Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
1 June 2022

The NS Poem: The estate agents take a tour

A new poem by Rebecca Farmer.

By Rebecca Farmer

Ladies follow me I would
love for you to see
the spectacular gardens.
Like long-legged spiders
we weave past bowls of red
amaryllis and scented candles.
Our fixed smiles and matte
lipstick give nothing away.
We glide through studded doors
into the still scented air.
Here she asks us to admire
the permanent planting strategy
bound by hedges of evergreen
from which nothing can escape.
Our guide demands we appreciate
how it echoes Bridget Riley
with its movement in squares.
Ah Bridget Riley! we repeat.
Our dark suits coordinate
with the water feature’s slate
we pay attention to fragile
etched lines – a homage to
London’s lost rivers – London lost.
On past a Phantom Rolls which
may be a sign that someone
drove here, might live here
though we see no one apart
from men in uniform who sweep
the imaginary leaves which fall
from the imaginary trees.

Rebecca Farmer’s pamphlet “Not Really” is published by Smith/Doorstop

Read more poetry published in the New Statesman here

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 01 Jun 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Platinum Jubilee Special