Thursday, 22 October 2009


by John Helvin
(with apologies to W. H. Auden and his poem Night Mail)

This is the mail train not crossing the border,
Not bringing the cheque nor delivering mail order,

No letters for the rich, no letters for the poor,
The Royal Mail is on strike and what is it for?

Streamlining and cutbacks are to be had;
Most of the workers regard this as bad.

Computerisation and potential less hours;
Management and union relationship sours.

I’d rather my mail was hand sorted whatnot,
Than expertly bungled by the new ‘I, Robot.’

But are these the issues? Is this the debate?
The news simply repeats that our mail will be late.

There’s no documentary. What are the details?
Will Christmas post consist only of emails?

Will the news be the same old tales of yore,
That the Royal Mail is failing – we’ve heard it before.

The postal worker’s story is yet to be told;
Will any film-maker make as so bold?

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