I work as an university administrator and receptionist, a job that carries a fair amount of responsibility. Given my relative lack of experience I have acquitted myself very well through nearly a year in the role, gaining a huge number of new skills as well as becoming friends and colleagues with loads of wonderful people along the way.
I also like writing poetry, which, for whatever reason seems to have some kind of stigma surrounding it. When a person says that they have written a poem, or can come across as poetic in either their speech or their writing, they can be sneered upon a little.
My liking for poetry began at a reasonably early age, and the nature of my work has become considerably more personal as I have grown older, with verses detailing more trivial subjects making way for the real-life thoughts (and there are many) that creep into my mind.
The first poem I wrote after beginning in my job can be perceived as one which showcases the sense of self-doubt I felt at the time. As the hours passed I was often worrying about how I was viewed by everyone at work and whether I was well-liked. Aside from the occasional relapse, these thoughts have now largely subsided, but I thought this poem marked a turning point as to me it seemed to show that I was coming of age as a poet.
Entitled ‘The boy who brought it down’, it is set some time in the not-too-distant future and depicts my sole, almost ghostly presence in my workplace, presiding over what is essentially a delapidated ruin. It probably encapsulates some of my tentative fears at the time and how I was a little wary of being perceived, but I guess it was also written with the awareness that the contents were far from the real truth.
Here it is in full:
I creep through the haunted hall
Plagued by doubt yet full of love
Watching over the corridors of sepia
Until push finally comes to shove
I see an office adorned with hangings and blinds
Dusty files and earthy drawers
Webs hanging from the dim lights
This place has been through the wars
Once it used to prosper
Over four years of groundbreaking schemes
But then the soul was removed
Making it fall apart at the seams
And at the centre lies a desk of decaying timber
Where one teenage delinquent used to reside
His dishonest dealings with the guests
Were the reason why the whole place died
While I have made moves away from this format, the standard quatrain verse with the single rhyme remains my preferred style. This particular poem may be seen by some to represent the anxiety felt by some administrators, or anybody who begins in a new job. You are just desperate to impress your bosses and not to put a foot wrong.
For the record, I don’t think it is fair to call me a delinquent, and my so-called dealings with guests are (certainly intended to be) far from dishonest, but the message that this poem conveys is that I really wanted to prove myself and not be responsible for things going wrong.
The poem is an exaggeration of the potential consequences which were flickering in my head from when I began, until say the summer of last year. As I said at the beginning of the post, I have acquitted myself very well, so any major worries I might have had proved unfounded, and I am now pretty relaxed about things.