Eight views of a Lego® block

lego brick

Among everything moving —
the gulls and the kelp lifting and again
or slumping in the early heat
Lego® is still.

400 billion since Adam –
fecund almost exponential –
36,000 in the time it took to read this:

I found one this morning
battered matt orange (was fire engine glossy)
abraded by the seabed as it abraded
faded by UV and salt as it imperceptibly

lego is pig-Danish/Latin for put together
yet alone resembles a stone,
once part of the consumer spiral,
now the sedimentary cycle –
sand to stone to sand.

< 2 grams of
of forests buried, compressed and liquefied in hot rocks,
tapped by money makes the world
catalysed, injected, marketed, lionised.

I kept my Lego® in a tin
ardent pipers chased nymphs
round the battered lid.

(vii) – A speculation
(a)  Maybe blown
from a young engineer’s imagination
on the Oriana’s deck as as it steamed through the Heads
while parents at the railing watched the new country
— so clear, so harsh — come into view.

(b)  dragged down for an age –
and then yesterday’s storm freed
tossed with weed
and fishing line
and remains of drink cans
where dog and I

it’ll take another hundred years –
like a juniper reversed,
slough off a molecule or two
until fully dispersed
into our great plastic sea.


Here’s Wallace Stevens’  Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird  Also linked to Thotpurge’s Micro-Poetry month – #8 –  and now dverse open link #209.  And if you’ve ever wondered…here’s how they’re made…

This won 2nd prize in the Vita Brevis monthly poetry competition – March 2018.


26 thoughts on “Eight views of a Lego® block

  1. Peter this is fantastic.. thanks for sharing. That tin with the pipers, that absolute waste of non biodegradable plastic churning in our seas and yet firing the imagination of the young… all the images that will stay with me. Who knew one could build verses with Lego blocks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to echo what other’s have said. The Steven’s format is excellent and I still remember how many good poems it inspired when we had it as a prompt. There is a magic how the different part kaleidoscope into something truly marvelous which is even better than its parts (like many pieces of lego)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your poem. Brilliant vantages of a bygone era. Confession: my son had Legos… though never at sea. Once he built whatever the kit was, I had him put the directions away and build from his imagination. Too bad I didn’t have him do that with language instead. I never thought about the toxic consequences of them. Next poetic challenge: the so-called green lithium batteries! 🙂


  4. I am the lego. We are the lego. Together, we become a multitude of greatness; alone we are a stone consumed, destined to decompose at a painfully slow and pointless rate. This poem is a deep ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fantastic poem. The small and big picture reflection of your words is inspiring. Congratulations for winning on Vita Brevis. I would not have found your poem otherwise.


  6. I’m still trying to work out if Lego is a force for good or a force for evil. I know it’s plastic, but it has fostered so much creativity in my kids. I always had it in my office – all those kids with ADHD loved fiddling with it. It’s virtually indestructible, so…

    Love this poem. It goes to so many places.

    Liked by 1 person

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