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Honours Student


By Dean F. HardyPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 1 min read
Honours Student
Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

I remember

the men I dug

holes with

in the Summer of 2014,

I had just graduated

with an honours degree

in theology & history

and I felt I needed

to learn something.


It was hot


and on our

smoke breaks,

we watched the sky

and prayed for rain

but the rain

never came

and we continued to dig

in a heat almost as cruel

as the wage we were paid.


Most the men

were from Eastern Europe

behemoth men

with battle axe arms and

cinder block hands

who rarely spoke and

looked at me with great humour:

My shovel weighed more than I did.

But I was tenacious, and dug

them holes like there was

treasure to be found.


The holes were to be

2 metres deep &

2 metres wide.

We dug 20 to 30 a day

and each hole brought

with it, a new sense

of existential terror.

It was in each of our eyes

as we approached the next X

on hard and unforgiving earth:

Blood dripping down pickaxes

Time pissed into the void

as we buried ourselves

in graves of our own making...


And the rain, never came

and the only treasure we

ever found, was the silent


That we dug our graves,


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About the Creator

Dean F. Hardy

Writer from Dublin, Ireland.

*All work here is owned by Dean F. Hardy*

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Comments (19)

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  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨5 months ago

    Powerful 🤍🕊️

  • Rachel Deeming5 months ago

    "Battle axe arms and cinder block hands" - what an image that is.

  • Caroline Jane5 months ago

    I wasn't subscribed (I am useless at that stuff) I am now. Your interview with Heather has given this fabulous poem a whole new dimension too. Fascinating.

  • JBaz5 months ago

    Read this then the interview with Heather. It gave me a deeper understanding and a greater respect for the piece. The power and complexity of youth, ready to take on the world but beat down by the reality of it all. That is why you see old men (and women) Who gave up, and old men/ women who fought back. The difference in them is clear. Keep plugging away my friend, I have a feeling you are one to fight back.

  • Thavien Yliaster5 months ago

    Reading this I can't tell if You're digging graves for others, at predetermined burial sites, or if You're at a historical site trying to find some form of hidden treasure as if trying to connect Yourself to the past. Yet, the sense of this here reminds me of the plot to the story "Holes." You're digging Yourself to an early grave, each day, day after day, that the sun rolls by and this harsh works taxes its tolls on Your body. While You hit it up with the blokes, on break taking a smoke, You're all too wise and already awoke, that with Your own spades You're digging Your own graves. I feel that way, even working for my current wage. Even in comparison to others, I'm considered to be doing well and success is moderately rife. Yet, I was in fear and cried to my friends that I was scared about only being able to make the same amount of cash throughout the rest life. All work in life isn't thrilling. Yet, I'm still striving for a career that is monetarily successful and fulfilling.

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    Oh my gosh, this is amazing, Dean! Your poetry is next level– always a deep well of meaning/wisdom. Love this so much! Would love to listen to a spoken word on this one- you up for it? 💫💞

  • Dana Stewart5 months ago

    Rage amid the wage, so eloquently written, Dean. Powerful piece.

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Raw and powerful, as befits the crew. Well done.

  • Nice piece ♥️📝👌💯

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Authentic & powerful!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Oh my. That took a turn. Makes me think of all the years I spent chained to a desk, sitting in my own coffin. Excellent work.

  • Veronica Coldiron5 months ago

    Interesting foreshadowing with the rain symbolizing the hope for relief that doesn't come, and the inevitable still looms. This was so gripping! GREAT piece!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)6 months ago

    I wasn't ready for how quickly this switched from a learning/ growth opportunity to a death sentence! The intensity and sense of foreboding in this poem is jaw dropping, I loved this!

  • Lamar Wiggins7 months ago

    Well, that took a tragic turn. Well done, my friend. You keep us guessing.

  • Naomi Gold7 months ago

    You’ve outdone yourself, Dean Francis. “Time pissed into the void as we buried ourselves in graves of our own making...” That’s honestly what I look around and see everyone doing every day. I’ve done manual labor. Not this hard, obviously. But I did learn something. I learned I’d rather live under a bridge if it comes to that. They say it’s honest work but “they” lie. When we do things for money we would never otherwise do, it breaks down the body and kills the spirit. I guess you learned something theology doesn’t teach. Wonderful work. 👏🏼

  • Be tomorrow, I fear "you shall find me a grave man." But I shall have dug with honor.

  • Rob Angeli7 months ago

    Excellent work!

  • Paul Stewart7 months ago

    ayayay...this is dark, deep and powerful. Love how it develops and that ending! Excellent, Dean, Excellent!

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