As iron rusts, as marble turns to lime,
As rocks diminish in the sea’s blue land,
As sun and moon and stars consume their time,
So this conveying verse is stopped with sand.
As in the heart a cell may overplus
The whole, which, by a grainsworth only, fails,
So now these stranded stanzas, brought by bus,
Weigh down the donkeys, and they miss the rails.
How would you write, if what you wrote were rare,
The codex used to seal a mustard jar?
Suppose the history of the world were there,
From Adam’s apple to the Zero War.
The Alexandrian style is ready-made;
But words on sandwich-paper sometimes fade.