Edward Dyson

Here you will find the Long Poem Joeys Job of poet Edward Dyson

Joeys Job

In days before the trouble Jo was rated as 
a slob. 
He chose to sit in hourly expectation of a job. 
He'd loop hisself upon a post, for seldom 
friends had he, 
A gift of patient waitin' his distinctif quality. 
He'd linger in a doorway, or he'd loiter on the 
Edgin' modestly aside to let the fleetin' 
moments pass. 

Jo' begged a bob from mother, but more often 
got a clout, 
And settled down with cigarettes to smoke the 
devil out. 
The one consistent member of the Never 
Trouble Club, 
He put a satin finish on the frontage of the 
His shoulder-blades were pokin' out from 
polishin' the pine; 
But if a job ran at him Joey's footwork was 

Jo strayed in at the cobbler's door, but, scoffed 
at as a fool, 
He found the conversation too exhaustin' as 
a rule; 
Or, canted on the smithy coke, he'd hoist his 
feet and yawn, 
His boots slid up his shinbones, and his pants 
displayin' brawn: 
And if the copper chanced along 'twas beauty- 
ful to see 
Joe wear away and made hisself a fadest 

Then came the universal nark. The Kaiser 
let her rip. 
They cleared the ring. The scrap was for the 
whole world's championship. 
Jo Brown was takin' notice, lurkin' shy be- 
neath his hat, 
And every day he crept to see the drillin' on 
the flat. 
He waited, watchin' from the furze the blokes 
in butcher's blue, 
For the burst of inspiration that would tell him 
what to do. 

He couldn't lean, he couldn't lie. He yelled 
out in the night. 
Jo understood?he'd all these years been 
spoilin' for a fight! 
Right into things he flung himself. He 
took his kit and gun, 
Mooched gladly in the dust, or roasted gaily 
in the sun. 
?Gorstruth,? he said, with shining eyes, ?it 
means a frightful war, 
'N' now I know this is the thing that Heaven 
meant me for.? 

Jo went away a corporal and fought again the 
And like a duck to water Joey cottoned to the 
If anythin' was doin' it would presently come 
That Joseph Brown from Booragool was there 
or thereabout. 
He got a batch of medals, and a glorious 
Attached all of a sudden to the name of 
Sergeant Brown. 

Then people talked of Joey as the dearest 
friend they had; 
They were chummy with his uncles, or ac- 
quainted with his dad. 
Joe goes to France, and presently he figure as 
the best 
Two-handed all-in fighter in the armies of the 
And men of every age at home and high and 
low degree, 
We gather now, once went to school with 
Sergeant Brown, V.C. 

Then Hayes and Jo, in Flanders met, and very 
proud was Hayes 
To shake a townsman by the hand, and sing 
the hero's praise, 
?Oh, yes,? says Jo, ?I'm doin' well, 'n' yet 
I might do more. 
If I was in a hurry, mate, to finish up this war 
I'd lay out every Fritz on earth, but, strike me, 
what a yob 
A man would be to work himself out of a 
flamnin' job!? 

Now Jo's a swell lieutenant, and he's keepin' 
up the pace. 
Ha ?Record? says Lieutenant Brown's an 
honor to the place. 
The town gets special mention every time he 
scores. We bet 
If peace don't mess his chances up, he'll be 
Field-Marshal yet. 
Dad, mother and the uncles Brown and all our 
people know 
That Providence began this war to find a grip 
for Jo!