Cacerolazo and Time in the Year of Corona. Two poems by John Richard Heath


The action’s downtown.
Obsolete suburbs
worry at their screens.

Indifference reigns.

A lone heretic,
night-gowned man, standing
tall on the threshold,
raises arms, cookware braced.

A pan banged at the

Neighbours stiffen,
shift in their seats, while
cats shrug and dogs weep.


Time in the Year of Corona

The minute hands have fallen
From the faces of both my
clocks: wall clock from Minchinhampton
(English case, German movement,
circa 1880) and
the boisterous clock on the
mantel (provenance unknown).

But still I wind them up. Tock

Above the daytime bath steam
dissipates in the languid
air as through a high window
on a tall tree I watch the
woodpecker regulate the

Tock tock tock.

Out on the streets souls in their
twosomes converge, correct and
cleave apart, smiles distanced.
Like this is the Afterlife.
Beatific afternoon.

Days slide through on burnished rails.

Time and chime are out of synch.
Tock tick tick. 3AM and
I’m lying here, sheets wound tight,
waiting for the knell of day.

The clock strikes twelve.

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