Sitting In A Semi (after David Bowie). A poem by Jonathan Humble

Remote in a Cumbrian village,
removed and adrift as instructed,
I have become a modern Major Tom,
floating with the tins and toilet rolls,
bouncing off the ceiling, walls and floor.

Behind glass, I message Planet Earth,
well placed for views in virtual space,
sitting in a semi, playing spot the Herdwick,
clapping frontline health service warriors
and other admirable key role heroes.

Redacted bodily from the daily pages,
features airbrushed out of the foreground,
I fade from the centre, become a bystander,
hours filled with pills and hand sanitiser,
thermometers and mailshot clickbait.

In a semi in Cumbria, isolated and lonely,
mind blown on the wrong side of the veil,
is a solitary starman on the edge of it all;
Planet Earth is still blue, dear David,
but it’s awfully quiet these days.


Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and other publications online and in print. A collection of his work, Fledge, will be published by Maytree Press in the summer of 2020.

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