The Lunch Break

He’s deep in thought, lunch on his lap
Reading work by Ezra Pound.
“I’ve not a clue
What it’s about
But I like the way it sounds.”
———

Years ago I found my co-worker reading some poetry outside of the office on his lunch break. I asked him later in the day what he thought of Ezra Pound and he couldn’t tell me anything. He just said he likes how it sounds. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be about the meaning at all. Poetry is music!

Symphony for the Office Worker

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Our conductor, name tag and tie,
Marker pen baton, spouting, spy
Every bee who’s half asleep, lie,
And brave the morning allegro.

His cuffs tight, mouth flapping,
Coffee clerks begin tapping
Square minds, overlapping
To print, report, file, (don’t) retort.

Harmonising phone calls,
Thin colour, cold walls
Our people thrive, enjoying all
The music of the office.

Fingers dance, alphabet synergy,
Listen to our Prophet, margin your
Ambitions to reach that scatter point
Target. It’s written in permanent (don’t th)ink, just sign here.

——–

There’s something orchestral about the 9 to 5 office job. I’ve been both fortunate and unfortunate to have experience the lifestyle and despite the time not entirely being enjoyed, there was harmony and rhythm to it all.

 

Powerful Themes – Time, Memory and Love

A short piece containing some of my favourite pieces of writing, with a bit extra.

Nesbit and Gibley

John Hurt in the Gate Theatre Dublin production of “Krapp'’s Last Tape” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre						Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Time, memory and love are some of the top, most prominent themes in writing. They are regularly the key topic when it comes to a story or otherwise an umbrella theme for others. One reason why I actively seek stories which encompass and explore these themes is because they’re universal. Every human being to have ever lived will have experienced some form of love, memory and without a doubt, a sense of time. Whether these things are in an abundance of or a lack of, they’re relatable, understandable and translate across all mediums of art.

Below, I’ve compiled a small list of my favourite pieces where these themes synergise and flourish. Some old and some young, they are complete masterpieces in my eyes and I’d highly recommend reading or watching them when you get the chance. Most of them I’m sure people have heard of but if there’s one that’s new to…

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Colour

Nesbit and Gibley

I’m glad your Father shook with
The knife in hand.
The turkey remaining un-carved
As you carved him with those strong
Words.

Because you opened that door.
They locked you in.
You couldn’t take anymore,
And you couldn’t pretend.
Rise above that chant they roared and
Mend
Because you’ll be alright in the end.

Your Mother took a step out the room
I saw her through the serving hatch
Her arms trembling, deep breaths, sweating.
I believe you when you told me
she had never read a book.
It showed.
She was speechless
Versus your speech.

Because you knocked down that door
Busted the lock and all.
You have what you want, explore
Go for it.
Kick those people off the
Side
And burn those letters with your pride.

This room is warmer
And my family non-toxic.
Tomorrow we’ll go bowling.
Drop the hilt, though,
Here we’re not governed
By sunlight through
Stained-glass windows.

Because you smashed down that door
You thought you were…

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Strong as Rocks

Strong as Rocks

Nesbit –

I’ve read my fair share of poetry and I’d love to have started all over again. Firstly, to relive that first read, that first personal discovery to a great piece of writing. Secondly, there’s hundreds of poets I’ve explored and I know, because I didn’t write them down, I’ve forgotten. However some other poems and poets I’ve not only not forgotten but their work has been ingrained in my mind, for various reasons. Their works often pop into my head and I wanted to share some that might do the same for you. There’s quite a variety:-

  • Vultures by Chinua Achebe – it’s about love and how it exists universally, in good and bad people and animals. The imagery has stuck with me since I read it when I was much younger, and the Commandant is a person I’ll never forget.
  • Slough by John Betjeman – a poem about the dull town of Slough (which is just outside London, for those who didn’t know.) It was featured in the The Office television series (UK) and the meter is brilliant. It’s perhaps the most powerful opening verse to a poem I’ve read and epitomises Betjeman’s feelings for the town.
  • When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be – John Keats – a fear that I feel everyone has, deep inside, that we may never be able to finish what we started, or achieve what we hope to accomplish before our time is over. The opening image of the pen ‘glean[ing] [his] teeming brain’ has never left my head. Whenever I begin to write, I imagine this pen absorbing all my thoughts and ideas and spilling them out onto the paper (or keyboard/screen, etc.)
  • Today – Frank O’Hara (below) – I only picked up this poem recently and it’s already made it’s resonating home in my head. It’s about how anything can be poetic and anything can be the focus of poetry. It’s reminded me not to make light of anything. Nothing is boring – it’s the way you portray it in writing. And that final line is brilliant – they’re strong as rocks!
Today (1950)

Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they've always talked about
                       
still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They're strong as rocks.

I hope you enjoy these poems - they have had great influence my writing.