Poem #85

The Management Consultant


Could you open the door for me, please?

No, no, no, you’ll never advance like that:

Tailing with a “please”, like a servile rat.

And that ambiguous opener, the tip-toeing “Could”;

Let them know its non-optional, a must, more even than a “should”.

To do this, we bolt the imperative to the verb:

“Open the door”, at volume, so as to ensure that they’ve heard.

And for godsakes dispense with that awful “for me”;

Allow the cretin to retain some sense of their autonomy–

In fact, let them trust that they’re worth something to you:

A fronted adverbial– “kindly”– will do.

But why are we turning door knobs at all?

I’ll make a conservative sum to rile your gall:

Three seconds to open, a hundred times a day,

Thirty minutes a week, two hours per pay;

In a calendar year you’ve lost a whole day’s labour–

Ergonomically speaking, it leaves a grim flavour.

I’d direct you to this electric model– how its glass does so glisten–

And this way, you won’t ever even need a colleague’s assistance.


Poem #81

Is there a crueller sport

Than skimming stones?

I implore you to opine otherwise.

Just look:

A child of nine,

Face screwed in earnest,

Scouring stones, weighting stones,

Appraising stones like a student

Before the avocado basket.

Not flat enough here,

Not round enough there,

Disfigured, unshapely, aeronautically impaired.

But then:

A truffle in the rough!

A wonderstone! Smoothed and plumped

By God’s own hands.

Yet the child admires no more than a moment,

Encircles twixt thumb and index

The stone,

And adds imperfect technique to a perfect tool.

Six skims? Seven? “I counted eight!” they cry,

Having jettisoned perfection to prop up the lie.

Poem #80

There are just so many of them

And they all have ideas.

Do you know how I’ve scraped and trawled

For a tuft

A tuft

That hasn’t been trodden, retrodden,

Rucked over by sixteen pairs of aluminium-studded boots?

But now I think I’ve got it –

Just in time, too.

And I tell you:

One unplucked wisp of green

Is worth a mudded life

In sullied nails.