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Brian Ward
A Man's a man for a' that -- or is he

Dullness doubled day by day
the emptiness of salaried frustration.

Each day a string of automatic gestures, words, reflexes,
each week a five-day sameness, each hour
a deadening identity of the one before and after,
forcing enthusiasm for things that matter less
than a wind-blown dandelion seed.

A knock -- "Come in"; a ring -- "Hello"
trifling queries--names, addresses,
contracts, reports, figures and estimates,
wads of copy, artwork, blocks,
someone else enslaved by print and press times--
should be out fishing or following dogs with a gun
across the autumn fields from Cashel.
Rings again--well, let it!

A man's a man when doing manly things,
creating, hunting, climbing, using skill,
and thinking thoughts more worthy of his nature,
Not fiddling in an office, selling space,
writing words, bluffing,
puffing his goldfish ego
in an artificial bowl,
bending his spirit to a clockwork function,
blinding the inner eye of fancy,
killing Time in scheduled instants,
aborting the vitality of thought,
strewing the Boardroom altar
with liturgies of files and memoranda.

Rings again -- "Hello. Yes, speaking....
"Yes, sir, of course I will -- not at all --
No trouble -- delighted to help --
I'll see it's sent right away."

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