Thursday August 15th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about something that is: backlogged.

Finally got around to weeding out our swiss chard this morning. With the restaurant ordering several pounds of it each week it was really worth doing.

This evening I got started with cleaning up the garlic we harvested... um, too long ago. Thankfully they didn't seem to mind the delay, as the vast majority of the bulbs I worked with looked really good. It was a nice change compared to previous years, which saw close to fifty percent of the garlic damaged due to either bugs or being left in the ground too long.

Mine:

He sits in silence,
Not in peace -
For his work never
Seems to cease.

His poor desk trembles,
Starts to tilt;
All of this pressure
Makes him wilt.

His sigh is heavy,
His heart cold,
As he keeps doing
What he's told.

4 comments:

Greg said...

Heh, sounds like the prompt has come about from multiple tasks you feel you're running behind on! I hope you get a few hours to get caught up soon then :)
I like your poem, although I kind of feel it's about me. I'm changing jobs, and my current job's response has been to insist I work out my full notice period and refuse to let me take any of my accrued holiday. To say I'm counting the days till I can be free of them would miss out that I'm also counting hours, minutes, seconds....
But back to your poem – I love the imagery in there, especially in the second first, and the rhyme-scheme works really well to suggest reluctance, pressure and the difficulty of the task at hand.

Backlogged
Charles Aciugiemeno, Head of Building Security, checked that no-one else was on the roof, and then deactivated the local cameras with the remote control he kept chained to his belt-loop. Each camera emitted a high-pitch chirp in turn to indicate that it had closed off. Only then did he walk to the edge of the building and step off.
He dropped maybe a foot, enough for a scare and a jolt, and then landed on a narrow walkway carefully painted to look like part of the view down if you looked over the edge. He walked along it slowly, deep in the shadow of the building, checking each footstep, and, at the end, stepped through a narrow slit back into the building.
Inside was a retina scanner to operator a heavy steel door, and beyond that was a second door that required both a passcode and a bank account number before it would open. Both doors closed silently behind him as he passed through into the true, secret heart of Building Security.
The icy-white chamber contained four cryo-coffins, one empty and three containing Charle's predecessors as Head of Building Security. There was a folding metal chair set by the cryo-coffin of his most recent predecessor, and he sat down in that. Almost immediately the room darkened and a ceiling-mounted projector came to life.
The backlog appeared in bold black letters on a screen at the far end of the room.
"Yes," said Charles, his voice unusually hesitant. "There is a backlog of security issues at the moment, and I'm working to clear this. The obvious solution would be to–"
The screen changed to words that read Hermetically seal the building and deploy nerve agents
"Yes, exactly," said Charles. "The political climate doesn't permit that however. Not even as an accident."
Then what do you propose to do about the backlog?
"I have a plan," said Charles.

morganna said...

The water gathers
Behind the natural dam -- a fallen log
More debris -- small trees, an unlucky camper's tent,
Bumps the dam, swirling in the rising water

Abhi M said...

Thought to start a business of their own,
They were successful until they were a group
One left the company, rest started fighting
They started blaming each other for the list 'backlog'

Marc said...

Greg - after hearing about the ridiculous hours you worked at this job, I'm rather excited to hear that you'll be switching to a new one (even if your final days in this one are not the most pleasant).

I hope your new position affords you a little more free time, and maybe even a vacation or two. Same field or something completely different?

Ah, Charles. I'm afraid to hear the details of this plan...

Morganna - excellent imagery here, it really paints a picture for me.

Still owe you an email. Still haven't forgotten.

Abhi - that does not sound like a very pleasant work environment!