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Wayne Dean-Richards new poetry series begins here a father's advice to a son being interviewed to work on the Coventry Ring Road - 1958

Wayne Dean-Richards new poetry series begins here

a father's advice to a son being interviewed to work on the Coventry Ring Road - 1958

by Wayne Dean-Richards,
first published: February, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

The 18 poems from Wayne Dean-Richards' IT'S A MAD WORLD BUT FUNNY series, to be published throughout the spring of 2023 in Outsideleft, begins here

Wayne Dean-Richards has shared 18 poems for us to publish during 2023. The collection is called It's a Mad World, But Funny. Eventually there will be a free, downloadable PDF of all the poems and a planned A6 compendium too. (Links to all of the poems way down the page.)


a father’s advice to a son being interviewed to work on the Coventry Ring Road - 1958

a peppery sort
but with a good heart
the old man’s words came at him fast:

“tell him your name
and don’t correct him if he mispronounces it:
bosses don’t like to be corrected.

“he’ll have nicotine stains on his fingers
but don’t stare:
bosses don’t like to be stared at.

“whatever you do don’t listen to
Heartbreak Hotel before your interview:
that Elvis Presley will set you on the wrong road for sure!

“wear a clean white shirt,
put creases in your trousers like razor blades and
don’t forget to shine your shoes.

“stand up straight
and call him sir.
don’t speak unless you’re spoken to.

“if there’s a view of that new cathedral they’re building
and the boss points to it,
be sure and say something nice about it.

“your hands are made
to build this ring road they want building:
so, make sure the boss sees them.

“if you get a chance
tell him you know
about building.

“if he asks,
the ratio of sand to cement
is 3 to 1.

“but make sure, son
for god’s sake:
you don’t mention that other building you do!"

the old man’s words circled like crows,
and still I said
to the boss,

“I’ve all sorts of experience
including, just recently,
building a model Heinkel - He 111."

the boss’ nicotine-stained fingers tensed.
he said,
“you’ve apparently got a sense of humour, lad."

from the boss’ window
was a view of
what remained of St Michael’s:

a monument

the boss puffed on a Woodbine and said,
“but I like a lad with a sense of humour…
you start tomorrow.”

© Wayne Dean-Richards

Essential Info
The 18 poems comprising Wayne Dean-Richards' IT'S A MAD WORLD BUT FUNNY series are listed below.  Outsideleft will be publishing them all throughout 2023. A free downloadable PDF and a limited edition A6 Outsideleft Booklet (for neither profit or loss) of these poems will be available at the end. But not till the end. I am pretty sure that means November...

Wayne Dean-Richards

Wayne Dean-Richards works with short stories and the novel. His work has been published in magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US. Some of that work can be found in his collection Cuts, available here

about Wayne Dean-Richards »»



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