Conference

Power-point’s up and running now

The speaker rubs his hands

Talks of vision, values, virtues,

Strategies and plans

Headlines, views, he makes a joke

And everybody smirks

His pauses, between ‘salient’ points

We’d almost think it works

His colleagues nod and shake their heads

Agreeing with his words

They scan the room, checking the mood

It all looks quite absurd

We play the game, we write things down

We question and we smile

We work in groups, we take some risks

And ponder for a while

Water supplies are running dry

And sweets are going too

Pouring it, unwrapping them

Gives us some stuff to do

‘What time is check-in? When’s next break?’

Our colleagues mime to us

‘I need the loo’. ‘Oh, God me too’.

But no-one makes a fuss

We know the rules, the etiquette

We know that we must care

We know that going home when bored

Is naughty – we don’t dare

Transparency – the word is used,

But this is not the way

We’ll talk transparency, but we

Won’t be that thing today

Learning? But how? We have to break

The social rules to change

The way we see the world and life.

And things to rearrange

But no, we’re all professionals

We nod, and shake, and write

And all the words we say today

Will fade into the night

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