Diana van den Berg

(4 November 1945 / Durban, South Africa)

Domicilium Devastation

Included in crime statistics
should be the houses
violated and robbed
of their home status
and paraded as
stark, sterile,
bustling, business premises
or worse still, empty, failing ones
that are barely breathing their icy breath,
all with living gardens raped
and replaced by dead, constricting tar
and tiling and concrete.

My body
and heart
and soul
in your pain
as I drive past you
wishing with all that is in me
that I could bring to reality again
your memories
of the families
who lived
and loved
and had their being
within your protective walls
and in your joyous, colourful, sweet-smelling gardens.

Even your heartache,
when they hated each other
and fought
good fights and bad,
and in some cases, deserted you,
would be preferable to this agony
because there was still hope
that you would find
joy and peace and contentment
with your next family
excited at their new home
and of course you grew together
and learned to love again
for better or worse...

but now the gut-wrenching memories
of the laughter
and happy screams
of children
who grew up
before your window eyes
now bring you only
tears of lost hope
and desolation
and I just want you to know
that I cry my guts out
with you.

How could
you be ravaged

Submitted: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 29, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(9 October 2012)

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