Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Department Board Meeting

It is nearly the end of term.
Everyone is tired and scratchy.

The smell of onion soup
drifts across the room.

The Head of Department
has a vivid orange and red waistcoat.
With matching socks.

The business of the department is discussed.
Everyone is there apart from
the Professor who has meetings in Sierra Leone.

The tiny American academic
is wearing a beautifully cut
short suede skirt
with long black boots.

The Admissions Tutor thanks everyone
for their hard work
supporting the admissions process.
Evening Lectures, Open Days, School Visits.
Applications are up.

The academic who dreams of golf courses says
"I am worried that soil is slipping off the agenda."

The enthusiastic academic
is not happy about a proposal.
It has not been properly presented.
The air sparkles.

I am distracted by the sight of a heron
in the blue sky outside the window.
That part of the meeting will not be recorded.

The person next to me is eating
curried chicken in a ciabatta.
It is in imminent danger
of cascading all over his notebook.

The Professor of whom we spoke
requests information about manual handling
with a mischievous glint in his eye.

The Libyan expert is congratulated
on his forthcoming marriage.
Everyone applauds.
He blushes.

Outside, the Magnolia stellata is in full bloom.
In another life I would have been in the garden.

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