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Pulling Rank

by Ambitions of Lisa 

Posted: 15 July 2006
Word Count: 53
Summary: The joys of office politics... :)

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Professional gulf,
a divide.
Your level,
above ours

We are stuck,
in a ravine,
an abyss
of double standards

We ascend!
You attack!
We're grounded,
wings clipped

Above, we witness
incompetence, but
your squawking
obscures ours

Your flapping
blinds us,
we see no light,
no justice

You feather your nest,
from our pickings

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 18:34 on 16 July 2006  Report this post
Hi Lisa. This portrays in a few well-chosen words what happens all the time, unfortunately! I love the bird metaphors and the references to ravines, etc., which smacks of vultures! Perhaps you could re-think the title and include something like that!

I wonder if you could lose some of the commas at the end of lines? I found that I stumbled over the last two lines particularly; it might be better if the line ends suggested the pause.

I now find that I am advising my son to get out while he can and just 'go for it!' Advice which I failed to take myself. Sad but true. Who are these people?? They can't be happy. Can they?



NinaLara at 19:49 on 16 July 2006  Report this post
I echo what Joanie has said. Also, I very much like this:

Above, we witness
incompetence, but
your squawking
obscures ours

Which anyone in any knid of hierarchy must recognise! I think the bird references and landscape references are very appropriate. I wonder if you could do without the first line? Perhaps even substitue incompetence with a word more appropriate to a bird? It is so clear what the peom is about that I don't think you need any literal images (or perhaps I have just read too much African poetry where poets write about the animal kindom to avoid being incarcerated ... works well, though!)

James Graham at 20:47 on 16 July 2006  Report this post
Hi Lisa - I agree with Nina about the first line. Maybe even the first two lines. To start with lines three and four would lead into the bird motif - two levels, high-flying predatory birds and their lower prey.

Your level
above ours,

We are stuck
in a ravine,
an abyss
of double standards

This also gives the poem a satisfying shape, as it now begins and ends with a two-line verse. I've changed your punctuation here too, as I think you need only two commas in these lines. As prose it would read, '[As] your level [is] above ours, we are stuck in a ravine, an abyss of double standards'. The comma after 'nest' could go too.

The bird imagery is good and so maybe you could think about turning more of the language of the poem into 'bird' language. For example, 'We fly low/ in a ravine...' I agree about 'incompetence' too, and have been trying to think of a 'bird' substitute for this word, but it's rather late on Sunday evening...that's my excuse! Maybe, as Joanie suggests, you could have a 'bird' title too. If birds were more prominent in the poem it might disguise the office politics idea a little, but most readers would still get it.


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