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Morning gridlock, nose to tailpipe, can’t see a soul on foot or bike.

Not stuck in traffic - I’m the traffic! Going nowhere, engine turning,

and though I changed my ancient van last year for one that’s burning 

half the fuel, it still consumes much more than I would like.


It’s gestures, gestures.


I turn on the radio where a Greenpeace chap’s on mic and getting shirty.

The IPCC says 1.5 degrees has slipped from achievable to iffy

and the world is stuffed if the world don’t cut out oil by 2030,

but a government stooge extols their plan - Net Zero 2050!


It’s gestures, gestures.


I ease my wheels across a deserted lane of the town’s hotly contested

though urgently needed congestion solution, won with so much effort:

Phase 1 of the piecemeal built, poorly planned, underfunded and not connected

and therefore not much used, so now abandoned, cycle network.


It’s gestures, gestures.


At Mrs Spickspan’s place I set to work on her last border.

It’s April and the ground elder is pushing for domination.

I dig in, so the client can see I strive to keep some order

though I know in May it’ll romp away, wreaking devastation.


It’s gestures, gestures.


A cold relentless drizzle glistens on the mud - it’s been shit weather all this week 

but the calling of a Chiffchaff lifts the tenor of my day.

With concrete slabs and Astroturf, this garden’s pretty bleak:

no habitat for nesting but he’s singing anyway.


It’s gestures, gestures.


I’ve finished here so I pack up and move to the next job on my day-list.

There’s one lane throbbing northwards and there’s two lanes draining southwards.

A bus has blocked my north lane but I’m late, so I overtake it

just as a southbound taxi veers from near lane to the outer.

We’re hurtling head to head. The cabbie scowls and brakes.

I flounce a friendly palm to acknowledge my mistake.


He gestures.

◄ No exit

Green sheets ►


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John Botterill

Thu 11th May 2023 09:06

Wonderful cynicism and humour enlighten a worrisome subject 😎

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