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Blog - Richard Downes

The Glorious Servant Spends an Hour at his Desk


It had been a glorious autumn morning. A low sun gave light to everything. I enjoyed my walk up to the factory gate. I would witness many things as the working day unfolded. The hooter sounded and I left to a gathering darkness, foreshadowed by the promise of redundancy. Memories are made of this.

The Glorious Servant Spends an Hour at his Desk

A paper dart
A steel template
A concorde shape
Grounded on tarmac

A new still pool
Striped Bollards
Pedestrian signs
Float upside down

An inverse world
A clock tock ticks
Hours pass by
On a desk gathering debris

Wasted papers
Recycled notes
Joyless aide memoirs
A strangers number

A hollow name
Digital voices
A restless craving
A half eaten sandwich

Cheap tepid coffee
Talking to exiled smokers
A flickering screen
A barely legal climate

A nod, a wink
A brief hello
A silent desk
An unlocked draw

A dead worker
A listless staff
A beaten team
A slave remembers

His last email
A data entered
A wage unpaid
Holidays never taken

A question why
A reason why
A goal at once forsaken
Failure to find an answer

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Sedley Bryden
Sedley Bryden

This resonated with me, Rich. ‘A goal at once forsaken’, a poignant line.