Things of Interest

Things of Interest

Things, nameless remnants, objects in a drawer;
trinkets that tumble out of time and place.
Garage gadgets, artefacts of war;
unidentified objects, out of space,
out of reason, out of function and fit:
oddities, obscurities, curios
long since departed from inventor’s wit;
having lost the memory of ‘who knows’.
Relics in a box, contents in a trunk,
a job-lot of stuff, a deceased estate
to be sold-off cheap, to be bought as junk:
what’s good for nothing makes a paper weight.
. Nothing more nameless than a nameless thing.
. All deserve a title – be it subject or king.

© Tim Grace, 17 February 2013


To the reader: I discovered an eccentric great uncle: the bird man. He was featured in a national display of urban characters known for having an inventive wit related to ‘things’. Uncle Henry Grace, was a bird-listener. He rode the country-side listening to warbles. Fittingly, he then invented his own form of warble-notation to capture distinctive ‘calls of the bush’. Then, he would create tin-whistles that imitated the various cheeps and chirps. A century later they are ‘things’ of interest; curios.

To the poet: In its first-draft this sonnet began with: ‘Objectification, the stuff of things’… borrowed (I remember) from the more contentious notion of ‘Subjectification, the sport of kings’. Quite a nice beginning, but the rest of the sonnet was hopelessly lost in trivial detail. And so, the long task of re-writing began. A complete upheaval takes some effort. Holding on to the essence, discarding all else … that’s the thing.


common threads

Common Threads

I collect nuts and bolts by the roadside,
it’s an odd assortment of random finds.
Some are obvious and easily spied:
they are those that shine before the rust binds
itself to their surface. New to the road
they have not nestled into hidden nooks,
nor taken the hit of a heavy load,
they retain the shape of their fresh made looks;
in every sense new to my collection.
As alluvial pickings they hold
the shimmer and shine of self-selection;
unweathered, yet to have their history told.
. So, what of this collection can be said?
. Nothing more true… than its a common thread.

Tim Grace, 29 November 2011


To the reader: Late 2011, I was seeking more from work than work could offer. Tedium was broken with a break for lunch that included a walk around the neighbouring streets. Always the tinkerer, I have an eye for nuts and bolts and this led to a surprisingly large, and quickly accrued, collection of threaded metal. An odd amusement but easily construed as metaphor: the world unwinds as road spill.

To the poet: Hardly a great poem, but then again, it actually describes a very real and raw time in my working career; when the most stimulating part of the day was a lunchtime walk. Each piece of road-spill is a poem in itself. The shiny collectables are obvious and attractive, but as in this poem it’s through them we describe the true character of a common thread; toughened steel.


 

common threads

common threads