One of the darker months
The phone rarely rang
Her typewrite ribbon fresh
The keys unimpressed
Cartridge paper laid in the tray
Gathering a carbon copy of dust
Once the post was checked
Orders filed and queries placed in pending
She'd roll the chair under its desk
Lie on the floor
And sleep

Next door, under neon I sat each day
Writing out lists of prospects
From Kelly's Directory and Kompass
Industrial estate after industrial estate
Postcode by postcode
For the territory salesmen
Occasionally compiling a report
about small electrical domestic appliances
Or drafting the blurb that would sell
Slow cookers, steam irons, sandwich toasters
I turned up most days
Before the news of Lennon
I couldn't imagine

She and I spoke so rarely
I forgot her name, she mine
The thin-windowed false wall
Partitioned us
Her with perpetual weariness
Me with accumulating grief
I wonder still
What brought us together?


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-One prompt: person / job / art / unanswerable question.

CLP 21/04/2022

on gaslighting

I wrote to you
with my concerns and fears
for our collective future
(the children's too)
waited for your reply
I waited for you
to phone or call by
for a discussion
on how we might work it
I got your response
woven through my lines
you'd done everything
you could
I was grateful to be told
everything possible
was possible and was good
if everyone else does everything
that in your opinion they should


n.b. Are we employing the wrong people to run things? Why is it us not following their instructions, not them not listening?

Loving being back at work tbh; it’s a gas.

CLP 30/03/2022

on light

work stops for today
Sun has unfinished business
shadows drag homeward


CLP 12/02/2022

on time

sunrise to sunset
witnessed from my work station
daylight flashes by


CLP 26/01/2022

on light

compared with the Sun
everything becomes grey-scale
without perspective


n.b. It has been a challenging few days, putting fingers to the keyboard as impossible as joining like poles of two magnets. The ‘must post’ became ‘can’t post’.

Now, a shift. Was it the sunlight? Was it the experience of movement in daytime? Was it enjoying catching up with distant friends during the Twelve Days of Christmas? Was it remembering no employer owns all my time? Was it a conversation? Was it spending an hour cleaning the bathroom (don’t ask)? Was it hearing the wren singing?

The shift is back ‘to ‘I post‘. Easy enough to say…


CLP 08/01/2022

on time

hours spent at a desk
because the balance between
pay and life is wrong


CLP 25/12/2021

on Autumn

tardy Sun arrives
pays us cursory visit
clocks off as soon as...


n.b. If it even bothers to turn up for work these days.

CLP 08/12/2021

on payday

all those hours used up
while outside weather happens
meaningless tokens

n.b. Herzberg was right, hygiene factors, such as the work environment and pay, are nothing more than satisficers. I look at my salary statement and think, I am giving up living for this, just so I can afford to live?


CLP 20/11/2021

on the wheel

changes of colour
cannot disguise reality
working a treadmill


CLP 29/10/2021

on stage

under spotlight's glare
all can see imperfections
of others' labours


CLP 14/10/2021