Track artwork

The Works Canteen

Soloneili on March 07, 2013 20:51

Stats for this track

This Week Total
Plays 55
Comments 10
Favoritings 9

Uploaded by

  • Report copyright infringement

    In 7 Groups

    View all

    More tracks by Soloneili

    Madeira and A Following Sea (Collab with J.Rivas)


    The Chicken Sheds

    Easter Haiku

    Morris Dancers

    View all

    The Works Canteen....a poem by Neil William Holland, a.k.a. Soloneili

    They’ve closed the works canteen,
    replaced it with a vending machine.
    Is that mean or what?
    Antidisestablishmentarianism, that’s what we’ve got.
    The canteen is the church of the people
    where views and opinions tower like a steeple
    above the mundane drudgery of conveyor belts
    and packing cases, lathes and clocked-on faces
    all churning and gurning their daily grind.
    Never mind, the management say.
    Well, we all know if they had their way
    longer hours and less pay would be the norm,
    and that’s how unions were born
    by workers getting together, in canteens!
    Workers fed up and at the end of their tether
    who stood up to be counted, demanded to be seen
    and the very heart of this movement beats in the works canteen.
    Well, they’ve closed it
    and now a Kit Kat is C4,
    a packet of crisps the button before
    and already it’s so worn you can’t make it out.
    In this day and age no-one gives you nowt
    and now you can’t even meet over a cuppa to talk about it.
    So excuse me if I don’t wish the boss a Merry Christmas,
    he’s unapproachable, distant and aloof
    and I for one hope the reindeer miss his roof
    but just in case Dear Santa,
    give him a sour lemon,
    and address the gift tag to Mr Mean.
    He’s the Christmas pudding who’s closed the works canteen.


    10 timed comments and 0 regular comments

    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 1.39 on April 10, 2013 17:54

      @A Fistful of Thistles: Thank you, I appreciate that . Best wishes...Neil

    • A Fistful of Thistles
      A Fistful of Thistles at 1.39 on April 10, 2013 02:48

      Most enjoyable, great delivery. Lots of genuine feeling, not merely read but felt.

    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 0.36 on March 13, 2013 19:39

      @dreadthedays: Thanks D, I must check that out and again, many thanks for commenting and listening.

    • dreadthedays
      dreadthedays at 0.36 on March 13, 2013 15:34

      The creepy factor I am getting is realyl awesome. You should get someone to use your voice or works to make flash video on

    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 1.23 on March 12, 2013 18:31

      @Cosmos6666: Thank you, much appreciated :-)

    • Cosmos6666
    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 0.05 on March 08, 2013 19:39

      @mark goodwin: Thanks Mark, I will do just that. Something has blocked me from sharing Darwinia btw but I'm hoping to change my account and share it here. Thank you as always.....Neil

    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 3.02 on March 08, 2013 19:37

      @mark goodwin: Thank you so much for this in depth comment Mark. You are a very attentive and perceptive reader as, unknown to yourself, I do actually have another alternative reading to this one that is indeed an OTT Union-man giving it 'large' on his platform/pedestal but I've opted for this version because of the very creative reasons you've elicited from your own listening. I'm delighted that it has carried the voice to you as it has. Yes, you are right on all levels Mark, spot on, and I hope that there is much for a listener to glean from repeated airings just as you allude to. I can only thank you for the opportunities that you are giving to all of us digital poets. I honestly believe that your comments really do illustrate what unique opportunities are available to contemporary poets. I'm indebted to you for your proactive commitment to this genre, thank wishes. Neil

    • mark goodwin
      mark goodwin at 0.05 on March 08, 2013 11:53

      Don't know if I've mentioned this before, anyways, please send your work to , and please tell 'em I sent you.

    • mark goodwin
      mark goodwin at 3.02 on March 08, 2013 10:46

      Neil, you do have a very particular way! This is so controlled, there is a huge resentment under this, that lots of people feel, and yet you keep the tone, on the surface, just off raging aggression ... it has a softness, a gentleness that magnifies the anger, as I said, anger shared by many, and so this works in a way a rant could not. That expression: ‘So excuse me if I don’t wish the boss a Merry Christmas.’ is so restrained and understated, and almost polite, a kind of civility – this maintains the decency of the character-speaker, but best, it leaves a gap for the listener to fill, not with rage, but with a slower more poignant anger, a considered and emotionally-processed anger. You also give a voice from a past, but place it very much in today - as the consequences of a 'history'. The sonic brackets to this track - the construction sounds, the digging up of things, the jagged noise of ‘progress’- all in contrast to the gentle strings - brilliant! You are a propper ‘bard’! As I’m sure you know very well, bards are poets who can keep the poetry, keep its depth of possibilities, and yet at the same time make that poetry instantly available, make it easily accesible to many. Bards say things everyday people know and need to say, but that people can’t say in a way that actually says what they know ... and need to say.

    Add a new comment

    You need to be logged in to post a comment. If you're already a member, please or sign up for a free account.

    Share to

    If you are using self-hosted WordPress, please use our standard embed code or install the plugin to use shortcodes.
    Add a comment 0 comments at 0.00
      Click to enter a
      comment at