Have you ever worked in a place where you had to spend most of your days in a cubicle. This is supposed to be an innovation to make a better use of space and to limit the use of walls. No walls to separate people, walls high enough to prevent you from seeing the people who are working with you but not high enough to give you your own space. Like large pens employees are kept within invisible boundaries and those invisible walls keep rising and rising until you cannot see anything outside that world even if you stick up your head, which you are not meant to do. Conform and be like everyone else. Be a good citizen, be a good employee. Work alone in your own cubicle in which the whole world you see pass by and away life slowly goes. Nothing is left for you to do except for daydreaming that one day you might unshackle yourself from what you thought was necessary and everyday you outgrow yesterday’s little cuffs and go seek bigger ones, but what does it matter if you’re still in that big prison within a cell getting bigger or smaller according to your role. Back in the day, both big and small time slaves in plantations were treated differently but both were slaves eventually, anyway.

Audio Podcast

The Poem | Life in a Cubicle

She rests her head, so heavy, so wearied on her fist
looking at her screen or way beyond the words
she tries to translate, or should she translate the signs–
That paper copy as plan B when too long have the eyes
been fixed on ink-less words till no longer the eyes could see
a little bit of substance– a tangible meaning for today,
and a tomorrow that’s already seen as yesterday.

Her graceful fingers touch upon the paper like the wind
stripping an old tree from its dying leaves,
yet to shine again, there is still ahead a long winter
and words like splinters cut through all her senses
and the vestiges left from her femininity– not there today–
her hair held up like an uprising, revolting against nobody,
setting out to go nowhere. Yet, a pencil striking through

all that serenity, amidst a revolution where a hair is fighting a hair,
that long neck appears like a trunk that could carry the world
contracted in a cubicle– a cell soon to be called home–
all the seasons drop on her like fruits so tropical,
and waves of heat and cold bury her twenty-ish body old–
she keeps fluttering and covering herself up, yet
the weather is way deeper in her heart– it’s the same hot and cold
the so-called clouds are but a mere veil to a heart
dry thirsty to some heavy rain to quench a desert–
and some little tiny flowers can grow on her lawn again.

She decides to go– all is planned ahead
wishing that water dispenser could drip into her cup
like a patient’s serum she could count them drop by drop–
she returns triumphant, but barely a minute or two have passed;
positive– my girl so smiles and re-sits on her chair planning
for the next big event when she could rid of what she got–
like life, all goes from spot to spot– no spot is filled
until another’s abandoned– like hearts with so many dwelling
and one place of honor, and thrones are pushed aside everywhere–
all life in a moment so fathomed like water splashing into your face,
so sudden, so refreshing– you’ve been cautious away from the shore,
yet you don’t mind getting wet, bringing down your sand castle–
tomorrow’s another day; you could always re-build it anew.
Perhaps, the girl’s not doing all or any of that;
Perhaps, it’s just me, so living in a cubicle, seeing all that
so dying in a cubicle imagining all that–
amusing myself with a new story to get by another day.


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<a href="" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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