A Documentary History of Stuff
Two china dogs from Woolworths,
one with a chipped ear, stand guard
upon the mantelpiece, keep watch over
six books, a crystal radio; upstairs
two work-day dresses and one Sunday best.
Back door ajar for neighbours to drop in.
Hair-brush and powder puff on dressing table.
Hordes crush into shopping malls, crazed
magpies trinketing their nests, enslaved
by those who make ‘acquire’ feel like ‘achieve.’
Back home, cupboards and shelves burst with gadgets,
computers, coats and shoes, behind five-lever
locks, alarms and bared-teethed Alsatians.
Lights on standby blink and wink all night.
Paleontologists, descended from dolphins,
shake their heads at the deep stratum
of compressed plastic which almost choked
the seas, it’s come-and- buy colours undimmed
by time, last vestiges of an extinct species
which could never get enough. Stuff.