Covid’s Metamorphoses

Covid’s Metamorphoses


Put not your trust in Princes, sociopaths,

and populists! Yup: R is on the up.

We mutter in our coffee cups

or scream “just do the math”

but there’s the rub: they modelled, did their sums;

convened their focus groups

(which feast on spin, and tonics for the troops,

and marching bands, and martial pipes and drums).

“Mere numbers are for crunching! Common sense

– the good old British type –

will see us through”, they blustered (but events

proved otherwise). Such hubris, humbug, hype,

hypocrisy, and cant! Their “fingers crossed”!

Their calculated cynicism glossed!


Down Brixton Hill the rain is falling fierce

and fearsome past the prison gates:

a sudden spate

to wash away the layers of grime, the smears

of soot and diesel fumes. No music spills

from the Electric. Empty stand the chairs

in Windrush Square;

forlorn, the shuttered shopfronts. Covid kills

communities discreetly, by degrees,

with segregation, racism and stealth;

a zoonotic freeze

on breath and health.

We tread a bleak and dread-filled path

Between the shadow and its aftermath.


Obscured beneath the moral permafrost

of mankind’s ceaseless, cruel,

destructive search for lebensraum, which fuels

environmental holocaust,

a vision forms, in some cool limpid pool

of keener consciousness:

how more might be achieved with less.

We mined, drilled (fracked!) for carbon molecules;

as Ahab scourged the oceans of the world,

as Icarus caressed the Aegean skies,

we hurtled, wings outstretched, and sails unfurled;

chased down electric avenues. All lies!

Together we’ll rewild the biosphere

and weather these coronavirus years.


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6 thoughts on “Covid’s Metamorphoses

  1. Wish I understood the poem but I believe it has merit. I’ve read so much about Covid where it’s confusing for some and very polarizing. I had a nightmare at the beginning of lockdown, couldn’t get food for a long time because others were panic buying and I am disabled and housebound and separated from my carer .All I care about is justice for people like me who should have help from the government to have a quick and easy death.The awful horror continues for me. I don’t require much in life, only death. I have no one to talk to. No one at all. You see all these causes and injustices going on but no one is having a campaign for people like me. This has been going on now for many many years and I couldn’t stand it at the beginning and can’t stand it now. How’s that for literature, not the famous soliloquy, that geezer thought something worse might be on the other side but I don’t think that.


    • Thank you very much for your message and feedback – and soliloquy – and for following this blog as you have done… I am also very sad to hear that you find yourself in such a horrific situation….


  2. One thing that is good about my situation is it will end for me thankfully. I’m just sad I could never shine or be noticed by a kind human in real life who could see my influence on them was good. I’m sorry it’s come to this but thank you. Loneliness is a killer when you are ill and it’s even worse with a tool like the net where you see everyone talking but I don’t have that courage except for this little bit of talk because of the Henderson. The weird thing about socially isolated people is they fear interaction but it’s interaction that will help them. A paradox. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you well. Before my rescue I will continue to be an observer of the net and not partake in conversations for fear I get someone down or they get me down. It amazes me the courage of people. I was born with none but ‘The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one’

    Liked by 1 person

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