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Timeclock: Bloody Survival -- Poem, Part 1

Updated on March 13, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, loves satire and writings to spotlight others, but he also has an "addiction" so to speak, to dramatic and abstract/prose poetry.


- By: Kenneth Avery

Swalloski, did you hear 'bout Jills?
Fired on the spot with six mouths to fill!"
"Stupid foreman, one is ever crowd
Struttin' over us and feelin' proud."

"Hades gonna be full one day, Swalloski!
I tell ya' that!
Fire gon' be so hot burning their butts
And scorching their high hats!"

"Been workin' this one job on the line for years
Ne'er getting' a raise wading through my beer and tears."
"But Swalloski, I tell ya' this
Life in the tenament ain't no pie or chuch house bliss."

"Landlord's cussin' and growlin' at us
Late on the rent--sick of line work and missin' our bus."
"Yeah, we missed our *bus for shore
Licking his pans and scatchin' his door!"


"That cursed sun, how he hates our skins
We crawl to work and fill "the man's" iron bins."
"That cursed clock just sits on its stocks
Whilst we slave on time like bustin' up rocks."

"Hey, over there! Jimmy Beaux, yah you!
Did ye' get ye' raise and walk his blaze?
Ye'd think we've ne'er seed a man in suit
Kickin' our work with store bought boot!"

"Yeah, you gonna be a boss for shore
Cos' they can't kill off none of us no more.
Stop ye' liar's tears, Jimmy with the knife,
Brag to ye' chillin and strut to yore wife!"

"Ye' made it well, Jimmy now Judas of a friend
We'll suck and starve from teat on the end.
Ne'er you mind you suckling o' a man
Crawl where we crawl and nail yore hands!"


"Swalloski, did we slave it for 60 hours or more?
An' get paid worse than a dime sto' whore?
I'ze sick, Swallowski, my mule-for-a-friend
Of dis' misery and greed they ain't gon' be no end!"

"A man has his pride that's all in his hand
A two-cent wage, a crust, drops o' blood in his land.
"When dat's took, don't whip us to look
Your name's wrote and told in His dust forsook."

"One by one, ol' grinnin' boss o' mine
One by one, ye' all bend low to get the line."
"He looks in where nobody breathes a breath
Beyond the uncertainty of wealth
And cold, sure certainty of death."

"Our work's done over, o' grinning boss so low
We'ze might be crawlin' and slowly we go."
"We'ze might be dealin' of tongue's now true
No more sweat . . .
No more regret . . .
No more lifeless breads we get . . .
No more life seeping out soles o' my shoe . . .
And no more devils and scoundrels . . .
And begone, shell of a boss in you."


Timeclock: Victims' Falling

Roll that line . . .
Kick that line . . .
Stomp! Stamp! Clap!
Sweat! Sweat! Sweat!

Never ending, always pending on skeleton's thin hands
Get more hands! Get more hands!
I've got money on the line! Money on the fly!
Fire that line! Gear to high! Hit the sky, sky, sky!

What? You can't work? Smoke's too thick?
So what if your wife is sick?
Thick! Thick! Thick!
Make more machinery
Tick! Tick! Tick!

Working double shifts, can't afford lazy drifts!
You better hear me, for I'm your boss!
Only profit for me and for you only loss!
Loss! Loss! Loss!
Remember, gritty man, skin of tan,
I'm the man! I hold the hand!


I grit my teeth, little men on the line!
I stomp my shiny feet right on time!
Feet! Feet! Feet!
Shapely shapes of blurry blue hue
I tell you true
Or you get my shoe!
Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!

Sweaty production line-a rollin' black
Frowning men, beaten men, broken backs
Roll and roll, steam, yelling to broken ears
Nuts and bolts ground to dust in years
Cementing little men's darkened fears.

Boss standing proud braggart aloud
Wy' I whispers, he's as big as a cloud.
Standard and plowed
Arms a crossing--lissen to 'im bossin'
The crying river o' peace and death
I be a crossin'.

© 2017 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Bobbi,

      How are you--really?

      Are you doing okay? I mean that too. Was all of your cousins working on the assembly lines in the 1950's?

      Mine were. Uncle Jack and Gurt. They were killed by a train one New Year's Eve going to Adrian.

      Jack and Gurt left our homeland due to not having enough money to grow crops. This is a sad fact.

      I hope that when I go to Glory I will get to spend all of the time I want with these two and all of my uncles and relatives.

      God bless you sweet Bobbi.

      And write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Honey,

      You are so warm and kind. Thank you for every comment.

      I mean it 110%.

      Please keep in touch.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Ruby Jean,

      You nailed it!

      I could not have said it more complete.

      What observation powers.

      I love it.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Louise,

      I sincerely Appreciate YOU!

      Thanks and please stay in touch with me.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Gypsy Rose Lee,

      No problem whatsoever. I understand more than you thought of this time clock--or was it a time clock?

      Read it again.

      Thank you and do stay in touch with me.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 9 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Sakina :)

      Thank you very, very much for your sweet comment. And I appreciate you reading this abstract/prose piece.

      You are very talent.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 10 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Actually for me this is inspirational. Working at home and having no time clock to punch I just recently had a slow meltdown and got way behind online because motivation to get online was zero. Now if I had a time clock along with your poetic inspiration I would not have drifted so far off track.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Woah! Really interesting and I loved reading this Kenneth, my dear friend. Great job! :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I know this was about the working man punching the old time clock, but I thought of slaves working for their master's. Another heartfelt piece Kenneth....

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 10 months ago from Illinois

      Wow..You're really a talented poet! I loved this. I surely can relate to corporate greed, being overworked, and underpaid. Way to go!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 10 months ago from Florida


      You captured the heart and soul of the working man who labors his life away to feed his family. It reminds me of the 1950s my daddy talked about when his cousins worked on assembly lines.

      I guess I had great jobs compared to your poem--I felt part of their life as I read it. Such great work can only come from a man who inspires us all to write from the heart.

      Love it, and take care,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 10 months ago from Norfolk, England

      That's another lovely poem. I enjoy reading your poetry.