By Becky Deans, performance poet and musician
Build on the fields. Build on the fields.
Build on all the fields until every blade of grass
Is gone, just a whisper of a memory of a dream of a meadow
Shivering in the sun.
Put down a concrete slab, put down a concrete slab
Put down concrete slabs everywhere, until
Concrete pervades everything, you, me
We’re dusty and stuck, white-faced
Unable to move because we’re part of the development
And your slab is our tomb.
Create new roads, create new roads
Create new roads everywhere
So every place is connected and
No one ever has to stop to a chug in their
Cars and all you can see for miles
Around at night is streetlights
Dazzling every single inch of their planet
So there is no night.
Put up some houses, put up some houses
There’s a square of ground there, put up some houses
It doesn’t matter how small they are as long as
They have a patch of grass at the back and a hair’s width
Between then. Pile them high, house upon
House upon house. Smother the earth with brick
And plaster and gravel. Build a tower of houses
So high you can see them from the moon.
Chop down the trees, chop down the trees
Chop down all the trees. They’re in your way.
They litter the place with their leaves and seeds.
We don’t need their drainage. We want empty
landscapes, nowhere to shelter, nowhere to run.
All I want to hear on this summer’s day is
A backhoe loader rolling past my garden
Rumbling my foundations. I love the
Swish of concrete mixers and tractors dashing.
Nature’s overrated. The planet is better
when we get together and sweep it all away.
Thanks to Becky Deans for allowing Trees for Derby to publish this poem on our blog. Becky often performs in spoken word and poetry events in Derby and the surrounding area. She has a keen interest in the environment and local activism.