With names like Entropy and Bouillabaisse,
What did you hope of them? They hit the books
Until they bruised their knuckles; they despaired
Of willow, horsehide, pigskin, ping; and pong
Trailed after them like clouds of midges. Good
Boys, strong boys--maybe not Peregrine Fred--
Like freckled trout in dappled streams. They fell
Off the backs of lorries, whence they were rescued
And made to peel graffiti from the wall.
"What do it mean?" they asked each other. "Man
Is born in chains and everywhere tattooed."
No one would tell them, so they pinched the wall
And flogged it for a couple tabs of Spax.
"What do it mean?" they asked about the blue
Atomic cloud, languid above their heads,
Ate each an egg for breakfast, went home, died,
And rose next morning to be done again.