Life Alone Too! – a poem from 1985

Life Alone – Too!

 

Tired, hired, even sired

Pliered, mired – when am I gonna get fired?

 

Wooed, doed, badly shoed

Lewd, stewed – and talking crude.

 

Befriended, upended, mainly descended

Tended, blended – but not yet ended!

 

Defeated, depleted, often unseated

Distressed, confessed – and nearly messed!

 

Beaten, uneaten – someone left the heat on!

Cheated, seated – not always repeated!

Stifled, rifled – could be trifled.

Cried, sighed – shouldn’t be denied.

Burned, learned – once even spurned.

Marooned, lampooned – fortunately festooned.

Mistreated, unrepleted – never yet defeated.

Legs splayed, unplayed – accent on the switchblade!

Scolded, moulded – arms as yet unfolded!

Busted, disgusted – haven’t yet quite rusted!

Parade, decayed – not likely to make the grade!

Still sick,

Quite thick –

Looks as if I’d better get out quick!

 

Opher 1985

 

 

Back in 1985 I was the long-haired, young, radical teacher who was intent on blowing up the establishment. I got on well with the kids. I didn’t get on well with the hierarchy. They were the establishment who epitomised everything I stood against. I was the bomb in their midst. I was the rebel that many of the kids identified with. I wanted to blow the cobwebs away.

I did not think I was going to last long. I could see it coming to a head. They’d likely sack me.

The kids ran a magazine and asked me to make some contributions. Mine were banned by the Head. The kids published the magazine with CENSORED written across the spaces where my articles should have been.

It was all very subversive.

I think a little of that energy, madness and attitude was encapsulated in these early poems.

 

The title – Life Alone was a little homage to Dylan (as is the poem itself). It was a reference to being lonely; it was a statement that it is just life alone – inspired by Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding) – It’s life and life only.

There is something great about not giving a damn about the job or the outcomes (I did care about the kids and biology though). I had no inkling that I’d be there long. It wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I was expecting to get sacked at any minute. I was completely free to say what I liked.

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