“Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho it’s Off to Work We Go…”

Doggerel Dave

Notice of absence from Doggerel Dave
Not absent - still here!
Keep Calm and Carry On Poeming. 😂

Conditions are unsafe at this workplace,

So discontented workers want to say     

The whole damn thing is a total disgrace.


Management hard men manage to debase,

Attempt to keep all resistance at bay.

Conditions are unsafe at this workplace.


Shareholders evade toil in any case

With resources, also the time to play.

The whole damn thing is a total disgrace.


No folks can forever keep up this pace,

Also need better pay come end of day.

Conditions are unsafe at this workplace.


They, wise to their exploitation, could trace

This back to Neoliberalism’s sway.

The whole damn thing is a total disgrace.


They organized to regulate the chase,

The union, a sound worksite, more pay.

Conditions were unsafe at this workplace,

The whole damn thing was a total disgrace.


  • Author: Doggerel Dave (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: October 8th, 2020 05:52
  • Comment from author about the poem: Poetic form – Villanelle. Political persuasion – obvious. Dedicated to all those (particularly young) people forced into an increasingly casualised work market.
  • Category: Sociopolitical
  • Views: 40
  • User favorite of this poem: Mark_2011.
Get a free collection of Classic Poetry ↓

Receive the ebook in seconds 50 poems from 50 different authors


  • Mark_2011

    I enjoyed this and like the villanelle form. It is a worry with people being exposed to dangers at work. That shouldn't be happening.

    • Doggerel Dave

      Cheers Mark. Not quite sure I like the villanelle myself: the form is very strict - but is seemed appropriate here (the repetition has a feel of protest chanting, marching).

    • Goldfinch60

      Many of those ho have the power do not care for the safety of those working for them as long as the profits are always increasing.


      • Doggerel Dave

        You got it - Thanks Andy. Glad it's appreciated as it took quite a lot of sweat to get that one together. How I arrived at Villanelle is a story. I like Dylan Thomas but fell out when I discovered 'Do not Go Gentle' - the sentiments. I realised he was projecting his grief onto his dying father, but these are the exact antithesis of my feelings which are 'I hope to go gentle, futile to rage' - a line in a much longer effort I intend to throw at MPS one day. But Villanelle came out of this as a form I could use just once.

      • Merissa

        I liked this and often this is the case. People in charge only care about money.

      • Doggerel Dave

        Thanks Merissa.I don't know how I missed your post here - although I've noticed that MPS does occasionally miss the notification.
        Pleased you liked it - I feel very strongly about this topic. The form was very difficult also. It's good to have it appreciated.

      • Rocky Lagou

        Wow, Dave, this was truly spot-on.
        The way you made this villanelle seem so effortless is incredible.
        You so accurately describe the overworker mentality in this poem.
        It's like big companies and corporations are normalizing working their laborers to death.
        It's our "workaholic" world that adapts to these norms and feeds the fire.
        You described this perfectly.

        • Doggerel Dave

          Many thanks Rocky - It is many moons since I've let this see the light of day. I'm so very glad you like it.
          As an ongoing dialogue I'm to return to your original poem - see you there.

        • sorenbarrett

          I think I have worked there before. Whether physical safety or emotional or even the security of the job itself I have been there. Watch your back is the motto. A good warning with a nice flow Dave.

          • Doggerel Dave

            Thanks Soren - I never thought this would see the light of day once more - but since it was really hard work (the villanelle ain't easy) I'm rewarded that it has. I don't think I'll go there again. It's just that in my mind it suited the subject matter.

          To be able to comment and rate this poem, you must be registered. Register here or if you are already registered, login here.