A long way back from the front line

Disposable gloves

in the glove compartment.


Sparrows chatter in the bamboo

as we sip prosecco on the patio

and talk about changing our wills.


The interminable thump

of ball against wall.


I have cosseted that clematis

outside the kitchen window

with water and teabags.

Now the buds are ready

to burst open like teardrops.


But every Thursday evening at eight

we stand outside our front doors

and clap, and maybe holler, too,

and try to imagine for a moment

what it’s like, in their shoes, in ICU.  

◄ Hair today, and tomorrow

Chuck Berry's Ding-A-Ling ►


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Greg Freeman

Sun 26th Apr 2020 21:32

Yes, John, how the other half have to live and work. Our garden isn't looking too shabby this year, for a change. This poem was one of six or seven that I wrote in quick succession. I've stopped now, because I fear, for me at least, all this has become the 'new normal'. Take care and keep writing, if you can.

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john short

Sun 26th Apr 2020 18:19

Greg, Thanks for another good poem which captures effectively the experience of self-isolation. How we're likely to sit around more and cosset the clematis. My only job is to look after my 92 year-old mother, otherwise I'd be looking for a fruit picking job with the land army. As it goes, I'm not under any real pressure. Just thinking about all the people doing essential jobs, worn out, working round the clock.

John S

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Graham Sherwood

Wed 15th Apr 2020 10:20

As an adjunct to this I emailed the nurse that took a special interest in my recent care whilst experiencing my 'heart event' in hospital and thanked her once again in light of the work that she must now been involved in with this pandemic. Her touching reply, about being mentally and physically knackered was timed at 2.28am! Says it all.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 14th Apr 2020 23:49

Thanks, Isobel and Graham. I find I'm writing a poem every few days at the moment; there's so much to write about. It's turning into a kind of journal. In fact, I feel another one coming on ...

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Tue 14th Apr 2020 19:52

How poignant Greg. Our poetry from this terrible time will record just what we all went through and how we each connected to the altered reality. It needs to be written. and that's your contribution.

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 9th Apr 2020 22:18

We can see our little granddaughter's house from ours. She sat on the front lawn banging wooden spoons on saucepans because clapping isn't loud enough! Thank you for this Greg! It's teaching us to feel humble.

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Greg Freeman

Thu 9th Apr 2020 18:03

No, you're not, Brian. Good man! I'll be clapping for you, too.

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Brian Maryon

Thu 9th Apr 2020 17:53

Greg ..I did my first NHS Volunteer task today by collecting a prescription for an 80 year old. She told me she would be clapping me at 8pm this evening. I felt such a fraud.

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