Frank Prem

factory work

the factory was led
by the primary dreamer



his job
to see the way
using the vision
of the night



to tell
with just a glance
the true state
of the factory



of the way things are



the way
they need to be



the guard
stationed at the gatehouse
an unskilled job
was meant to receive
was not supposed
to judge



but every man
and woman
must present their poem
at the gatehouse



or else
no work



or else
no pay



or else no life
to warm their hearts
before the glare
of the red-eyed kiln



the unblinking kiln



he thought Madelaine
had progressed
the most
in the last few months
had high prospects



her verse
held form
and flow
a strict metre



Pedro though
was still stuck inside
little doggy rhymes



not much



enough
for the right
to get his cheque
on payday



Kenny
the guard
sometimes read aloud
quietly
a few of the stanzas
he steals



down at the pub
in the parlor
with a pint of beer
when he was
by himself



all the time
thinking



one day



one good day
he would
write a poem
that he thought himself
on paper



and earn the right
to hand them in
to some other guard
while he worked
the better work
with the other skilled



in front of
the red-eyed
of the factory



under the sleeping hand
of the dreamer



the master dreamer



until then
he’d accept the scribblings
and notes
of every working man and woman
who filed by him
to start their shift



and he’d practice
by reading them
in a murmur



his lips
moving
in the near silence
of an act
of faith



~

Comments5

  • Nicholas Browning

    Very deep stuff we have here I see. Well done Frank. Good to see it. In my experience, factory work would be much more interesting if it went down like this. Thanks bud.

    • Frank Prem

      Hi Nicholas. Thank you. Poetry = skilled. That appealed to me very much.

    • Michael Edwards

      Brill write Frank - who is Madelaine?

      • Frank Prem

        Thanks Michael. I made her up. If there were ever a sequel, I'm sure she'd have a part.

        • Michael Edwards

          Can you make up a friend for her? One each? :)

        • 1 more comment

        • Goldfinch60

          Wonderful write, we were all that guard once upon a time.

          • Frank Prem

            Sometimes, I feel I still am, GF.

          • Martina Lynch

            I absolutely love this... I grew up in the potteries and my first job on the day I left school was on a factory Pot bank ..I was a sorter and a lithographer.... thanks for the memories!

            • Frank Prem

              Hey Martina. Thank you. That's a delightful reflection and memory. I have been reading a little of porcelain making most recently and that is reflected in the setting of this piece - not that I know anything at all about it.

              I'm delighted. Again, thank you.

              • Martina Lynch

                Your welcome...and yes it is...I have worked for both Royal Doulton and Wedgwoods Spode and Minton and Coalport, all historic pottery makers. You will have fun researching those, to be sure!

              • 1 more comment

              • FredPeyer

                'The factory was lead by the primary dreamer' is a wonderful expression. Aren't we all 'primary dreamers'? And the poem ends with 'an act of faith', which again is something we all experience when first presenting our writing.
                This is so good! Thanks Frank.

                • Frank Prem

                  Thank you Fred. I'm glad.



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