The artist Julie Goldsmith sends me pictures of the National Covid
Memorial Wall by St Thomas, and so there, from the sour,
Something sweet grows at last; with over one hundred and fifty
Thousand lives lost, placed here are hearts as painted cardiograms

And soul pictures, with each prized shape representing the loss
And the love harsh winds cast. In Lambeth Palace Road, Kingdoms
Rise, where until now they had fallen, whether they be Princes
And Kings killed in chambers or Queens and Princesses caught

In high towerblocks. But now this North Wing Hospital wall
In SE1 3FT becomes a genuine tourist attraction for Natives,
A place for those who can’t travel to stage a pilgrimage around
And take stock, on the prices people have paid this last year,

And the legends made through death’s barter; hospitalised
On the outside the wall has become its own book in which
Lives are contained within a universal shape as expression,
And where this ghosted graffiti places both name and number

On everything Covid-19 in 20 and 21 came and took.
The wall is opposite Parliament, and as Julie says, is the kind
Of Anarchy she most favours. So far, Bore-is hasn’t seen it, even if
Keir Starmer has. But this new Lambeth legacy shall remain,

As these sweet shapes show Blake is beating, as the inspiring
Vision hehind them brings Bill’s angels back as mind-jazz,
Riffing around bright returns of these memorialised people
In variant songs sung about them and about the line and rhyme

Of their lives, portrayed now in paint, as the purest of art
Becomes music, and the roar and revival of what can never
Be crushed still survives. Unlike the Cenotaph, Wailing Wall,
Or even Nelson’s far column, here those who’ve fallen are set

At an eye level view, so that sight can embrace and reunite
Lost and living and where in reflection we can see a person’s
Heart and soul, their kept truth. We haven’t really seen
Each others proper faces for months, removed from both

Ourselves and our loved ones, but now, the Memorial Wall
Organisers and even the dead bestow gifts – of memory
And the prize that we can always draw from removal,
The courage and strength to the continue, for this is

The only proper way to resist: peaceful protest. Process.
And progress too, in teared stages; as the water from the eye
Cleanses capture, so does that of our mouths as we heal here
And worship and reconnect. Sight is kiss.         




David Erdos April 8th 2021

 Photos by Julie Goldsmith


This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.