Union Songs

three poems by Jim Sharp©Jim Sharp

learners chain

tha yeast has worked tha flour.
our labour'd kneading ‘as proved tha dough.
tha oven-wood ‘as tha oven just reet.
tha dough is tinned & tha oven door shut.
a baker bakes, tha dough becomes a loaf.
our learners chain, be mighty bread delivered.

social humane beings

we await with the dawn
silently afore tumultuous
homo sapiens yield
humaneness in our release.

capital & labour

the crown & the state &
thieving the boozh-wah-zie
come & come & come!
master exploiters in many guises
pilfering in broad day light.


Many thanks to Jim Sharp for permission to add these poems to the Union Songs collection.

Jim writes:
"I worked in the meat industry in England and here from 1947 until 1985. Those last 25 years were on the chain as a boner. In 1985 400 meatworkers were made redundant from the then most modern meatworks in oz at that time, which the bosses closed down never to open again as an example to other meatworkers how far capital was prepared to go to discipline militancy, full stop! We were at the time the most militant meat shed in oz and some of us were blacked listed never to work again.

I've had poems published in anti-war/peace newsletters here in Queensland over the years and one published with a letter in the miners magazine Common Cause called "Moura" about the mid 1990s mining disaster and one in Seeing Red along with an article called "Owd Norm" which was about "shared " union and work experience at Borthwicks meatworks over 15 years"

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