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Dave Robertson Apr 2022
Intent on the final bell ring
declaring spring for reals
as we feel every inch
a bag of hammered turds

You will have heard the crack
in every colleague’s voice this term,
felt the glut of panics
that the journey home may be in a hearse

Still, it could be worse,
and when the rear view
shows a dwindling, darkening school,
we’ll spend two weeks pondering how,
Dave Robertson Mar 2022
The absolute ******* grind of it,
each inch upholstered rough,
sandpaper cushions and *******,
this is school my loves:
best days of your life,
except the frequent crying
and wishing for an end,

but then
the dazzle blather
of someone excited by your subject,
your patient, pent up words
and your bitten cynicism scuffs enough
to see your old electric truths beneath
Dave Robertson Mar 2022
Two paracetamol
washed down with Gaviscon
from the car stash, 7:57

Later, at break,
if I’m feeling cheeky
I’ll pop a couple of Nurofen
from the desk drawer
and ride that mild alleviation

At lunch, if the planets align
and I reach the toilet,
in the muffled cubicle
my eyelids will flutter
as I stretch and let the Anadin Plus
do its thing

Medicate to educate
Dave Robertson Jan 2022
I love you lot.

You colleagues and loves who despise this
alongside me
so when my foot slips or knee gives
you are at my shoulder, my elbow

with a Kit-Kat or quick jab
about being old and ****
so giggles lift the misery
of ignorant, blind and fruitless bosses

while our loss seems their gain for now
I am bound to remember this refrain:
We’re not gonna take it

So, my brothers and twisted sisters
get those pitchforks ready,
sharpen in the dark,
keep being artisans

for when the time comes,
the spreadsheets won’t even be worth
the cold nothing they’re typed on
but your healing hands will
Dave Robertson Jan 2022
You’ll look close for all its feints,
its lies of needing you
being lost without
while the fingers on your windpipe tighten
and those tears come in place of shouting

loud, steady, drip-drip mention
of blissed futures,
dispatched, ***** pasts,
the present full
of passive aggression
where passivity is too nuanced

you’ll still be there with open arms
and a heart dark with hope,
but that tickle-whisper in your skull
is not just the concussion
not just
Dave Robertson Jan 2022
Today I began to hem,
rein in the threads that grow free
when left unstitched

I ticked a set of books
and, though I love my charges,
my heart hurt

My language is another,
my experience of this globe
unutterably different,
though geographically the same

And I want to help them play the game, I do,
but I don’t trust those
telling me how to

My instincts,
honed by humans I trust, unless
I’m lost in my own Truman Show,
show me the right way to go,
divergent  from this current shitshow

The pedagogy of care
is somewhere way, way
over there
Dave Robertson Jan 2022
I know which fat bells are tolling
with “Pupils come first” on lips
like a benediction spoke by those
whose fingers dip the collection box

But it can wait.

Piles of marking like ancient pillars
meant for Samson to do his thing
remain upright

Because a little tight in this metaphor,
Samson is for cooking a roast
playing video games
and watching the last gasp of TV,
anyone with me?
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
No sooner through the door
than spider-legged anxiety
scurries back haphazard
like a frenemy whose cactus skin hug
begins in September and ends in July
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
Correlation does not imply causation.

Solid, strong, fact.

But when the month long grey veil
that smothered our holiday is hauled back
just as we return,
sun and fat heat to grill us in our ties and blazers,
I’m inclined, for once, to thumb my nose at science:

nature abhors term time
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
Aspiration? A tricky call.
I’m more than willing to give you a leg up,
but I can’t define where you’ll climb,
or I’ll be the *** who assumes

your *** might become an astronaut,
an assassin for hire,
or just gain enough cash to survive,
or be proudly working class,
or to clash with the establishment
and bring them crashing down
your *** might want to work
hard and fast
or be happy to rock up comfortably last
the amount of possibilities are vast
and equally valid and yours

I’ll lend a mind, some thoughts, some words to help
but for each self to realise themselves,
I’ll not assume,
we know what that would make us
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