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Occupied State - A Poem

I find ‘occupation’ an odd word for job

whether tinker, tailor, full-time slob;

the word makes work sound more like war

like it invaded your life through military force.


But, of course, that’s true: there’s a war between

all of us and the Capitalist War Machine.

The battleground is our time; the weapons, our fear

and the mind-forged manacles I still hear.


Watching quiz shows on TV, I hate it when

‘name’ is followed by ‘occupation’ rather than

‘father’ or ‘poet’ or ‘human being’;

it doesn’t take a Mastermind to see we need freeing


from this occupied state of work-life imbalance;

we need to give a different system a chance.

End Capitalism? A four-day-working-week?

Work less, live more, explore and seek


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James Lawton (he/him) is a father to a toddler, partner to a Scouser, English teacher, and part-time poet. James grew up in one armpit of the northern England (Oldham) and he currently lives in another (Mossley). His favourite biscuit is a chocolate Hobnob.

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