Season after stolen season rises
with the bands of corporate warriors,
girdled round with mobile phones and pagers
and laptops on tabletops and slick palms
remotely networked to the internet.

Month on month the progress meetings, fighting
through slip and dependencies, adjusting
position, progress and key perspectives
for presentation to the customer,
keenly compiling all the penalties.

The anxious frowns, the worried sounds, the things
they never said but wanted to, spilling
into the atmosphere as they patrol the path
with dogged footsteps, evening after
evening and beyond the waiting train.

The ranks rise and fall as the footsie rocks
and rolls, but they rarely see it coming;
the knock that brings them to their knees
the kiss of death, the clear your desk
the sideways opportunity.

Keith Thompson
22nd October 2003