Hamster wheels

I might be a slave to capitalism
That’s what I’ve decided
These wild hours sat with a screen
And then evenings spent pumping out words
Like some verbose, defecating machine
Weekends working that hamster wheel again
The money is addicting
And the silence of not doing
Is deafening
So I’ll do and continue to do
To fill the quiet air with pennies and pounds
And stop it inflating with the cold tickle of worry
Bumbling, sore, back is bruised from the inside
Chest is tight, feet feel swollen
Convinced I’m dying in some way
(I guess we all are, in the end)
Poised to deliver, biting off more than my mouth and fingers can handle
Capitalist slave, I didn’t realise rest is rebellion.

The video call conundrum

Like feeling around in the dark

Trying not to step on toes

Fingers in eyes

Teeth glinting, words warbling

Ignored and then repeated

If still ignored then give it up

Wait for the wave to pass

Then plunge into its dark creases

When you think there’s an opening

(But of course you can never tell)

So you’ll probably end up soaked in shame

A blur in their peripherals

Dunk your head under for a third time

Trying not to get wet

Trying to let your words penetrate

The foamy skin

Stopping short of shouting

Like screaming into the void

But you might as well be on mute

I’ll tear my hair out before this is over

A bald, shadow-slurping mess

Is what I’ll be reduced to

Like feeling around in the dark

For dropped keys on a dusky carpet

Clad in dead skin, fingers twitching

Like being blind at a party

Not knowing who you might grope

Like shouting into the void

Might as well be on mute.

Rush hour ramblings

Pandemonium at Waterloo

At quarter to six.

Desperate, jumping commuters

Juggling briefcases, contents akimbo

Scurry like mice to the platform’s edge.

Scuttling, weak-kneed pensioners are thrown into a gruelling moshpit

Seats are treasures

For the fast and furious

Who tread on toes and elbow ribs and shove handbags

Muffled sorrys

Echo in a room filled with people desperate to get home.

Warbling announcements tell of woeful delays

Heels click, mouths tut, throats yawn.

And then a dash to the train turns into a marathon

Survival of the fittest, else you’ll have to stand.

The horrors of rocking up at Vauxhall

Knowing there’s no space.

Pedestrians left looking lemon-faced, scorned

Like a cruel joke we ride on past.

Me seated, on my way to inhale some jambalaya,

Them standing, wondering when they’ll catch a break.

The same happens at Clapham Junction

And I’m just a little bit sympathetically smug.