Vocational Draining

Hereditary traits
Insomnia, for one
With poor examples set
By siblings, dad and mum

A workaholic way
As conscience trips and taunts
The child that cannot play
At unproductive sports

The tendency to take
On tasks as yet unbid
Anxiety to shake
With tired limbs and head

It dulls the senses well
Self-medicated, thus
Until few feelings spill
To interrupt her thoughts

Her duties, she won’t shirk
It marks her one of us
She drags herself to work
Eyes closed upon the bus

Top Deck Tipster

I don’t want to hear your voice
Your teleconf’rence, on the bus
Is leaving me without a choice
I have to know your business

Project’s going down the drain?
Well pardon me, but what a shame
I couldn’t help, but note the name
You’re indiscreet, so who’s to blame?

If only I’d a big remote
To mute what’s pouring from your throat
Your tendency to grin and gloat
Intruding on my slow commute

What could I do, but profit here
From tyranny without much fear
But act upon the careless steer
And hope to gamble back my fare?


Institutions holding power
Over artists, gentle folk
In their own way would devour
Independent deed and thought

With selective themes and rules
Governing what may be seen
Lending weight to private views
Influencing what we mean

Long before our words are cast
Forged as signature by stealth
They’d imagine questions asked
By our readers. For our health

And that of all who stand about
Nattering with glass in hand
At gala, pub, or simply – out
To cultivate this wasted land

There must be structure, must be form
It should be clear all views espoused
Are those full-sanctioned as ‘the norm’
With passions restful, unaroused

In such a way as this, perhaps
Some newer blood may join the rung
As underling to pleasant chaps
And hear their echoed praises sung


Carrot me and stick me
In a bucket of manure
Let the roots that feed me thicken
‘Til it’s easy to endure

I aspire to independence
From all manner of restraint
That does not make me an anarchist,
A rebel, nor a saint

I prefer some competition
No one needs to be the best
But maintaining an ambition
Keeps me keen to face each test

Though still slave to small economies
Perspective is the key
As I work my way to building
For the future I would see

Words may one day bring me more
Than solace, vain philosophy
When I rest on crowns of laurel
In exalted company

A day overdue

This was written in response to Stephany’s blog: http://www.myspace.com/jmichaeltodd/blog/546725518

Better late than never
As stiff fingers broke the seal
With Brubeck thumping off the beat
Reminding me to feel

The curve of letters twice a year
In scarlet envelope
Unsigned by hand where paw would bear
A long unfunny joke

The sight of one more valentine
Beyond the reach of flesh
When lover’s long lain underground
With little hope of fresh

Attentions of platonic zeal
And ever kindly meant
A correspondent’s heart to steal
Albeit rarely sent

My childhood mystery’s unfurled
With spirits soaring high
A brother’s love looks after me
Across life’s great divide

The Radley Earrings

They left me in my resting place
With all the things they thought I’d need
They chose my clothes, and painted face
Picked out my best accessories

But these were not my favourite pair
Though gold they glitter on today
The curling edges chafed my ear
I’d sooner wear my mother’s veil

Alas, my sister kept the best
And none did notice all the while
They layed me down to final rest
Imagining I’d wear a smile

With weapons that were home to me
My bow and arrows, ever fine
A solid pot to slake my thirst
They dressed me well to pass through time

So here I sit, what’s left to view
Your image of my life, long lost
With understanding, almost true
Of style through objects built to last

This poem has been written about the Radley Earrings which form part of the collection of British Archaeology finds at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.