They can hardly be missed
Springing up in your neighbourhood
Utterly lacking in aesthetic beauty
Not so much picturesque, but almost picaresque,
Sprouting round corners in a roguish way
Randomly installed, erect and straight;
Or the red and white cones
With their wind-resistant hexagonal base
Forming a military style straight line
United, safety in numbers, but incongruous.
Designed to highlight road hazards,
But the preventive itself becomes dangerous.
On country lanes and urban roads,
Motorways and dual carriageways,
One-way streets and cul-de-sacs
Driveways and car parks;
Unobtrusive, but conspicuously permanent fixtures.
Roads change, traffic increases
Scooters, both the children’s and adult version
Now a regular presence.
Bulky cars, vans, lorries and trucks
With their elongated shape and exaggerated contours;
Hideous artefacts punctuate urban topography;
Ugly and discordant, a bewildering plethora of ubiquity.
The totemic homogeneity of bollards and cones,
Extras in a play taking centre stage,
Omnipresent, a symbol of our age.