Wednesday, 18 August 2010
for the derelicts
buildings in Port Chalmers.
Dunedin and its environs is full of beautiful, old buildings and people who care about what eventually happens to them.These fighters are tireless toilers, fighting for the conservation of the buildings with written submissions, lobbying, attending meetings etc.with the dedication and passion that such work demands. I really have no idea of what goes into such efforts, but I admire people who have a heart for, and do all they can to save, what deserves to be saved. When we have no respect for our past, we cut away the very ground we stand on.
Some years ago I worked in an apartment that was opposite the old Post Office in the Exchange area of Princes Street, once the commercial hub of Dunedin. Looking out the window I looked straight into the heart and soul, the dead eyes, of something abandoned and derelict.
I can't help but wonder if we really went all out and gave free rein to our imaginations, and were listened to and encouraged, if something creative couldn't be done to preserve such buildings and areas clearly dying from lack of life and use? Sadly though, I fear that the resulting flotilla of ideas and energy would only scare, confuse and annoy the bureaucrats, naysayers, pen pushers, bean counters, suits, old boys et al who hold the seat of power and make the ultimate decisions.
4.00 p.m. from Apartment 3A
From a third floor window
the rain smears and steams,
the cool, 4.00 pm crackle
of tall buildings, the chirr
of buses and high-school kids
who yell across the street
where it deepens and tail-lights
redden like leaves. Against a sky
the rain has deadened,
pigeons fold over the flat roof
of the old Post Office
as it weeps black into grey.
Kay McKenzie Cooke
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