In the past, this place was all closed off, tight like The Shambles.
A troubled authority had muddled itself, mixed up permissions and permits,
Kept a sorry status quo, deterring facades from scuttling themselves,
And for a time, things endured. But visitors got lost.
The one-way arteries all ended in walls. Or worse, left people emptied
Out in culverts, evacuated, feeling misled over the whys and whereabouts.
There were bulwark trip hazards. Bars on the pavements.
The sky had fixed visitation rights and the air was rationed,
Only doled out in the darkest alleyways.
These days I'm remodelling. Nothing lasts forever,
And - don't you know? - most of it should not.
These looming overhangs are fucking dust,
If you just kick the tyres. Founded on false truths,
Secret signs that point to Nowhere.
I want to invite the sky in.
I'm planting saplings in little open avenues,
Finding what's solid, dismantling the rest,
Safe street lighting, something like a guided map,
So when people come, they'll know the earth here,
Know the sun on their face. Know clean air to breathe,
And rest assured there will always be a hand to hold.