Precipice of Now

Precipice of Now

Today’s business awaits my attention.
A loose assemblage of things still to do.
An assortment that hangs in suspension;
At the precipice of ‘now’ … fallen due.
Unfinished jobs have no place on the shelf.
And so, to that list; that drop-box of chores:
bullet-pointed messages; notes to self;
reminders that only a fool ignores.
And so, to that list of missed appointments:
that stalled project; that interrupted task;
to all that, that is yet to commence.
To that pending pile: “be patient” I ask!
. All in good time, each matter’s attended.
. It’s at that point, the file is suspended.

© Tim Grace, 9 May 2014


To the reader: Two weeks after retiring, I started my next job. The plan was to down-size expectation and workload; get things back to a manageable perspective. To some extent that was the reality but the fundamentals of paper warfare move from job-to-job and desk-to-desk. Projects are the enemy of state. They form the territory upon which office activities spiral out of control in the name productivity. Projects – front-line battles that draw upon scarce resources and redirect energies towards hot-spots of disputed service.

To the poet: As a single-minded sonneteer, I manage my own poetry project – an anthology of sorts. As far as I know “One More Sonnet” has no project-plan; nothing to coordinate its resources and deliver its services. With hindsight, I could back-engineer a plausible plan that makes what I’ve done look organised; but in fact, the whole project grows like topsy. From one idea to the next I lunge and lurch … help wanted; must be good with pen and caper!


Precipice of Now

Precipice of Now

Business as usual

Business as usual

For the most part, routine describes the day.
Business as usual distracts the eye.
Process and procedure keep chance at bay.
Method over madness will justify:
the practical, simple, the tried and true,
reason over passion, temper’s excess;
and so, the day proceeds, unfolds on cue.
Function, not fanfare, the mark of success.
Minimise the risk of excitement’s flare:
small steps, not large, and look before you leap!
Treat the day as hostile, handle with care.
Treat mole-hills as mountains; as far too steep!
. Today’s containment is alive and well,
. With fires to dampen and seas to quell.

© Tim Grace, 20 October 2013


To the reader: Work has an inflated ego. This self-appointed, self-anointed, arbiter of time’s worth is a small-minded accountant. Given a badge, this officious miser of minutes scrapes from employment every last morsel of production. The yard-stick is a poorly calibrated measure of busy-ness; units of labour; toil and drudgery. The accountant’s grip on work-for-work’s sake strengthens and with throttling effect motivation is all but exhausted.

To the poet: I’m working on a holiday… aren’t we all? Work’s relationship with rest and play doesn’t have to be adversarial. If work is a drudgery, then the distinction is probably convenient; as in, I’m ‘going to work’ suggesting a dislocation from other creative pursuits. Ideally, work, rest and play are a natural integration of life’s energies; with each contributing to an overall sense of wellbeing.


Business as usual

Business as usual

Desk Mess-age

Desk Mess(age)

Not a year that went exactly as planned:
melodrama, tragedy and high farce.
Controversial guests that denied the bland
intent of pleasant passage come to pass.
We’ve managed (despite these guests) to cope
with upset, and to patch-up those mistakes
that through repair addressed the slippery slope.
We’ve all learnt something: learnt what it takes
to muddle-on, to pull-back from the brink;
to keep calm; bunker down and take it slow.
With stoic grit, we’ve learnt to neither blink
nor shrink from scandal’s shame or worry’s woe.
. We are the better for adversity.
. So claims the wisdom of perversity.

© Tim Grace, 6 December 2012


To the reader: I worked with a colleague who muddled his way through a year of workplace calamities. Piles of paperwork spilled over his desk; nothing got finished; technologies failed, and deadlines passed. With such hopeless organisational skills, other staff watched-on in dismay. His boss gave up all hope of a supervised solution; so the problem just got worse. The disconnect widened and office isolation became entrenched.

To the poet: I left a card somewhere on his desk. An end-of-year message that added precarious height to an existing pile of paper. And so began this sonnet. It’s not about ‘him’ more informed by his various predicaments. His office isolation (somewhat self-imposed) reminded me of brackets. Brackets (here exampled) recognise a necessary petition of parts; inclusive features, distinct in nature… describes him well.


Desk Mess-age

Desk Mess(age)
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/zqQby6sZ2rU