Excavation

1 November 2015

Emptying cupboards from
the pre-Homeric Classroom era,
through strata thick as Schliemann’s Troy.
I am looking for bedrock and
the world before printing
when we worked with our bare minds
or a single piece of paper rolled
soaking wet from a banda machine.
When times were tough, we drank the fluid
and went outside to fight hairy colleagues from other lands.
Who can forget 1978 when that probationer
stole the Headmaster’s wife
and we sailed across the Firth in a fleet of long keeled ships,
the sun glinting on our oars?
Our beards have grown, our blood coarsened,
paper has closed over our bones like sand.
But there is a hot deep wind today at the skip.
It takes the sheets and spins them over rooftops,
all the dense tyrannies of words
gone to air at the end, like birds.

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