Archive Poetry
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Archive Poetry

i work
as a cleaner –
factory floor

annually
my implements
are replaced with newer products

breakages
must be reported

complaints must be aired to my manager

in my job
i have learned
it doesn’t pay to be smarter than the broom
i work with
testosterone fuelled
apprentices … mechanical;
i can feel the
dominant males -
hairs bristling
on my neck;
their careless ways
first through third year
diminishing by degrees
as they steel
themselves for
uncertain manhood

i watch
deft fingers
latch onto complex
production machines
laid open with
arrogant skill –

strict guidelines
for reparation;
sign-on/sign-off

indentured papers?

‘insufficient servicing’,
cry petulant maidens!

First published by Emerald Publishers (#1 of ‘3 workplace poems’)
in “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal”,
March 2020
the sandover highway
stretches north east from the plenty -
itself attached to highway 87
out of alice springs

slicing through country
it connects cultures

700km from town
lies alpurrurulam
embracing the territory/queensland border

seven hours hard solo driving
toyota tough
with satellite phone/overcast skies/good grace

expect mostly traffic of stock/roos
few cars

educational postman me
delivering adult literacy
at journey’s end
red earth\raw material\once forged\it is literal;

see the arc\feel the heat\shape the product\without mishap
know its strength - paternal and rigid;

leader in its field\stainless steel\unbeatable\hardened\toughened
and fully drilled;

australian mettle?

new age prattle!