David Lewis Paget
The Building Inspector - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The building had to be as it was
Before, when it first was built,
So the Inspector said to me,
I was mortgaged up to the hilt,
We’d already changed some minor things
They’d stand, he said, in the way,
We couldn’t move in till they were changed
Reversed, to our mute dismay.
He screwed the permit into his hat
And clamped it down on his head,
‘Where are we going to sleep tonight? ’
‘That’s not my fault, ’ he said.
He’d locked us out of our only home
With it only half rebuilt,
Then driven off as he sneered and coughed,
‘Are you trying to feed me guilt? ’
We’d lodged our plans seven months before
To rebuild a nest of rooms,
The Council never got round to it
So they left us mired in gloom,
We couldn’t wait for their paperwork
So we just got on, and ‘did’,
We toiled by night in the after light,
In the day, just lay and hid.
Then when the paperwork finally came
It covered a room too short,
They charged full odds for their office clods
But for plans, their worth was nought.
Back he came on a day of shame
To demand we tear it down,
That extra room that had fed our gloom
So I said, ‘You go to town! ’
I handed over a hefty pick
And I said, ‘It’s up to you.
I wouldn’t touch it myself, ’ I said,
‘But you do what you must do.’
I didn’t tell him of Cranston Leigh,
The ghost of that room out there,
I should have said, but then Cranston’s dead
So the end result was fair.
He laid about him with pick and axe
And he tumbled half a wall,
Before first hearing the screech from Hell
That was Cranston’s warning call.
I saw the Inspector’s hair rise up
Like an early crop of rye,
And that was even before the ghost
Screeched out, ‘You’re gonna die! ’
I’ll never forget the scene that night
The Inspector burst in flames,
While Cranston, from the unholy dead
Leapt in and out of our drains,
That room still stands, it’s unfinished still
The Inspector will not call,
We left a poster of Cranston Leigh
As a Welcome, out on the wall.
David Lewis Paget
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