The Decaying Mansions of English Language


The decaying mansions of English language
rot and recede
into truculent teenage grasses with each unspoken year.

The hired help have let their hair go wildly unmown
and surrendered their threadbare uniforms,
content with Nature’s neglect taking its timely course.

When the architects and master masons of linguistics
survey their forgotten plans in the heaven of English literature
they are not dismayed, but patiently sit and sit and sit.

The pristine edifices of the classics,once grand and clad in deferential brick,
stand scaffolded and unread,the doors unlocked, ajar,
a hopeless invitation into the library of the English canon.

Sniff at the dusty cloak on the carpets of grammar,
run hands on the ghostly sheets thrown over the disused armchairs of archaic words,
let ears catch echoing plinks on the out-of-tune pianoforte of the perfectly crafted short story.
Sound out bathrooms of formal poetry creaking with the rusty plumbing of metre and rhyme.

Whereas, in the vibrant gardens, the temporary outhouses,
hastily arranged huts of slang and idiom are adorned
by the green living grasses of new forms, creepers of half remembered dreams,
mulching leaves of half-shaped thoughts, forests of half-forgotten loves
are writhing in living incompleteness,
biologies which will in turn harden and fossilise with overuse.

And then, we can rue the passing of our once organic lingo.

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One thought on “The Decaying Mansions of English Language

  1. Love this, Brian! Very clever and fortunately and unfortunately true. We need both the classics and the contemporary and perhaps also the slap dash whip it together like this until it is just good enough, not better, like that. :-)

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