After Covid

We must get through this, pulling together

No cause to even consider whether

But what of the future, after the storm

What will be the post-covid ‘norm’?

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When this virus has gone, before another arrives

People will pick up what is left of the lives

So much of what was usual before

Will not be so, for most any more

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A vaccine would let contacts resume

There isn’t one yet, so let’s not assume

Jobs will have gone, shops and businesses lost

These will only be part of the cost

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Public health weakened, treatments delayed

Diagnosis of new conditions simply not made

More children and adults with teeth decayed

Increased obesity for many not weighed

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Councils struggling to make ends meet

Unemployed and homeless out on the street

Promised grants from an empty purse

Not enough to stop matters getting worse

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Society itself will become more fractured

Less money about, fewer goods manufactured

A bigger gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’

Inequalities increased, demos and boycotts

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Lost schooling reducing chances for many

A shrunken economy another enemy

We must stay united, support those in need

Act for the common good, then we’ll succeed

Passing Storm

Once again, as often before

Angry waves torment pebbled shore

Streams and river can hold no more

Gorged, they greedily flood and score

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Boughs and tree tops bend, submit

Dancing, possessed, as some mad fit

Corn lies flat against the ground

Wheat and barley, bent and drowned

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Wind howls around a shabby cottage

Lichened thatch, now in its dotage

Uneven windows rattle and crash

Climbing roses twist and thrash

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Smoke struggles up the sooted stack

Puffing and swirling, blowing back

Flickering candles show eddies within

Guttering answers to the banshee din

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The moon, it seems, races each dark cloud

Revealing weathered hills, stood solid, proud

Brighter still flash exploding bolts

Snapshots with ten thousand volts

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Lightning shatters an oak asunder

Earth itself quakes with the thunder

Sheets of rain now throw themselves down

On cobbled streets in the nearby town

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In the cottage, through the open door

A silent shadow peers out in awe

Hears distant rumbles, sees the oak aflame

As, passing, the storm echoes its name

Personal Demons

It needs only half a mind

To have demons of some kind

And those which make one doubt

Are the hardest to cast out

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Some trouble the happy state

With worries over fate

Others sneer at good intention

And distract your full attention

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If you would push these demons back

Counter every cruel attack

It can calm your mind like stone

To remember you are not alone

Flying

Why, oh why, can I not fly

To chase the birds across the sky

Soar on thermals over the land

Pass above the sea and sand

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Laugh at those in gravity’s maw

Earth-bound terrestrial plodding corps

Whilst I pierce silvered fleeting clouds

Divorced from two dimensional crowds

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Feel the lift above my wings

Glory exceeding the heights of kings

Eschew the paths mankind must tread

Know freedom of the winds instead

Bird Trivia

Robins and blackbirds like people

Hawks prefer to perch on a steeple

Crows can recognise human faces

Pigeons favour urban spaces

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Blue and great tits love bird feeders

Cuckoos use surrogate breeders

Owls twist their heads by 360 degrees

Swans are never seen in trees

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Starlings swarm in a murmuration

Magpies have a shiny fixation

Pheasants and grouse are not fond of August

Albatrosses have a keen wanderlust

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Kingfishers dive for small things that swim

Whilst petrels look for waves they can skim

Ravens guard the tower of London

Nightingales sing second to none

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All these and more are a joy to behold

Many others of whom I’ve not told

Nature can lift the troubled soul

Keep a lookout when next you stroll

Covid-19 and Racism

One is an arbitrary killer, which puts no value on life

The other holds an unspoken tenet: that some people are worth less than others

One is without consciousness, the other without conscience

One attacks vulnerable people, the other makes people vulnerable.

Both exhibit a lack of humanity, compassion, and reason

One is invisible to the naked eye; the other, insidious, is hidden in plain sight

One will, with perseverance, eventually be driven away by the ingenuity of mankind

The other will endure in the dark corners of men’s minds, until a cure can be found for prejudice.