Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working Class Crab

Two Poems on the Crab

Working Class Crab

In the mind of a crab, the whole world’s something dead,
full of 12 hour days with no time to draw breath.
His benefits suck, but at least he’s well fed.
In the mind of a crab, the whole world’s something dead.

There’s no dancing, no love, not a thought in his head
about why he works on in the factory of death;
In the mind of a crab the whole world’s something dead,
full of 12 hour days with no time to draw breath.

The Crab and I

In the mind of a crab the whole world’s something dead
and hunger‘s the hell that he keeps in his head.
He trolls the long beach with his eyeballs on stalks
turning widdershins, searching as sideways he walks.

The joseph’s coat sunrise just doesn't exist,
nor the hot siren’s song nor the cool evening mist.
Crossing a footprint of Everest dimensions
has little to do with his will or intentions.

His work needs no family and no place of rest,
just a groping and hunger that’s only expressed
by ceaselessly searching in every tide-spring.
The mind of a crab makes the world a dead thing.

No self-awareness, no angst in his breast;
yet he and I both think the dead must taste best.
Like the crab I want nothing from anything new.
I eat a dead meal made from memories of you.

January 2011

Posted for OneShotWednesday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Photo: Sand Crab, by Petteri Sulonen


  1. "Working Class Crab" - great title!
    (Hey! That's me some days!)

    "The Crab and I" is a great piece, too!

    A double-barreled One Shot! (Two Shot?)

  2. Thanks you two--I'm waiting for the crab jokes...

  3. WOW! I was reading along thinking "what a great poem!" and got to the last line and changed my mind. It is a FREAKING BRILLIANT poem!!!!!!!

  4. i will abstain from the crab jokes...though every time i try to crawl out of the pot they pull me back...but thats work...and somedays it feels like a crab, unable to escape...nice one shot.

  5. Love crab, you've now made me hungry at 11pm! Liked meter and flow of both poems, but it's the randomness of getting inside a crabs brain (and shell) that I love about this!

  6. Nice One Shot - love these lines "No self-awareness, no angst in his breast;
    Yet he and I both think the dead must taste best."

  7. I love both! The first one is to become my favorite because I can relate a lot to it. =)))

    Never eaten crab and won't start after these poems. =D

    Kiss you girl. =* <3

  8. I enjoyed both versions, but I really loved the second one and how the crab and the person became as one...that last stanza just sings, hedgewitch.

  9. Joy,

    I don't think my comment took, so here again.

    I was waiting for the triolet, and you've produced with with social commentary and humor! Bravo!


  10. In agreement w/Talon. Nod to the 2nd one, but like them both. "Nor the hot siren’s song nor the cool evening mist" Beautiful line. While I was reading the 2nd poem I thought they had many sheep-like tendencies and mannerisms. lol You've really been displaying your range as a poet lately. Don't know what to expect on your site. Tip of the hat.

  11. That last line is freaking awesome!

  12. You know the funny part? I'm a Cancer. I ALMOST feel like I might be in trouble now. Great write, love it! The first hit home and easily could have said "Leiffy" instead of crab. The second scuttles well across the endless sands. Thanks hedge, I actually have a little more pep in my step now!

  13. a working class crab is something to be. if you wanna be a crab, well just follow me. ;-)

  14. In the second one, I love the entire second stanza. But MZ is right about that last line.
    Very imaginative, original and satisfying, Ms. Witch!

  15. very clever, and I liked your tag 'bad case of crabs!" ha!

    I'll give you one of the acronyms on my poem:
    Are we going to have to go through this again?
    Maybe you'll find it useful some time. Like when you have a bad case of crabs! Lol

  16. Ohhhh.....this was simple but you hit it outta the park....

    there are so many layers here....Jung would have a field day! LOL!

    Great poetry, and that last line??? Wowie.

    There is just so much in these lines....amazing what is going on in your little head!


    Lady Nyoooooooooooo

  17. Many thanks all. Greatly appreciate your time and input.

    @Coal Black I said working class, not no-class ;-)

    @TrulyFool Good catch on the triolet. I left it unlabeled on purpose. (The second one is my scrambled villanelle reject.) Your turn.

    @hgs HA! And I just thought it was somebody clearing their throat. ;-) I'll reread later--I did get PITA, though--when you're a working class crab, that's self-defining.

  18. Hedge...the Working Class crab reminded me my years of work for the government....and I too love that stanza with joseph's coat and the footprint of Everest dimensions....great and fun One Shot...bkm

  19. I want to say something clever, but I just ran out of clever things to say. I like both these poems, I know you wrote them when I posted crab poetry; they could all live together in a case and we could all have crabs and study them. That's not clever but my printer's broken and it's all I can think to say..except damn fine poems! And I love you. Wish you were coming along. We'd laugh all the way across the ocean!

  20. Crabs, crabs, crabs...actually, I have a hankering for one right now...

    *Shakes head* Nevermind me and my odd hungers. Solid couple of pieces here. The first, quite relateable - a good title, and piece that addresses a feeling everyone in this day and age can empathize with to some degree I'm sure, as smothering as that thought is. That said, while the first is certainly relateable, in enjoyment factor I would say the second rang better with me though. It's inescapable, with quality description and image - a thoughtful piece with a killer ending.

  21. Wow! Both poems are simply amazing! Your words ring a bell, and somehow I think all of us are that crab at some point of time or the other. I love the title, I guess it comes from John Lennon's "A Working Class Hero", which again is a great song.

    I like the interesting manner in which you compare the thoughts and life of a crab to life in general. Amazing! :)

  22. Am I the only one here with school-age kids? all I kept thinking about was Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob, who btw is obsessed with making money (working class money)...I'll never watch that show the same again.

    In all seriousness, I thought these poems were fun and imaginative especially when the subject is a boring, unaware, empty-minded creature. I love the last 3 stanzas the best...poor crab, although, at least he doesn't know how bad he has it.

  23. I liked the second too and agree with Talon. I have known people of the sort and feel sorry for their loss of life all for the false green of happiness. I have a school age kid but spongebob has always rubbed me wrong. :)

  24. Fun punt on a crab's way of life. And 2 for 1, what a treat! The second is particularly good, dryly drawing comparisons between the somewhat less 'usual', humane traits of a crab's existence and those of yourself. Superb.

  25. Wonderful use of Metaphor and great flow in both of them and like most of the others WHOA the last line in the second piece. BAM! Right between the eyes which are forced open. Very good work buddy.

  26. The joseph’s coat sunrise just doesn't exist,
    Nor the hot siren’s song nor the cool evening mist.
    I really enjoy your expressive phrases such as "the joseph's coat sunrise..." Always a pleasure to read your work! Beautifully done. Thanks and have a great day. Great selection for the photo too...

  27. i love the "Crab and I" piece; lightness in the verse until the very end--what a twist! i'm not usually one for rhyme, but this really really works. thanks for sharing it-- i think you may just have made my day a little brighter. :)

  28. The crab is in a much better place
    His dead meal isn't personal
    Love the way the two poems relate and stand alone

    Great One Shot

  29. I really enjoyed the first best.

    A great view from where the crab walks.

  30. "Working Class Crab" Hits a little close to home but enjoyed it anyway.

    "The Crab and I" ...unexpected ending most likely but I was still thrown by the first. Beautifully macabre which means I adored it.

  31. Joy Ann, "working class crab" does remind of how we are in the work place. "The crab and I" beautifully written with a very unexpected ending.

  32. I'm playing virtual post-mistress for Jenne, who is on an "impossible dial-up" that makes her own commenting undeliverable.

    "I have to say the obvious - very humbled by your comment today and many thanks. I so admire you, and your crab poems are delicious and fascinating. I'm on dial-up and will get back to my broadband later. Baci. Jenne"

    I enjoyed your poems very much, too! ~ MD

  33. Thanks Maureen and Jenne--you are two of the best out there. Your joint comment is deeply appreciated.

    As is everyone else's. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and leaving your input.

  34. Wow.. both these crab poems are haunting and dark... enjoyed them like crazy!!
    The very last line (that of a dead meal made of memories) is simply excellent!!! So very deliciously chilling, and sadly beautiful.. all at the same time!
    Awesome stuff here, Joy!! Bravo!

  35. This is fabulous! Though it certainly doesn't make me want to go out and eat crab tonight.

  36. Dear Hedgewitch

    So full of emotions and that too from something so simple like crab... your last lines made me think a lot...
    "Like the crab I want nothing from anything new.
    I eat a dead meal made from memories of you."
    So vivid... thanks for sharing...
    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

  37. Yikes! Wow! "The Crab and I"--just didn't see those last two lines coming. And I love them. I mean how could I not. "I eat a dead meal made from memories of you." That's frickin' brilliant!

  38. Just the punch line..".. what'd you expect for 5 five dollars.. Lobster?"


  39. These are terrific, Joy. And again, it's so interesting to see how the condensation of the form forces a shift of meaning. In your case, I think I like the poem (non-triolet) better as it seems much broader to me, and to be about a deeper sort of subject. The other, of course, has become more political--kind of a manifesto of the going-alonger. (He was just filling orders!) K.

    1. Thanks, K. I agree--both of these started from just the first line and went in slightly different directions. That's the fun part of form--it has a mind of its own. The triolet really is I think a tighter more directed version of the villanelle, which gives you a lot more room, but for some thoughts, it works better.Thanks for diving back into crabland with me. ;-)


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats