CONTAGION [The Book Shop]

Words are contagious; they can spread among

Any human beiing; like chinese whispers

Changing their meaning, crossing borders

On the merest wind.


After I caught the disease, I woke with a

Sense of unease, anxious to write down

Whatever it was I was suffering from.


I asked my doctor what it all meant.

He used words they had to invent;

That defied description.

But If I were particularly interested,

I could be initiated into a world of words

Used only on prescription.


Two weeks later with a head full of ideas and three poems, 

I was over the worst of it, though not fully recovered,

The complaint recurring when least expected,

Despite keeping a safe distance from others and

Wearing a face mask, the unintended consequence of which

Made it impossible to form words in public.


I became fearful of adding to what quickly became a pandemic,

As virtual writers-groups; poetry blogs and online competitions

Spread like wildfire. Towns became no-go areas for anyone afraid

Of what they might read. Empty streets a testament to

Viral contamination. Isolation was the new creed.


As the disease eventually began to ease, words became

Less of a threat due to a uniformity of ideas, so

I went in search of alternatives and came across

A non-descript, long abandoned building,

Outside of which was a sign, proclaiming :


'This is the crossroads of civilisation – Refuge of all the arts

Against the ravages of time – Armoury of fearless truth

Against the whispering rumour and incessant trumpet of trade.

From this place words may fly abroad – Not to perish as digital waves

But fixed in time – Verified in proof – Uncorrupted by the human hand.

Friend, when you enter, you stand on sacred ground.






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Sun 24th May 2020 19:00

Words like seeds broadcast...

Great ending

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