Loading Strawberries 1912 For six summer weeks it's strawberry time in Swanwick. The air smells sweet and sodden. June is sweltering. Carts coming down Duncan Road clatter in line, await their turn to pull longside the sidings. Horses stamp and shake, pile their shit onto the road. The Railway Hotel courts the growers thirsting for beer after hours in the fields, fussing their pickers into production. Their hands are grime and scarlet. They stink of jam. The loading is slow, baskets balanced inside the trucks. Then a sudden shout or fist signals a dispute. Someone is out of turn or settling scores. Growing's full of conflict, conciliation, grudges and gambling on weather, livings laden into these weeks. Families can be broken by a bad season. The line loiters to the train all afternoon, boys squeezing the baskets into small spaces until the steam is rising. In thirty-six hours Glasgow will be gorging fruit. The guard waves green, the signal has nodded. The station porter sweeps turds onto his roses, watches the departure, smiles with a knowing that strawberries aren't the only kind of growing.
Flippin'ell My appetites are pretty drastic, I love to get sultry and hot, Snapping my knicker elastic, Saying yes to the fantastic Idea of taking the lot. My appetites are pretty drastic, Quite verging on the orgiastic, Which is a masculine plot, Snapping my knicker elastic. And sometimes by dressing in plastic I almost succeed to garrotte. My appetites are pretty drastic. Without appearing bombastic I like to think of a Trot Snapping my knicker elastic Before becoming gymnastic And stuttering out his argot. My appetites are pretty drastic. I'm never unenthusiastic And I've never been something I'm not, Snapping my knicker elastic. But before I become quite monastic I'd love to ravage a Scot. My appetites are pretty drastic Snapping my knicker elastic!
Labourers For Arthur Knowles On balance, we haven't much to give, ground out of us more like, in shards of labour we hardly call our own, sold on like hand-me-downs, used up, withered on the bone, flesh weeping out of us like tears. And when we're wrung limp, lacking even the will to worry more about others than ourselves, seeing no sense in community, we're left, allowed to grieve for the loss darkening each corner of our lives. So what we have is what we have to give. We bend, we laugh, we work, we weep, we live.