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Farnborough Grammar School

Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire

Telephone : Farnborough 539

Poems by Thomas Grosch (Nuncs)
Inanimate Things

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Re Milton, Wordsworth or even T.S.Eliot

(hand written note at top of page)

Praised be the lord for that impish, fraternity,
Waging their warfare from here to eternity;
Inanimate articles, - a sinister lot,
Precocious, pretentious; but inanimate? Rot!

Slaves in revolt, they are self-willed deceivers,
Their allies are legion and ardent believers;
No mother to guide them, no State to dictate,
The strike is their weapon; and oh, how they hate!

Most wayward of hardware, domestic necessity,
Defiant of gravity, elusive its cavity,
The proud kitchen sink; no matter how quick,
Holing in one is a conjuror’s trick.

Full of opinion and monochrome dignity,
Proboscis retroussé, smug, oozing malignity,
Metonymy's plaything, the kettle that boils,
Disgorges its fury, scalds, dribbles and spoils.

Then refuse disposal has grand possibilities,
Abetted by Boreas' and Auster's frivolities,
Plastic dustbins disbowelled now with freedom to roam
Are retrieved from safari a long way from home.

"Whiter than White" is washing-day's liturgy;
The breezes assist every knot's insecurity:
Clothes-Lines have foibles, play treacherous tricks;
Down comes the lot - and it's only for kicks!

There's potty's perversity, penchant for playfulness:
Poor little lad! Naughty potty's so pitiless;
Peterkin’s poise just a wee, wee bit out.
Just look at the ceiling! Any plumbers about?

Glwadys expecting to ride to the flicks;
Cuthbert's old battery up to its tricks.
Valves fade out ENA - pretty shocking, methinks;
Mum's scandal’s gone silent; the atmosphere stinks.

And then what inglorious fun with a typewriter!
Insufferable petulance; oh, what a blighter!
Letters and symbols all over the place:
@&£?(/LAF/ #¶ing: Hm, better retrace.

AT the critical moment in baby's ablution
Lamp phuts, giving birth to superb elocution.
Those demisters that don't and cut-outs that do!
Mats walk, floorboards talk and things rumble in loo.

I asked a few friends round; now there's a opportunity!
"Work to Rule" was the order; they did with alacrity,
The furniture, foodstuffs , utensils - the lot!
Embarrassment? I'll say; but of mercy no jot;

The horse doovers tasted like cork, so I heard
A plot, Mrs. Spewage, I give you my word;
The murphies were parboiled, the cabbage was serge,
The whole blooming lot would have made a fine purge !

A pot boiling over; I grabbed it and cried:
"Why do things that are lifeless put on so much side?
And your fierce animosity, do tell me why!
If men, why not things?" was the haughty reply.

Their conduct is wayward, their attitude wrong,
But let battle continue, let warfare be long!
And praise ye the lord for inanimate things;
For, compared with our forbears, we truly are kings.

December l970