Stuart Pickford – Danish Industrial Estates

Danish Industrial Estates

should be the town’s parks, lawns lined,
picnic tables made from indigenous timber
where bosses and workers take their lunch,
sleeves rolled up, discussing their children.

A stone henge or simple pillar is common
as is a rose bed. There are no splintered pallets.
The energy is green, from wind turbines:
the horizon is flat, hills are messy.

If trucks are necessary, they’re parked in rows
at the same angle, like avenues of birch.
Such vision shows they’ve got over Abba
and answered the Schleswig-Holstein Question.

Willowherb doesn’t grow out of the pavement.
They have no word for skip and not just
to annoy the Germans. Nothing is budget
or functional. You buy it once and well.

Give me one of these open-planned spaces
with a fountain and the stiff Danish flag;
a home for my primary-coloured family: us
constructing a Lego model of ourselves.


Stuart Pickford is the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award. His first and only collection, The Basics, was published by Redbeck Press (2002) and shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize. His second book is Swimming with Jellyfish just out from smith/doorstop. Stuart lives in Harrogate and teaches in a local comprehensive school.