Monday 23rd March 2020

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Lockdown

Simon Armitage

And I couldn’t escape the waking dream
of infected fleas

in the warp and weft of soggy cloth
by the tailor’s hearth

in ye olde Eyam.
Then couldn’t un-see

the Boundary Stone,
that cock-eyed dice with its six dark holes,

thimbles brimming with vinegar wine
purging the plagued coins.

Which brought to mind the sorry story
of Emmott Syddall and Rowland Torre,

star-crossed lovers on either side
of the quarantine line

whose wordless courtship spanned the river
till she came no longer.

But slept again,
and dreamt this time

of the exiled yaksha sending word
to his lost wife on a passing cloud,

a cloud that followed an earthly map
of camel trails and cattle tracks,

streams like necklaces,
fan-tailed peacocks, painted elephants,

embroidered bedspreads
of meadows and hedges,

bamboo forests and snow-hatted peaks,
waterfalls, creeks,

the hieroglyphs of wide-winged cranes
and the glistening lotus flower after rain,

the air
hypnotically see-through, rare,

the journey a ponderous one at times, long and slow
but necessarily so.

23 3 20 (1)23 3 20 (2)23 3 20 (3)23 3 20 (4)23 3 20 (5)23 3 20 (6)23 3 20 (7)23 3 20 (8)23 3 20 (9)23 3 20 (10)23 3 20 (11)23 3 20 (12)23 3 20 (13)23 3 20 (14)23 3 20 (16)Screenshot 2020-03-23 21.53.13

Boris Johnson tells nation ‘you must stay at home’ as virus cases confirmed infection count shoots up to 6,650  an increase of almost 1,000, and the death toll hit 336 up by 55.

Boris Says Stay at Home

I had the mumps
And isolated
I had the measles
And isolated
I had chicken pox
And isolated
I had to lie in a hospital bed for ten weeks
While my back operation healed
I had to lie in hospital bed
Recovering from a heart attack
But this
I’ve seen nothing like this
Today’s news is unprecedented
It’s a horror movie of a day
My fate is not in my hands
The fate of others is
Im staying at home
Im lucky
I have a home
I have a garden
I have a shed
I have a partner
I have contact via technology
I have to stay home
To protect you
Please stay at home to protect others

John Bish March 23rd 2020

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