The Reckoning

In these fractions I seek solace
That infarction is no menace
To my own unknown condition
Though my colleague lies on trollies
As they fill her veins with serum
Hoping vasos are dilated
I’m surrounded by the vision
Such careers are overrated
In my secretary’s costume
I must take on further duties
Try to prop up one more rostrum
And ignore last rites for loot. He’s
Working from his home computer
While I ride the bus to nowhere
In the misty morning chatter
That’s conceived to make me go there
How much more am I allotted?
This existence, mere survival
Will I too go out, garotted
By a heart attack unrivalled?
As my logic fails, convince me;
I’ve decisions that are burning
Every inch would rather lynch me
Than continue painful earning.

Although I rarely explain my scribblings, as I prefer to let the reader interpret them at will, this poem, and the one that follows are written in response to a recent event. The woman with whom I share a desk at my day job suffered a heart attack this week. The events on that occasion and which have followed have caused me to question our place in the universe with perhaps more focused ferocity than usual.

Untitled

This is the place we come to die
We secretaries, in our rows
Two frozen stiffs, a living lie
Few care to note, and no one knows.

While patient, we sit out our time
In managing capricious men
Whose fruitless whims, though not malign
Wear lines on brows and fray each hem.

One more may chew on dust this hour
No more to block electric space
In diary; a heart lacks power
To beat a path through empty wastes.

We are not dumb, and yet, we wait
Preparing meeting rooms, hot drinks
Awaiting proof; appreciate
A mind, unheeded, soul that shrinks

And though the autopsy infers
What killed her was nobody’s fault
That one can prove, (except for hers)
With such a sedentary vault

Of memories of closet, desk,
A filing cabinet to store
The means of murder – this slow death
Made up of tedium and chore.

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Hiatus

The Ugly Thought Spider
Squats on the ceiling
Above my head
Mocking my efforts
At pest control
Weaving strings of coincidence
Swapping hunger pangs and saliva
For absent-minded insects, the buzz
Of fast food suspended
With sticky strings attached
Out of reach
I cannot swat him
Though the news today was heavy
I endeavour to ignore his whispers
Cleaving to my sanity
As he to lunch

I’m a GI nation

He’s gone for a soldier
But soon will return
So we wave plastic flags
Leave a light on at home

And plan for the victory
Parties galore
For that’s all that happens
When boys go to war

Stay calm, drinking tea
Wiping surfaces down
Keeping busy, you see
‘Til they march back to town

We don’t weep when in public
You mustn’t let on
Just how frightened you feel
Tell the kids where he’s gone

Service widows and wives
Now our comfort and rock
As you’re all in one boat
Unprepared for that knock

May the day never come
When a photo and frame
Takes the place of the man
Who has lent you his name

A graceful corner

The wind that wafts the cypress trees
That sway as dancers, to and fro
Within this place of make-believe
To tickle fancies, fast and slow

Brings little joy to residents
Nor tourists struck by wanderlust
Who hurry onward, business-bent
And grit their teeth against the dust

These quiet passages bear marks
That whisper other sides to life
Some ooze what passes after dark
The noisome remnants of our strife

And yet my mind is pausing here
A pleasant hour to pass. I wait
Enclosed by those with much to fear
Without this sanctuary gate

A breathing space while waiting

I take a breath, to clear my head
My stomach sings a hungry tune
My eyes are tired, my legs like lead
Freezing here beneath the moon.
I wish I could awake my mind
Some beauty I should love to find,
But closed-up shops
And ticking clocks
Are all the night will offer me.

Stood Up

I gaze upon this lighted dial
And wonder how you take this while.
Where are you now? What do you there?
Have you forgot me? Do you care?
And why am I still waiting here
When you have made it crystal clear
That you don’t give a fig for me –
Nor time spent in my company?!
So why I wait’s a mystery.
Would that I cared as much for thee!
So here and now I’ll end my poem.
And as for you – I’m going home!

A little bitty ditty of a journey to the city

A girl got on a train, tra la!
She soon would go insane, tra la!
For service there was none,
And tickets bought for fun.

The girl sat down to wait, tra la!
Hoping she’d not be late, tra la!
But vain were all her hopes,
For Virgin trains are jokes.

The girl was on her knees, tra la!
A bunch of tourists teased, tra la!
Not knowing she could speak
Their lingo, tongue in cheek.

The girl was far too tired, tra la!
So she just sat and smiled, tra la!
And tried to read her book
While Europe cocked a snook.

The girl was now ashamed, tra la!
Of people not so strange, tra la!
She felt she ought to speak;
Too tired, bit her cheek.

The girl wanted her bed, tra la!
To hell with all things red, tra la!
But this was not her night.
The tannoy put her right.

The girl was now pissed off, tra la!
At snotty woman’s cough, tra la!
But trained to be polite,
She kept her mouth shut tight.

The girl got on a train, tra la!
To take her home again, tra la!
She needs a good night’s sleep.
To help her through the week.

Une salle d’attente

Là où on trouve les pertes de temps
Là où le vent a cessé de souffler
Seul et debout j’attends t’entendre
Là où l’amour est née.

Ici le froid ne touche rien
Ici le temps n’oblige qu’un pas
Avec mon âme je marche sans rhythme
Aux battements faibles du coeur sympa.

Sans volonté de briser le silence
On entend toujours rien où j’attends
Cependant mes oreilles font le tour des environs
L’espoir m’arrivera entre peu, je pense.