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Fifty-three Stations of the Rokaido: Station 46, "Shono"
Ando Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858)

The World of Work

What a gift! A small hideaway in the South of France where I can retreat, review, revitalise. It works despite the heat and the crowds. I am getting a chance to look at pieces that I have done as part of the Master's course and I even have an accompanying editor.

Part of the question that has been occupying me on the course has been topics to write about or themes that matter to me. I have been wondering if there is poetry in 55 years of working. Having dipped my toe into this particular pond here are two pieces that recently came into being.

As usual, read, enjoy, share, give me some feedback.


Old Threads

After a lifetime of work

making a career of it,

I received a surprise

invitation to present myself

as a job candidate.


It last happened twenty years

ago, so there is a crisis:

business suits and an overcoat,

hung, unused in the wardrobe,

have a tiredness about them.


They are old, worn

and in need of restoration.

The oldest, a fine blue wool,

Italian cut served my working

image for over a decade.


A chocolate brown, with orange

lining followed, slightly riskier

for corporate, though it did

lift my sombre image,

brought a warmer look.


The most recent, a mere three

years old is M&S off-the-rack,

dark, quasi-formal, bought

on the cheap for a wedding,

dressed by a maroon waistcoat.


The overcoat, soft navy wool,

raglan sleeved, lifted everything

to the height of elegance,

gave an executive appearance

and served me well until now.


In real terms, they have reached

the point of the unwearable.

Threads used to make fine fabric

have come to a natural ending

deserving of gentle withdrawal.


Peter Clarke

February 2019



On Being Interviewed for a Job

I am going . . .  well . . .

I am being interviewed

for work tomorrow.


I face corporate in all its regalia:

Glass offices, suave suited                  

      Been there, etc

Younger, wide-eyed, naïve                

      Arse from elbow, etc

I do have a copy of the questions      

      Forgotten more, etc

Highly skilled, experienced                

      Track record, etc

 It is still daunting, scary                     

      What if, etc

I am going . . . well . . .


Peter Clarke

February 2019