The M.H.X. Chronicals
Author: marshalg

Chapter 6
The Man with the Iron Hand

Dedicated to Carl Bratton …an artist with the might of the machine.


Nimble are the fingers

As they dance on levers worn,

The cabin heaves and plunges

As the papa rock is shorn.

The hiss of hydraulics

With the extension of the ram

And the plunging, shearing action

Of that massive iron hand.


Reflex are his actions

He is one with his machine,

His every movement transposed

Into brute force extreme.

The delicate adjustments

So limited and slight

Are transferred into carnage

By that iron hand’s digging might.


The cloying stink of diesel fumes

The roar of the machine,

The rearing, swinging, plunging arms

The ripping teeth, obscene.

It is poetry in motion

Each movement’s in the score

A symphony of labour

Where the contract calls for more.


Cleaving into solid rock

Breaking trees apart,

Creating trenches deep and wide

And lifting mud to cart.

Working in great unison

With panting trucks to haul,

Mountain sides of debris

From working sites on call.


Precision’s there when needed

With gentle stroke and flair,

This brutal hand of steel

Exerts a surgeon’s glove of care.

When working with a master

And understanding’s right,

A mortal man can operate

In the shadow of this might.


Trust is the key word

In confidence and skill

And essential predictability

Between actions, need and will.

A good communication

Is the harbinger of safe

In this most perilous of relationships

Betwixt the digger and his waif.


From daylight to dusk

This big show can’t digress,

The rewards are production’s

Straight lines of progress.

The trenches are even,

Satisfaction is clear.

One last shared cigarette

As day’s ending draws near.



The [email protected]

Queenstown Rd. Offramp

M.H.X. Mangere Bridge.

25 July 2009





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