Len Webster


Farewell To Oldbury Grammar School - Poem by Len Webster

Piled high among the ruins of leaving,
The shattered hopes and wasted dreams,
The age-old, dated books and wicked papers
That forced the countless ones to sweat in summer;
Behind, the crumbling plaster and blistered paintwork,
The battered floor with nail projections,
The desks that once saw better days
On the raised platforms before each class.

And here the cream of generations sat,
And wrote and read and leapt again
From dream to dream and hope to hope.

Even the town has gone, so what use is the school?
Fed on Imperialism, it prospered;
Fostered on the Now, it is changed,
Gone into the metropolitan conglomerate
That is posted loosely together
In the scrapbook of history.

Down the ages, dust has piled on filed magazines;
I cannot bear to scrape it
For, in my moments of despair,
Dust seems the one tangible product of this place.



(First published in THE BLACKCOUNTRYMAN, Winter 1978, Vol.11, No.1, p.18)

Topic(s) of this poem: school


Poet's Notes about The Poem

In the summer of 1978 the last of the grammar school intake left Oldbury High School.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 14, 2015



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