Shadorma: Waiting room

Scrubbed, shining,
Their eyes flicking round the room.
Subtle sizing-up.

So much rides
On the next few hours.
Win or lose,
In or out.
It all starts or ends right here.
And don’t they know it.

Once, I sat
Waiting for that call:
Told myself
It mattered,
Answered thoughtfully, played nice,
Told, then learned, the truth.

Now, God knows,
I have no desire
To join them:
Run that race,
Chase that rainbow. Good luck, kids;
Hope it all works out

And accept
What is said, held out
And promised
To you now
Will quickly be forgotten
Once the shooting starts.


Jotted this down while waiting in the lobby at a big corporate HQ yesterday morning. As they rightly say, there’s always someone worse off than you. One day in that environment is always enough to remind me that working for myself is the only way.
That said, I’ve been crazy busy the last few days; but I’m hoping to get some reading and writing done this week. N.

3 thoughts on “Shadorma: Waiting room

  1. Love it Nick! At first I thought it might be about a music exam waiting room! Been there as a child and teenager, then as a parent and I still maintain its worse than the dentist! 😊.

    You write these Shadormas so well. I still havent tried one but I will when I have a spare six months!!! X

    • Thank you, Christine – this is the first thing I’ve written in what seems like ages. I’ve been mired in sprawling, bloated corporate projects lately, and going through (literally) tens of thousands of words of management-speak and business jargon every day has left me pretty much hollowed out. Death by a thousand cliches.
      Completely agree about music exams: I got as far as Grade IV, which was awful, but taking my daughter to violin and piano exams is way worse. She’s working for Grade VII on both instruments, and is auditioning for one of the county youth orchestras next month, so I’m getting ready for some long and anxious waits of my own!
      The shadorma is really lovely to write: tight and controlled like haiku, but with a bit more room to breathe. For me, the fun is seeing how much space there is in 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables, and making each stanza both part of a greater whole, and complete in itself. Definitely have a go – email it to me privately before you post it publicly if you want! N.xx

  2. I dont envy you those waitng roons! Although Im sure your daughter will do fine! Well, more than fine. How wonderful to be part of a youth orchestra! My brother-in-law was part of the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra many years ago; he played trombone, and had some great experiences. He went on to be a music teacher in a secondary school eventually becoming head of a school, but he much preferred the hands on music side of it all.

    And thanks for the offer re the shadorma; I may well take you up on it. X

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