Immortal Bricks


Underneath the bridge

Old bricks still hold the street

Together, as they did

Inside a younger city.

They’re unaffected by wind

Weather fronts, the rolling

Of heavy tires, the burn

Of the city’s pangs

We had walked

On them as others had… where

Train tracks sliced through

These oldest parts of the city…there

We gazed at the high grass

Growing through the gravel,

The warmer days

Further up

Where numbered streets

Take on more than one digit,

The bricks have given way

To multi-layered streets.

You moved closer,

a few blocks away

As if our bodies’ nearness….

A simple result of city sections

Today, I try not to trip

On potholes, where rain

Seeks the original bricks

Below the higher layers.

I can’t help but feel porous

The emotional bonding element

Passing through me,

Built of abandonment,

I can only blame myself for

That I have always blamed myself for

How long will it be, before

The rain takes me?

I hustle in rain gear just to eat

Back under the bridge

Permeable others have gathered

Like a congregation

Burning wood pallets, collecting

Makeshift tents, car parts

Bike parts…………….part-human

They once lived in the higher numbers

It seems, when their streets

washed away, they were drawn

To the immortal bricks

I am frightened to search

For my face among them

Still the grass grows high

Through the gravel, but

Only upon the last of the hottest days.

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20 Responses to Immortal Bricks

  1. It seems that we all are afraid of seeing our own faces in places we had rather not…….:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is fab Elan. I felt completely drawn in to those immortal bricks.


  3. Just Joan says:

    Like a congregation
    Burning wood pallets, collecting
    Makeshift tents, car parts
    Bike parts…………….part-human
    They once lived in the higher numbers
    Elan, you see them too. The almost-invisible part-humans. If our faces are ever among them, I’ll look for you–at least there will be poetry. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robyn Haynes says:

    Glimpsing the past through a tear in the present – thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. grimshaw says:

    These lines resonated with me. I can’t help but feel porous. They once lived in the higher numbers. I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on our city and the people who reside within it. Thank you.


  6. slpmartin says:

    Strange how simple objects or scenes can hold up a mirror to our lives…excellent verse.


  7. vivachange77 says:

    I have seen bricks like these in many places. They seem to be a common thread of humanity joining our present with our past. Wonderful images.


  8. Kris says:

    There is an awesome youtube vid of old Portland merging into new Portland. Beautiful words sharing the past with the present.


  9. helenmcinnis says:

    This poem brings a sense of fractured and continuous time, and the layering of the city-as-revealed in this small section in this particular place could perhaps be likened to memory (?). This poem expresses a love of place I think, creating a way of bonding with, or at least linking to, the city as a living thing.
    The photograph, tied in with this poem, has a poignancy – as if it is revealing a wound, or a vulnerability.


  10. A lovely poem and I enjoyed the imagery used as well as the feelings infused in the verse. keep up the great poetry. Have a lovely weekend.


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  14. joshcedar says:

    wow, great piece of poetry. Well worth stumbling upon


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