Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY ELEVEN – Julian Dobson

Three shots at a neoliberal future

#1: A theory of economic development

Give us a road, they said. We’ve had enough
of cobbles, zigzagged hillsides, paths stepped perfectly for mules.

Give us a bypass, they protested. We’re sick
of inching traffic, diesel fumes, the tinnitus of crowds.

Give us a motorway. Give us clear lines
of vision, speedy exits, no overhanging crags, light-blocking trees.

Three wishes. All came true. Now the whole world
drains south: a sump for livelihood, family, speech.

#2: On the capital value of bees

There are fewer of them now, so we must appreciate their value.

The fewer there are, the more their value will appreciate.

We all value appreciation, but only when it’s for the few.

We few who still have values go unappreciated.

There is a common swarm. To hold ourselves aloof is honeyless.

#3: Building for birds

In God’s house they raise their young,
the psalmist says; I’ve seen their mud-round
hideaways in castles, cottages, lean-to sheds
and garages. Now we build differently.

Glass towers bat swallows back.
There’s nowhere moss can stick,
no shady eaves. Instead, perched
at the top, are birds of prey.



Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield, England, home of the famous Henderson’s Relish. His poems have appeared in publications including Brittle Star, The Interpreters’ House and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey. More of his work is at 

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