Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 64 > Page 56 - Work Poetry of John J. "Slim" MacInnis

Page 56 - Work Poetry of John J. "Slim" MacInnis

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1 (147 reads)

Where the stink and glare of the poisoned air Makes a man feel faint and reel. Oh! I've grown sick of the look of brick And the paddles and tongs and pails Of the mud and the mire and Mclntyre And the flame that never fails. The checkers so hot and Foreman Watt And Ritchie who's always there Like a Simon Legree he seems to me With a cmel and crafty stare. The charging cars and the hammer and bars And the smoke of the metal trains The ladles and pans, the barrow and fans And the screech of the hoisting cranes. Oh! weary am I of the few who try To scab and pamper the boss Confidential men and those who pretend A concem for production lost. For the many must work for the few who shirk The high paid few who prize The money and ease and the luxuries Of private enterprise. Those hypocrites who rack their wits And worry and scheme and plan For a christian way to lower the pay Of the honest working man. But bear in mind there will come a time And come it soon, I pray When the stooge and boss aside we'll toss And build for a better day. Then we'll produce for the common use For the man in field and ditch. And we'll liquidate the profit rate Along with the idle rich. So for better or worse I'll end this verse On a note of hope my friend "There's a crimson star that shines afar. And the longest night must end." • Little Twisted Steelworker & Miner, 13 October 1945 "Dosco's Inferno" was an immediate hit at the plant. According to the author: "The only one that ever got any kind of recognition was that Open Hearth one. I was pointed out by nearly every god-damn guy in the mill. 'That's the guy that wrote it, that's the guy.' Ritchie was talking to Watt one day: 'That's him over there,' you know, that sort of stuff. That went all through the mill. Didn't bother me." It continues to circulate. STRINGS ATTACHED. The crafting of fine instruments not only relies on the talent of the maker, but also the quality of the wood from which it is made. The "strings attached" to obtaining quality wood and a forest capable of providing recreation wildlife habitat and "green space" are simple. They simply mean a greater need for careful forest management. If you own forested land in Nova Scotia consider the options open to you. Options that will help ensure Nova Scotia's forests remain healthy and productive. Contact your nearest Department office. Department of Natural Resources John J. Maclnnis: "I was a committee man in the Plate Mill dur? ing the war there in fact.... I carried on a class struggle locally for all my life. If anyone ever said anything about Russia, I al? ways thought I should be there to defend it. So anyhow I got blamed for being the agitator on the grievance committee. The Super told somebody they were having a lot of trouble with the union. I think they were referring to me. There were about 200 people all around my age, maybe a little older, some of the roll? ers. And we ali got deferred from the Army because we were in essential industry, as they called it. And the first thing I know I get a goddamn draft notice in the mail. And I was naive enough to think...well, that was just the way they do business. Like it was in a pile and they picked it out. And what it was, the god? damn Super wanted to get rid of me. So he got the Army to call me up. Well, the Army turned me down. I spent nearly a month in Halifax before I got out of the bloody thing. And when I came back and told him that I'd be back to work next week • such a look came over his face, it paid for ali the trouble it caused me." Oceon Jtentols'td. Lawn & Garden Equipment Tillers Sod Cutters Air Eators GLACE BAY General Engine Hoists Jacks Tow Bars 849-1616 & Much More... South (Campbells Comer) - P. O. Box 265
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download