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?

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