– Edgeware/St Albans and the University of Canterbury

I would rather tell my story with two poems: one about the shock, the other about losing the familiar places and associations we have with the buildings being demolished.

Who of you

will not now bow
pay homage to
Unbrick & Unstone?

See how they unlay unstack undo
all we have ever done.

Who can stand against them
when they come
with their earth whips their land hooks?

They have toppled cross
from steeple
they have murdered innocent

Unbrick Unstone
unlay unstack undo
turn smashed every human
clock back

what can we do?

That’s the shock: this is the aftermath, I guess:

memory is place

memory is place
the braille of buildings
threading the labyrinth

how can I find
my way through myself
with the past torn down

the road of dreams
with my compass

memory is the street
where love struck
on a corner

avenues where lips
came close to giving
each desire a name

writing letters
on every brick

we could always come
and find the places
kisses met

memory is where we are
memory speaking

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

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