Thanks to The Curmudegeon in Training, who I just knew would know the answer. He knew it immediately. I had messed up the first line, which is why I couldn’t Google it.
It’s by Theodore Roethke. This is the kind of post that yields zero readership or comments. But do you know what? I don’t care! 😛
This one goes out to all the corporate wonks out there who understand the dolor of pencils.
I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper-weight,
All the misery of manila folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.