Tag: coronavirus

is April really the cruellest month?

Cos this month, though it’s short, does seem to go on rather. I do enjoy the early nightfalls of winter, and the pleasure of being cocooned in the heavier-weight duvet, rejoicing in warmth while all outside is cold. But there comes a point when I don’t want to get up in the dark; when I’m tired of wearing clothes that rustle and having my hood up, slithering in mud on my morning walk. So when I discovered this account of ‘February‘ by Bill Christopherson, it resonated. See what you think.

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apokalyptíria

There’s a lot of fear, frustration and anger flying about at the moment, and this last year we’ve read many headlines and seen photos and footage we never want to have seen. Since the beginning of this strange and disturbing month one of the poems echoing in my head has been Frost’s ‘Fire and Ice‘ (click the red arrow by the title if you’d like to be read to). Does it resonate with you?

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responsibility

This poem, ‘Passive Voice‘ by Laura Da’, jumped out at me the other morning when I soothed myself with poetry after the morning engagement with the news. The poem attached itself to thoughts about the acceptance and refusal of responsibility; thoughts of “transparency” and accountability, and obfuscation. I wonder if it will strike a chord with you too?

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tenderness

One of the many weird, sad things about living during this time of pandemic is what it does to how we look on other people: suddenly everyone is threat, or potential threat, and connection is something to be avoided, not sought. I’d like to offer a little antidote to this—a reminder of connection as protection—in the shape of ‘Shoulders‘ by the deeply gifted Naomi Shihab Nye.

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peine forte et dure

Apparently that’s the name for the torture whereby a board was placed on top of you and weights gradually added until the life was crushed out of you (or you made a plea in relation to the crime of which you were accused). “Pressing”, as it was also known, comes to my mind every now and then these days when I turn on the news or check out The Grauniad website and hear what the latest Thing is. I have a distinctly physical sense of another weight being added, another piece of bad news and difficulty on top of what already felt like a crushing load. Thus half an hour ago I was to be seen sitting with my forehead on the desk trying to summon the energy and will to sit upright. I’m sure this is a common experience. What works, apart from coffee, chocolate or a walk in the wood, is acknowledging to myself what I’m actually feeling; and so I give you ‘Talking to Grief‘ by Denise Levertov.

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