UCU Strike Poems 9 – from Cats and a Cock, by Muriel Rukeyser

from Cats and a Cock

We walk the streets
of the dark city,
placards at back
light in our heads,

Moon rides over us
town streams below:
Strike and support us
the strike-songs go.

Ceilings of stars
disturb our faces,
tantrums of light
summon our eyes;

The daystar stands
hungry for day:
we file, regarding
this twin morning.

Shall that bind us,
parade and planet,
mobile and point?
No, not yet,

there is a labor
before reunion.
Poets, pickets,
prepare for dawn!

Muriel Rukeyser


The university that I work for is currently in conflict with the union that I belong to, the UCU, over Universities UK’s (UUK) proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

This has resulted in lecturers like me taking strike action.

You can read more about the reasons some of us have for taking this action here and here.

For the next few days of strike action I am going to be posting poems on my blog whose subject matter is the world of work and/or education.

On this eleventh day of strike action we read an extract from Cats and a Cock, by Muriel Rukeyser.


You can follow the #USSStrike hashtag on Twitter here and the #UCUStrike hashtag here.

If you can take the time to retweet or share this poem via social media I would be so grateful.


The views posted in this blog are mine alone and do not represent those of my employer.

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