Tales From a Thousand and One Meetings

He was not the first.  No one
believed him the last to press
the project's chalice to his lips.
Like all before him, his contract
was littered with exits and penalties
like late-night-landfill surrounding
a fast-food bin.  Yet he caught a glimpse
of his sponsor's heart; he'd seen
the Sunday morning samaritan
hiding from the working week -
it was playing sardines in his soul
with the other unwelcome humanities.
It was to this opaque martyr
that he hailed the heroes of labour
in Stakhanovite fables, fame found
in a five-week plan.  At sea with a crew
of sub-contractors; wreckers intent
on tipping them over the edge
of timescale, the mythical beasts
of pre-varication, the monsters
that could never commit.  In his
Gantt chart the plot was laid bare,
an Odyssey of objectives
graphed through to roll-out,
serialized in chapters of expectation,
seeded with teasers of sub-text
like hardware solution or license.
All wrapped up within the esoteric words
of mystic harmony - the classical corporate
balance, the ying and the yang
of implementational risk
and contingency.  One week,
two weeks, three weeks more,
this Scherezade of signed-off spin
had beguiled the quorate heart.
So satisfied they passed him a towel,
in its luxury nap lay the key
to the quilted roll that serves
for executive hygiene.

Graeme Bes-Green

If you've any comments on this poem, Graeme Bes-Green would be pleased to hear from you.