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Mar 2015
a city old in trades,
in cultivation of the arts
based on industrious commerce
   of its citizens who boast
the world's oldest commercial fair

the city in which
Martin Luther and Melanchthon
led fierce disputes
with delegations of the Pope

where J. S. Bach found stimulus
and time to master
harmony and rhythm
close to perfection,
(and that was shocked listening
to Leibniz's monadologies),

the city of which
Goethe spoke with praise,
that saw Napoleon defeated
on the nearby battlefield
(and built a monument of quite
imposing ugliness one hundred years
after the fact),

this city suffered hard
from two world wars
followed by over forty years
of dreams gone sour of a new society,
until, most recently,
this city once again
became a catalyst of major change.

Yet those who kept their meetings
at St. Niklas' church
and by their stubborn protest
helped to reunite
a country separated by walls for generations -
those you don't see,
walking the streets of Leipzig now.

What strikes the eye
(besides the crumbling blackened ruins
of former glory,
and strip-mined land
just out of town)
is Wall Street's new frontier,
the bustling peddlers of new easy wealth
as they appear on every street downtown,
offering anything from oranges
to shoes and South Pacific cruises.

Ramshackled pre-fabs built on shabby parking lots
already stake the claims of big banks,
business and insurance companies
that promise earnings, safety and security
to eager though bewildered customers.

   "Pecunia non olet" says the poster
   of the postal savings bank,
   and shows a happy pig
   rooting in money.

Old stores, in order to survive,
have started selling
new and shiny goods
to happy new consumers,

only a few resist

and hesitate to walk a mile
for the melange of
fast food, cigarettes and *****
offered at makeshift stands
that seem have come
to symbolize the great new freedom

of the new Wild East.

          * *
Written upon visiting Leipzig one year after the Cold War Iron Curtain came down.
"Pecunia  non olet" (Latin proverb) = "Money doesn't smell!"
Walter W Hoelbling
Written by
Walter W Hoelbling  Austria & Spain & UK & US
(Austria & Spain & UK & US)   
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       Lucius Furius, SassyJ, Shylah S and DC raw love
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