The Welder

(Feedback and constructive criticisms welcomed)

hands of a prisoner on prison bars

A welder, young and yet aged –

skin brown, dry and wrinkled like cracks

in a hardened and arid dirt plain.

His body wrecked, from a mixture

of harsh sun, heat and sweat.

Joints crack as he slowly passes through dim passageways

of a blackened and slipped steel ship,

desperately in search for water,

longing to quench this insatiable, persistent thirst.

He mustn’t take long, for seconds do not pause for the poor.

This is hunger.

Lifeless dull eyes protrude from bony and dry red sockets.

Silver and greasy hair flows from a hardened and flaky scalp –

like a wild horse’s ungroomed grey mane, riddled with flies.

Those same still eyes gaze not far ahead –


passionless –

existing as a tool for navigation and nothing more.


Beauty long ago flew this coop –

the mind of a battered and beaten labourer.

Twelve hours a day he sparks and slaves –

scratching for tarnished pennies –

gruellingly welding smouldering bulkheads in a heat so enveloping.

Smells of torrid metallic smoke singe nostrils and linger like the stench of death.

Bear witness to the unconscionable degradation of mind, body and soul of man.

Where is soul?

A well dressed child with wet ears,

preaches safety and profit as if speaking to a self-aware pet.

Which one sir,

safety or profit?

Slave or Human?

Stare into those lifeless dull eyes, and see no trace

of this welder’s once innocent and inquisitive soul.

Witness, I plead you –

yet another unrecoverable spirit –

victim of an economy so industrious,

produced by a species

so illustrious.