The Sad Tale of a Once Beautiful City

This poem is ugly; it’s brutal too
But it’s my honest point of view
I love my city and will always do
So surely, this poem makes me blue!
The cacophony of sights, smells and noises
Assaulted all of my senses.
Hawkers, discount hunters, all their voices
Beggars with their babies!
Diesel fumes, sirens wailing in the distance
A whirring racket in the air
Rancid stench from overflowing trash cans
My city earlier this year!!!
A steady sea of humanity oozing slowly
All seeking a great bargain
Pickpockets in the crowd most assuredly
They are two-legged vermin!
This very street had high end shops before
Two scores and ten years ago
Now it’s but a flea market, nothing more
Where’s the city I used to know?
So I inched through the makeshift stalls
Selling mostly fake stuff
Tawdry goods, trinkets and gimcrack dolls
In no time I’ve had enough!
As I walked away, several kids approached
Offering flower necklaces
Grimy, pitiful; I’m sure they’re coached
Bought some to light up their faces
I rushed out of there, before more came
Fearful to be harassed
I wanted to help, for it’s a real shame
Too many of them, alas!
And tears welled in my eyes as I depart
Diesel fumes? Or the trash?
Perhaps! Maybe the heaviness in my heart
As I walked away in a rush
This poem paints a picture quite ugly
Of my city that was at one time lovely
Perhaps after some years, maybe fifty
It’ll rise again; sadly, that, I won’t see...
© Vic A Evora ...


Although I go back home to visit every year, I haven't been to downtown Manila in a long time. Last April I did and I didn't like what I saw. Businesses have moved out of downtown Manila into the suburbs, Makati specially. What used to be the business district with high-end shops is just a shell of its former self, to put it mildly.

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