I bit into my chocolate, and the thoughts began to percolate.

I tasted the milkiness and bittersweetness and sighed and

cried inside my body – where the need’s nourishment not this

punishment as the weak, hungry child in my mind’s eye dies.


I do not mean to deride the pride we have in our great nation,

as we cut back the giving so that our living can survive the

incessant drive of disease and wasted chances in warped

circumstances yet still the wasting child in my mind’s eye dies.  


I once spoke with someone who had no bread, his children

not fed, and, “I’’m outside the human race, my family thin of 

face. The swollen bellies that you see on your tellies are 

emotional damaging, physically challenging and I have no


way to feed, I cannot sow seed that greed has taken on land

that is stolen.” It is a mystery that in our history we repeat it

over and over again. The poor are pushed aside while lying

governments hide their routes to wealth which scour out

the pots of poverty. 


I wake, in early hours with gloomy meanderings.

A spiky virus wanders through and I watch it 

despairing that it will ever quieten and agree.

Then a forest aflame floats searing my vision,

cresting the wave of self destruction as each

carboniferous death of a carbon absorber. 


I slip sleepily into the comforting sounds of

a sea shore somewhere where the flow and

fall of tides rocks me ’til I surface fearful.


I lie there, tight muscles, a starter headache,

staring into an airless abyss where towering

trees crash to the gulping ground, and small

frightened folk disappear into smoke filled

zones, where the hottest hell ate their home.


Somewhere in a laboratory, an obligatory 

effort is going on to find ways to quell those

spreading tongues and restore the fragrant

forests, or opening the way for a dying world

to yield heating carbon into holding containers.


I slide fitfully into a place of nightmare dreams

and try to recall the calm and peace of the blue

lulling sea calling me. And then I hear the screams


of women caught by fighting men and forced

from their freedom into slavery as extremist

Moslem wives. I hear their calls for help and

weep bitter tears of shame as I will arise and

live my day fearlessly and framed in love.


I restlessly try to form their cries into prayers

asking a God who they say is love to go there

and show the men that it is their shame to 

treat God’s created beings by cutting back their

lives to be trampled on, their lives terrorised.


And still I cry, for why do men think they have

the power and control to cruelly treat women,

as worthless. I lay awake praying their pain.

The Truth is no Truth at All.

It’s not time to ring in the truth because it hurts.

I have been scalded by the truth as it works into

my gut and leaves the guilt lurking nauseously,

clinging to my brain until I am rendered a kindly

repentant soul again and say those words so very

hard but oh so very healing and achingly appealing, 

‘I am so sorry.’ I did wrong.


Yet he clings to his lies and dominating ties to the

powers that abuse and misinform, misremembering

the things that happened, recorded in the press and

filmed for the television, so a mission for omission is

pressed ahead so that he can fib to avoid the gibes

of the journalists, newsreaders and nervous onlookers.


He stares and stumbles and cites, ‘We did not do right,’

But he did wrong, so we long for him to be gone for 

we wrote it in our tweets and it was heard in our claps,

cheering the NHS as people sowed up their curtains to

make PPE and masks while doctors and nurses sickened,

and without the cover caught the dread disease, and died.


Companies offered to make them double quick but he

said his friends would do it better and some would 

arrive from China, but now he says he lied for there

was always enough PPE for everybody. But sound out

the nurses barely breathing on ICU, staff battered as

Covid19 prowled and used the lack of protection to


pollute and pick its victims, and so the fit shouldered

the burden til exhaustion and poor equipment and a pack

of Shylocks, as well deaf ears to the knocking on the door

by the wise, wilfully ignoring and saying they were boring,

failed to save their nation by isolation, and blocking

the locking  which soon was clocking deaths in their


thousands. He gambles and it’s a shambles as he still

rambles on til thousands upon thousands died and now

people stumble through the night of their pain seeking

operations, chemo and the right treatment for other

diseases because they just wanted to ease their minds

and behind close doors grumble and mumble over the


rising tide of anger as they feint and paint their actions

like children who cannot face blame, so they shame 

someone else and fail to tame their own greedy eyes

and those of their mates who got special rates so that

they could come in late and make the state pay money

for funny goings on, no guilt, they say we did no wrong.

My Winter in Summer

I heard the crunch of tyres on the stony ground still,

as it stopped on the grassy verge and outpoured

chattering children and gathering grownups. Nearby 

the yapping of a small dog, running freely amongst 

the cars disturbing someones quiet moments, and

threatening to knock over the frail taking a walk

in the afternoon sunshine – after a long year sitting.

I felt the sting of tears as I stood alone, cherishing

the sights and sounds despite my sorrowing soul.


I look over the cliffs and see the the lumbering

shapes of cows stopping to munch at the green

grass, kept fresh by the rainy days, they chew 

slowly dripping saliva as they relish the juiciness,

and then they slowly subside onto a fresh patch

and resolutely chew their sweet cud while small

patterned calves run between them on their too

long wobbly legs, eating the grass and drinking

the much needed sustenance from the udders.


I saw overhead and heard the call of Choughs

as they jounce through the air showing off their

joy at the world. A greenfinch zee zees in the

blackthorn and a charm of goldfinches swarm

around the dandelion clocks chirping. High

on a tree a blackbird calls and then a thrush 

puffs out his breast and sings a song to warn

of coming storms and yet the joy in his heart

tumbles from his beak into a my bleak living.


I walk on and hear a child cry with delight at the

sight of the choices of ices and eyes wide they

look at labels of chocolate, honey, blueberry til

a decision with precision, a waiting smile, hands, 

ready to receive the precious taste of holidays 

and special events that have long since been 

a rarity in their vicinity and well merited now,

melting into small mouths and reviving them

with sugars and colours and tastes and smells.


Everywhere there are daisies and buttercups

brightening the brown earth where nature 

produces orchids early and harebells late,

bluebells to mirror a sky of blue on earth,

garlic to fill the air with a pungent delight

and blackberries flowering, preparing the

fruit of jams, jellies, crumbles and pies.

All through them the gorse spikes shine 

gold, spreading their honey scent wide.


I walk on with winter in my wretched heart, and 

return towards my home poignantly pondering,

wondering, and wanting to applaud the joy

and hope in all those happy sticky faces, 

and gritty shoes and wished again that my

little ones were here amongst them – and not

locked away by a vile virus that blocks them. 

mocks my aching empty arms and I look at

at the summer through a veil of trickling tears.

The Virus and World Domination

A fiercesome thing is lockdown,

it growls around us like a roaring

wind, that tears the fabric of lives

apart and turns the hope of Spring

into a winter of depression, and a

lesson that sows seeds in a nation

that seeks to avoid exhalation of

drops of a virus; that violently takes

from us our hopes, and fears, and 

numbs the emotions with the tears,

of disempowerment and the lament

will be heard for years when still it

will bite the crust from hard earned 

folks and their childrens’ hands.


Each person of power walked a 

road of holding might, and a fight

to show they meant to stop its

dividing and riding on the backs

of the innocent, who lack the test,

to show it has them in their grip

and will use them to slip through

to kill, to maim and harm as many

as it can, and monster mutations 

ensure that antibodies are over-

come to win world domination. 


But the divisions and revisions;

the deciders allow doubt to slide

in, trying to slow its pace are in

every way arrogant and hesitant

and ignorant of the resistance

that an unseen enemy has been

able to choose in the absence

of the will to close our borders,

as New Zealand has done and

there the virus has no home, a

whisper and it will be shut down

because there they knew their

enemy and faced reality in time,

choosing the common good first.

Then, Now and Tomorrow

I sat beneath the boughs of a tree, once,

and watched the crowds go by. Dressed

warmly against the cold, bright coloured 

scarves, boots and shoes, and even sand-

als displayed beneath shorts of a wry

hard man, displaying his hairy legs and

muscles against the hoar, raw frosts on  

the brown, bare, sleeping, avenue trees.


The crowd moves, like silvered mercury,

in the morning wintry sunshine. Slowly

spreading out and coming together in

harmony. They wave to folk walking the

long winding pathways and, like the tiny

silvery blobs, they pool together and 

they separate and move on to their own

warm fires or cafés for cheering drinks.


The children run around playing games 

with balls, throwing frisbees as high as

the topmost branches of the green firs.

One child falls and shattering screams of 

rage echo across the grass and concrete,

of the play areas, and a cool, concerned 

father kneels and administers the kindly

kisses and hugs. We, wait as the noise


subsides giving space to, a robin above

my head as it sparkles into life and its,

rich notes rising and falling; delighting my

shocked ears. And others turned and we

smile and watch as he comes to hop on

harried grass, tipping his head, levelling

his bright eyes as if to say, ‘Better now.”

This was a time of many months long, 

and still a robin sings and brightens the

day but I wander through the park as

if I had lost my way. Each of us now

carries our burdens of COVID deaths, 

and fears of our futures as lockdown

follows lockdown. But now the man in

his shorts, a stick supporting wasted 

muscles, each breath broken. We chat

through masks and he mentions being

in hospital and the heinous, horror that

COVID19 is. No one has been spared.

Each face the gravity of the mounting

up of debts, job losses, shoddy leaders,

rising death toll and various vaccines;

and will they help us through to being

a human race that is wary of each other?

Do we like those silver drops attract ?

Or do we prefer being divided? Separated?

And we solemnly ask, ‘ Will there come a 

time again,

when the folk dance will stir again and

welcome the pull towards each other, shake

a hand and hug or will we, our nature now

changed to isolation, continue to slide away?


The brutal bombs pounded the city,

shrapnel flew and pierced each

animal, plant, person and planted 

in each the determined hatred

of the violence of warring sides.


The doom laden bang lit the sky,

fear filled canisters exploding,

threaten lives, homes and hearths

of thousands of throbbing hearts.


The sirens screamed their warning.

People woke in their thousands,

hid in shelters, tube stations and

under the stairs til all clear resounded.


The bomb is now a virus which rains

down its deadly cells. Each invisible

speck spots a human and hosts them,

chokes them, batters their brains, and


liver, kidneys, lungs and pains appear

in every place the bones are placed.

Thousands are killed and thousands 

more until the morgues are bursting.


A place to hide they shout from Oxford,

We have found a shelter for each of you,

A serum, no more, that will help you

face off Covid19 until it is dead, dead, dead.


Lies are as bad as Covid as they take 

lives from the innocent and destroy

mums and dads and lovely kids, while

the vaccine only seals C19’s fate.

Help! Look what’s happened!

O phial from astra Zeneca we adore you,

the first drops made in Europe 


by ports and threats and paperwork.

Millions more expected, so they say

as they sit around a table and nod

their heads with Eton wisdom, while

thousands and thousands and more

sicken daily, and a thousand and more

die from a disease limited as much

as the Canute faced, ocean tide.


We play hide and seek with a 

ranging minotaur while some 

take their lead from a leader who 

behaves as if life is all a prank, so

they party and prance around as if

they are the only ones who matter.

Self-centred, egotistically bound

they carpet their parties with the

dead, the sick and the grieving. But

no one sees or notices the old lady

dying from a virus in her own room.


And watching the 

Icarus antics in the cabinet room,

they swerve away from common 

sense, and dutifully fulfil the will 

of those

taking the excuse to erode the hard

won rights of women, children and

increase the burden on the struggling,

and see their own untaxed moneys 

grow into mountains the sick carry.

Oh the Children!

I was a hiding again in the cupboard,

they had started again and the grinding

hatred was spat out in words and then

he hit her, over and over. I heard her

moans and then screams and then all

went silent and I’d wet myself again.


I stayed still and silent hoping that he

wouldn’t look for me and let me know

again how loathsome and babylike I

was and how he hates us all; and then

he will collapse like a balloon bursting,

and his snoring engulf us all. I held on


and then I heard the shuffling and moaning

and knew that he had crumpled, for a 

moment we were safe from his vile venom.

I crept out and nearly screamed when I

saw her bloodied and broken face. She

was holding her arm and I knew that we

would take the bus and go to the hospital.


There, they would patch her up and ask

her questions, but she would never give

any real answers. She pointed to my wet 

trousers and I slipped afraid upstairs and 

changed and washed them out and hung

them over the cold rusting radiator in my


little bedroom. Then she covered her 

head with a scarf and put on a virus face 

mask. After taking my shaking hand she 

left the house and we ran down to-

gether down to the bus stop. The driver

looked at her suspiciously but 

she paid for the ticket to St Anne’s.


We sat in a small room and they came

and took her away for X-rays and 

a lady wearing a pink jumper came

and showed me some pictures. She 

asked me to choose one that was like

my house. I pointed to the one that 

was collapsed and had peeling wall-

paper, dirty carpets and bare shelves.


Touching my arm, she asked me to choose

a picture of my Mum. That was easy 

as they had one of a lady who was

dressed in bandages. Then I saw that

there was a picture like my Dad. He 

was angry and his fist was bigger than 

his head. I shrank down, 

hid my head,

and cried. 

2020 Slaughter

Timeless memories of days that mould

our families, and friends come round

for a coffee and a chat. While, the 

insistent echoes of government tell

us what they want us to hear and

what they wilfully want to do. And


so many hugless months have slowly

palled and painted faces with sadness

and tears of grief; often shed in lonely

funerals. A life abruptly cut off, and a

short sincere service – ending with no

friendly sharing of the persons life

over curling sandwiches, and sausage

rolls helped down with a bar bought drink.


Children stare out at an alien world

where play is absent from schools and

teachers stand back and learning is hard,

so, they master hand washing instead.


Some, watch from home, as they lie

cancer sick and like autumn leaves 

fall unnoticed into lamentable piles 

of colourful leaves, left to rot and 

return to the earth leaving tracks

of unhugged tears and lonely weeping. Yet


in a science laboratory somewhere not far

from their door, there are workers seeking

a viable vaccine; and others testing brutal

biological weapons to release, into

the void of senseless violence. And think

themselves progress til the virus enters

their homes and threatens their families.

But governments will fight on building

secret weapons that will murder and 

violate, that will destroy lives, economies,

socialising, livelihoods and still they

march on regardless