An old rusty fan creaks
In the centre of a dust-filled classroom.
The teacher glares like Poe’s Raven;
The students are walled up like his black cat.
Onward goes the teacher’s recitation
(Memorized, of course, from the internet)
Pens scratch out their lives on paper
Wasting ink and someone’s original soul –
The students memorize.
Theirs is a memory of a memory,
Twice removed from originality.
If a genius emerges, he is shot at
With the bullets of internal tests, tests, tests…
Brains get rusty like the old fan
And the heat-smoked classroom.
Lunch from tiny steel boxes
To keep their weak stomachs a-going,
Teenage boys sneak out for a puff
And girls gossip about boys,
Teacher catches them – suspension, T.C.
Girls faint, boys rage and parents weep.
Then comes the green eyed monster – Examination!
And its child – Results
(Like Grendel and his mother)
Do we have a Beowulf to slay them?
No, the heroes have already killed themselves.
No place for fancy or imagination;
Marks are their final destination
Those tiny black figures on white sheets determine lives
And people kill themselves and each other
For nothing better than black ink on white paper.