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Tag Archives Covid 19

AND WITH EVERY BREATH

Already what little sunlight there has been

each day of the new year dies a little

later in the west. Today the layers

of pale orange and gold seem to stretch

like a canopy far into the Welsh hills,

over the mountains, and the sea beyond,

as if hope were only a journey away.

 

Meanwhile the numbers of the sick rise

everywhere like a temperature gauge –

and those of us spared thus far, through luck

or circumspection,

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DRIVING INTO THE DARK

For Annabel Honor-Lissi

 

In those stark dreams when sleep shades into waking,

dreams that haunt the light like a taste in the mouth,

or a name half-remembered, half-forgotten,

I am always travelling – this dawn

along the black tops and the turnpikes,

from the Texas Panhandle north east

to Casco Bay, Maine. Ahead is the thought

of moments, or a non-stop two day drive:

from the sun-belt’s stubborn, garish pandemic;

via the fame of Dallas,

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GUESTS OF LIFE

‘We are the guests of life.’ Martin Heidegger

 ‘In ancient Greek the word for ‘guest’ is the same as the word for ‘foreigner’: xenos. And if you were to ask me to define our tragic condition, it’s that the word ‘xenophobia’ survives, and is commonly used, everyone understands it; but the word ‘xenophilia’ has disappeared…’ George Steiner

 

For Cicero books were the ‘soul of the house’.

The Ancient Romans knew a thing or two

about staying safe in uncivil times.

Nevertheless on his way to sail abroad

the lawyer,

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THE SICK MAN OF EUROPE

For John Plummer

 

‘History is a people’s memory.’ Malcolm X

 

It is VE Day. Though those who still survive –

the eye witnesses – tell angrily of waste

not sacrifice, what should have been a day

of the dead, and the maimed, and the displaced

worldwide is here one of tea parties, sing-songs –

while the toll mounts as if it were the first day

of the Somme. They lied then. They are lying now –

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