose life has collapsed at some point. A poem about the picture.

The picture is not mine. It has shown up in various social media feeds for years and even a reverse lookup did not tell me who took it or what it was. I have always loved the image. It’s one of a very few I carry in my phone.


    • Doesn’t it though! Part of me wishes I could have seen it before it fell, But I have a bad habit of going into old abandoned buildings I am not sure I could have resisted.

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