Grave Concerns



    My daddy says it’s a jolly good thing.


    Nightingale hospitals are springing up

    No more than 10,000 in each

    Some of them are called University halls

   With locked doors and a bed for each  

   Students housed in the toxic clad flats 

   Abandoned in the city centres


    There are some old steam engines

    On newly nationalized private lines

    Driven by tenders for End Of Life.

    Briefed by Test and Trace Covid Support

    Excel spreadsheets, Deloitte, Serco, PHE


    Government ministers order carriages

    To take patients from the hospitals

    Removed to die in a very safe place


    I.D.  stamped   QUARANTINE

    They will not see family, friends, visitors

    Except PPE nurses, care workers, doctors

    Hidden creatures, half-robot, half-human


    My daddy says the inmates

    Will be very comfortable.


    A TV entertainment allowance;

    The wise men, every day a broken theme

    Hectoring at their lecterns; a dream

    Hands, face, space, avarice and disgrace


    “You can act up, act out, dance about

    Make props, theatrical productions,

    Until you make your final bow.”


   They might, if you’re about to ‘pass on’

   Show you the brochures

   Give you a choice of headstones,

   Scatter your ashes, “no charge!”,

   “It’s dying with Dignity.”


    Eternal rest         Take to the skies

    Fly to the stars    Heaven in their eyes


    Promises to ashes.


    And if you’re behind locked doors

    We will deliver, or give you a food allowance

    “You can cook for yourself or others”

    Or eat from 1000 Trussell food banks


    No strings on our bows, but stars on earth

   Broke, we rent our musical instruments

   Show them up; busk on Westminster Green

   Making music while the sun shines

   Harping on, fiddling so much, trumpets

   Blasting off; The Planets with Gustav Holst

   Until they put pennies on our eyes


   The rest of us, survivors just now

   Sit quietly at home staring at a screen

   Choke alone in our cathedral cars

   Dodge each other on the pavements

   Forage along half-empty supermarket shelves

   Hidden behind our black and white masks

   Show our beckoning or lonely eyes

   Outside, ghost double-decker buses pass by

   Abandoned shuttered shops & minds


   My daddy says it’s for the best.  

   And I’m in no position to argue.                                        


©  Christopher 2020   [email protected]

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One Response to Grave Concerns

    1. Wow, that’s quite a poem Christopher. Makes me quite goosebumpy. You tell it how it is. Well done you!

      Comment by Karine Butchart on 22 October, 2020 at 8:13 am

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