People start to ask questions

they really have no right

to pose


At a point, they expect you to be


Let it be known: a non-graduate works shifts

and packs plastic bags.


Since 2008, so do graduates with four degrees.

But people will still ask,

What do you do? They mean are you in a Proper Job:

doctor, lawyer, finance something, accountant,

teacher still makes the mark


the arts are hobbies


Now, have you bought a house? Or looked at a fifth degree?

MBA’s or the property ladder move

aspirations rung for rung


Children are also acceptable. But know,

They are a Lifestyle Choice until you are

Settled and wish no longer to do things for yourself.


People will narrow their eyes

if you have never travelled,

or are divorced by 32

or have parented children, now nearing the age of ten.

Then you can see them counting back the years.


At the considered right age

you should be doing the proper thing,

so people will ask.


I am told it is called making conversation.

If you enjoyed the above you may also enjoy the following poems:

The Character Building

A Definition, Notably for the Cloud-Dwelling Artists


They also touch on the themes of life choices, the current changing social strata-education-work climate and the frustrations of being a young person in the contemporary post-Industrial world.

My first volume, Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012, presents twenty poems that trace the study, travel and life experiences of my twenties. The book is available for preview and purchase here.

A second volume, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys, is forthcoming. Please follow the blog (see sign-up in right-hand corner of the screen) for updates on the content, release date and special subscriber offers.

I tweet as @BeadedQuill. Please follow me.