Time to go

30 June 2011 § 10 Comments

Close of business

No wandering
For my mind today:
It’s been a strict
Eight-hour forced march
On hard roads
Of others’ choosing,
The telephone bawling orders
And the Inbox driving me
With frequent lashes
Of its electronic whip.
Now the rest of me
Weary with inaction
Rises up; a quiet insurrection
Fomented by the sun
Shining in my window
And the swifts
Like black new moons
Racing over heaven.
The world has made a market of my hours:
Those that remain
Till sleep claims me
Are not for sale.
For now
I am free.

Exposed on Bankside

5 May 2011 § 8 Comments

Phoney

The woman
In a tight black dress and nipped-in jacket
Tailor-made
(But not for her)
Calls a contact overseas
So stridently she scarcely needs 
Her smartphone in its pink leather case;
A long-range artillery exchange
With names as targets,
Dates and times as ordnance.
She signs off, looks round
To make certain
She’s been overheard
Giving out her full plus-four-four dialling code.
Consults the papers
Tucked under one plump arm,
Makes firm, important pencillings,
Snaps the folder shut.
Another call:
Leaves a message for a minion,
Swirls her power and grip on things
Around her like a villain’s cape.
Consults her watch:
Calculates.
Flips the phone cover open
And gazes, rapt
Like a miser at his money-chest.
Then thumbs great secrets
Into the keypad:
Revealing more than she intends
In the moving of her lips.

It seems slightly unfair to single out this one person; you could fire a cannon down any street in London and be sure of hitting at least a dozen just like her.

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