You call it construction. You call it development. Be careful what you’re building.

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.

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