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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,
exactly
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
heard
and your bitten cynicism scuffs enough
to see your old electric truths beneath
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
Counterpoint:
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
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 Dec 2021
Having dispatched the sound rabble
with mostly love,
our already flaccid balloon
deflates with a final raspberry

a fitting fanfare to a term
that left its markers marked,

the shared mirth,
across eyes and hearts,
at a **** noise
proving once again:
we are why we’re here
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
For a moment,
a minute maybe,
an hour,
my head went under

it wasn’t thrashing gasps
or clawing to froth the surface,
just a steady,
non-negotiable weight
that spoke to my ankles
of depths

I tried to keep my eyes up
following the lipped bubble trail
to the howling truth above
but when my head dropped
the blue belows almost soothed

finally, before lungs gave,
tired fingers relented,
worried the knots,
freed the old strokes loose
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
There aren’t many jobs
where Sunday night
cold grips your guts
and has you palpitate

while midwives are called
and antiques are roadshowed
every inch of will is bent up
in figuring the impossible

if we all know how leading horses to water ends
then can we not give the stable hands a break?

As I watch my own digits shake,
stable hands seems like a joke
no one lets me in on
Dave Robertson Sep 2021
We try to sink into the crepuscular
as behind, another working week
picks us out of its teeth

we throw a couple of weaves
into the route to the sofa
for a headful of peace, maybe

though home has deaf ears too,
we love them
and through years of gaining favour
we’ll keep bruised hearts open there

beyond, you’ll see each aortal latch fixed,
each ventricular bolt slid
and each arterial snib
locked

if sweat and tears are the currency
you’d better ****** earn it
I S A A C Sep 2021
flipping cards, interpreting the message
but too scared to just shoot you a message
and ask you a couple of questions
too worried about repeating lessons
thought you were my blessing now I'm second-guessing
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