#73 Poetry – Disparate

Man, meri, pikinini
waite man, black man, olgeta lain.

Passerby’s pass on by
in quick strides,
shunned, avert eyes,
seeing what can’t be unseen

– Lukim em,
em sanap na lukim

She squints to look.
There, beyond the glass of safety
laid barren hope, dreams, ruined.

Despair, etched deep into frail wrinkles
like the cracked path they led,

leading them down here to where the crumbling mortar, hanging from moss ridden bricks was their clothes in tethers, pealing from their damp skins.

Pasim ai, karamapim nus, sakim het.

The putrid stench of failure,
hopelessness seeks desperation,
rising from the viscous substance
crawling to makeshift drains
tunnelling beneath her feet,

moving.

Saitim ai, inap lo’ luk luk,
wokabaut igo.

Her pace harkens for quick strides,
her squint disappears behind dark shades.
Her phone had seen enough.

-Hans Lee

#69: Poem – Stories In Planning

Stories In Planning

Today when planners tell stories,
We do so remembering history.

What would histories be without stories,
When words connect memories to space, and time
Embedding themselves onto space, remembering times –

Like dirt tracks that become raging roads,
Like cargo wharves hosting art shows,
And acreage that become quarter acre blocks.

We tell stories,
to fill the gaps in our memories
of space through time.

But some histories are too young.
Some memories too short.

Remembering is not possible.

So we borrow time,
Embedding our space with another story,
Living another planners history.

-Hans Lee

Can planners really use stories to help us understand the city?

Continue reading “#69: Poem – Stories In Planning”

#63: Walking the Tropics is not at all pleasant.

If you haven’t already, you should follow the Guardian’s Cities’ series talking about all things cities – a fantastic resource for spreading thoughtful insights about our urban built environment.

A recent article from the series that caught my attention featured a compilation of stories about people walking their neighbourhoods in their respective cities. As a self confessed urbanist, I revelled in these stories, reminiscing about the days I used to walk all the time.

Continue reading “#63: Walking the Tropics is not at all pleasant.”