Auctioned Off

Gruff, unshaven, greying men
eating chips
at an auction today.
Old industrial equipment
all greased and worn smooth in places
- lathes, drills, welders
many years of making
- milling, drilling, turning
years of constant use

This complex machinery now commands little
in purely economic value
"What will you bid me?
twenty then?
ten if you like?"

What surprised most,
in the garden furniture sale next door,
were three pairs of bleached wooden trellises
one hundred and twenty pounds each.
to the gruff, greying woman
in the soft pink sweater and crympline black trousers.


February 1998