“Nothing odd will do long” – Samuel Johnson

New hollow shells silhouette the landscape,

From houses half built to multi-storey frames.

The vista mirroring a decade’s progress.

Hope and hubris like weed and shrub commixed;

The mirage of easy wealth for most dispelled

As realism takes hold. Change comes but slowly

To reject, replace, beliefs found wanting,

The worship of property, the siren of cheap credit,

The trust in men who lead and men who lend.

Measured against our past, is now then bad?

There is no famine, hunger or disease,

No racking poverty, no emigrant ships

No quiet rural emptying out; no despair.

What can we place to balance in the scales?

Ephemeral prosperity? Folly and fancy?

Our ancestors would laugh could we commune,

And offer to change places if they could,

And bid us to face forward and not back,

And take to heart Doctor Johnson’s words

That nothing odd lasts.


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