Lockdown

Beyond my kitchen window, grey skies
crumble like clinker over empty fields.
The scarlet willow bends in the easterly,
branches stripped naked like veins.
Crows smudge charcoal on the horizon.

Indoors, I inhale recycled air and open
my liquid crystal display. Your face bubbles
expectantly, cornered. Behind you double
doors slide shut, a TV grumbles. You hold
a Bugs Bunny mug that asks, ‘What’s up Doc?’

 

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Photo by the author

Coronavirus

This hideous pandemic has clearly shown that the earth and humanity are interconnected and dependent on each other for survival. Different nations, animals, plants, the climate – we all need each other. There is no room for selfishness, cheap nationalism and bigotry. The World Wide Web is not just on the internet but everywhere.

 

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Years of Living Dangerously

I
Babushka kept a pig in the bathtub
while the Red Army raided barns
and larders enforcing Holodomor.
Outside on the Kiev streets bloated
stick bodies staggered, staining snow
-drifts like squashed bluebottles.

The children named the pig Binka
against their mother’s warnings.
Come slaughter day they waited
on the balcony with scarves tight
round their ears but the screams
rang loud and their tears froze.

II
The British three day week; fish, chips
by candlelight. I strutted my hot pants
to Bowie and Bolan on Pirate Radio;
sniggered when Papa built secret shelves
inside the chimney breast to hide tins
of flour, sugar, rice, pasta and preserves.

III
The year of Covid 19; I empty bookcases,
arrange tins of beans, soup, fruit and tuna.
Lockdown. I stare out at an empty street
counting down every wavering heartbeat.

 

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Original photo of Babushka in 1960s UK taken by my grandfather and recreated by myself

 

 

Wait for Me

your roses bloom
in winter
turn to rust

your companion
is black magic
a willow tree

your sea sparks
treasure at twilight
galvanised

your wind tastes
of lavender
blows crushed glass

your watermelons
smell of sunrise
shrivel like mice

your cheeks are plump
as summer
are opium

your sins
are forgiven
lie underground

your sons sprout
high as fountains
drowned before birth

your neighbours
sweep away demons
pass me in the street

your cupboards
hold dusty memories
crammed with lace

your blue walls
fade newspaper
a crystal ball

you leave
doors open
so I will come

 

 

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Image by the author