What’s accountancy got do with poetry?

Believe it or not, there are some poetic moments in accounting, or so I’m told.

At the launch of my collection Mistaken for a Real Poet as part of New Poets 16, Steve Evans heard me read my poem Caution: This Office May Damage Your Health.  Steve is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. He is also poetry editor of the journal  Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (London).  Steve liked the poem and will be publishing it in the journal in the coming months.

The poem was also Poem of the Month for the Friendly Street meeting in Goolwa in April 2010, and published in the Friendly Street Reader 35

Caution – This Office May Damage Your Health

It’s the tea room gossip that irks ya

It stings and blinds ya

With its he said and she said

And you’ll never guess and the bloody

Oh my God! Oh my God!

What was she thinking?

You thought at first they were all dull and grey

But it turns out the place is like a Bangkok brothel

It’s the tea room gossip that irks ya



It’s the mobile phone ring tones that needles ya

They frazzles and dulls your brain

Bleating from unattended desks

Tinny tones of the latest TV soap theme

Or over and over again some comedy show catch phrase

Possibly mildly amusing the first time

Irritating the second and then increasingly exasperating

Until you swear you’ll bring a sledgehammer in tomorrow

And smash the bloody thing to smithereens

It’s the mobile phone ring tones that needles ya



It’s the meetings that drives ya to distraction

They numbs and deadens ya

The ‘purely for decorative purposes’ agenda

The action items never to be actioned

The head spinning pointless Powerpoints

With ballistic bullets and apoplectic arrows

Meaningless as a mission statement

And sleep inducing presenters talking to the wall

It’s the meetings that drives ya to distraction



But it’s the clichés that finally does ya head in

They blisters and rips ya

As you’re listening to a heads up about world’s best practice

Getting incentivized to leap from behind the 8 ball

Through a 24 by 7 window of opportunity

Into a whole new ball game on a level playing field

Moving forward, at the end of the day

In this rapidly changing globalised environment

Yes it’s the clichés that finally does ya head in

© Mike Hopkins 2011

8 thoughts on “What’s accountancy got do with poetry?

  1. Yes, for ‘accountancy’ read ‘bureaucracy’ I reckon. I’ve managed to avoid staff meetings (as a teacher) for most of this year thankfully. The whole mission/ vision statement bullshit seems to have infected almost every form of employment these days. Sections of curriculum are called “Learnings” now! George Orwell predicted all this gobbledook in 48 when he wrote 84!

  2. I love your words here, well done on capturing it all to share with others.

    I’m in the fortunate position of being unemployed and almost unemployable. When I go to meetings, I’m there for the free coffee and food, the funny faces made, and the hilarious pronouncements made with full pomp and ceremony.
    I can smile enigmatically and keep my thoughts to myself, or I can shout with laughter at the stupidity of it all. The worst they can do to me is throw me out and ban me from their silly meetings.
    Yes, my life as a poet with a chronic illness truly is a great life!

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