Covid and me. A poem by Doctor Mike Buck

I dreamed of a
world hung alone
in a loneliness unknown,
clad only in the iron cold
cast iron violated vacuum
emptiness of space,
vivid blue shantung oceans
against jadeite green
of fertile land,
a toy globe suspended cordless
in some child’s bedroom

and  somewhere scratched on
the surface
like the claw marks of
a cat on an
exquisitely varnished
oaken wooden door,
my bastion,
resisting  this
angel of death
washing around and against
revetments  and walls
now full tainted in
the staining of the ink black
inky black wash,
inserted in to
every crack and crease,
a gift so freely gifted
all the way
from the far far east.

I shuffled off a wasp from
a window sill, respectful for
a designated survivor,
set free to roam,
turned a page,
wrote a letter,
we prisoners at large
and in my very own home.

Silence of the roads
droughted of traffic,
building sites as deserted as
a no-man’s land in
a war zone,
shops as closed as
mussel shells at low tide
desperately awaiting the
water’s return,
hanging on by a thread.

And so many out there who
are dying and dead
as we sit sun-streamed in
in a well kept garden,
a corner of a
shrinking paradise.

But on the walls and floors
and ceilings and doors
the stain has penetrated
and there no longer
is any doubt that
on this Roben Island fastness,
now at last,
the inside has become the out.


Retired doctor of biochemistry and no idea how I came to be a poet. It came to me and still does and I have no control over it. Scribbling a while here in Cardiff with three daughters and 7 grandchildren as delerious distractions. The lockdown is a grind. I get bored and that’s when the creative juices begin to flow.

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