Sunday, August 01, 2021

the city sheds its skin like a snake

This is a picture prompt from The Sunday Muse, prompt #168. Okay, I know it's a wee too late to post there.

image from The Sunday Muse

the city sheds its skin like a snake

you can see it
slowly surely
like the way dead skin cells
fall from the body
old houses
fall down
for steel monoliths
the way peasants
bow to kings
you are back in the city
it has changed
it has not changed
now we look for
a good cell signal
and the cafes
the way the signs
change their fonts
and the friendly old waiter
who serves you no more.

you can feel the sudden
rain that falls on you
cold as ice.

more broken asphalt
detour signs
they are still digging roads
to pile in more cables
to power
warehouses and schools,
penthouses and tenements
you sidestep orange cones
and puddles
the foreign workers in
luminous vests clawing
at the road in excavators
the smell of tar
rising from the summer road.

you can feel the city
shedding its old skin
like a snake.


Shared at Writer's Pantry #81 at Poets and Storytellers United.

I love my city, even though it crushed our little shanty home and made it a container port. Now I like it's tree-lined streets, streetlights that work, 24-hour convenience stores, and air-conditioned malls to escape the heat. The whole city seem like a theatre, us brisk walking to the subways, the traffic lights changing red to green, the mother pulling her crying child along is an actor, the boys pushing a ball at the basketball court are living their dreams. And even at night the city never sleeps.

- dsnake1

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Change is not always that obvious. Indeed it is sometines more of a feeling. Nice one.

Happy Sunday


01 August, 2021 21:59  
Anonymous Colleen Looseleaf said...

Love this. The more things change... I look back on lots of it and my poem is about that hoarding onto what we don't want to change. Even the country sheds its skin or grows new skin. Mostly the forest takes over.

01 August, 2021 22:50  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
no, it is not. sometimes you just realise it. :)


i really enjoyed reading your poem today. yes, hoarding is also about holding on to one's memories & resisting change.
the city, if given over to mother Nature, changes fast. our neat sidewalks now have beds of wild flowers. :)

01 August, 2021 23:23  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

Change in almost all its ways is wonderful and terrible, often at the same time. I, too, love my city... while mourning what has been lost. This makes me think of a new bike trail the city has built inside the park. It is very convenient, safe and comfortable for riding... But it feels like a wound spreading through the park.

02 August, 2021 00:28  
Blogger indybev said...

I'm glad you decided to post this poem, in spite of it's being late. It's a worthy write and read. Much is being done in my city to rejuvenate older areas, and some decrepit houses have been restored to their original pride. Truthfully, they have more character than many of the new homes being built.

02 August, 2021 00:39  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, change is wonderful and terrible, often at the same time.
i would be delighted with that new bike trail through the park. :)


There is always a tug between restoring and keeping historic buildings and building bigger and taller towers for profit or housing the people.

02 August, 2021 11:36  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

How well you impart your love of your city! It reminds me of the way I used to love Melbourne when I lived there – from my days as a uni student all the way to being the mother of young men. But Melbourne's changes have happened in my long absences (I only visit nowadays) so I didn't keep pace with them – and I have changed too. I don't like cities much any more; I prefer small town / semi-rural life.

02 August, 2021 14:01  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

i have lived my life in the city, though in different parts at different times. i have seen it grown from one with no sanitation, to one with, well, almost everything works.
Melbourne is a great city, and given a chance, i would like to visit it. and Sydney.
i think at our age, small town life suits us better. but over here, there's hardly any 'small towns'. :)

02 August, 2021 14:45  
Blogger Rajani Rehana said...

Mind blowing post

02 August, 2021 23:03  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rajani! :)

02 August, 2021 23:45  
Blogger Jim said...

I like this, it happens all around us. This reminds me of "The Crows" song, "Big Yellow Taxi," a.k.a. "Put up a parking lot."

03 August, 2021 06:20  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you. Went to listen to "Big Yellow Taxi" by Counting Crows, thanks for the heads up.
yes, "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot" :)

03 August, 2021 13:45  
Blogger Rommy said...

It's the small changes that can be most haunting, especially the ones that no one else but you notices.

04 August, 2021 23:19  
Blogger ashok said...


05 August, 2021 02:46  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


there's always so much to see, if one looks around. :)


thank you! :)

05 August, 2021 10:08  
Blogger Rajani Rehana said...

Mind blowing post

06 August, 2021 17:26  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rajani. :)

06 August, 2021 20:48  

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