Two Poems

By William Coniston

April Saturday (Virus Time)

Through a gap between the edge of the world and the sun’s chin resting on a skylark you can hear a blackbird pirouetting, and a robin raging at a pruned bush, while Carol tells her whippet to have a zoom round the field but he won’t do it to order. Ken wears a beanie over Jeannette’s number 3 and says his head’s bloody cold. Dave moved into Cherry Tree Row from Fairweather Green three weeks ago, before it all kicked off, bringing his dog, eight cats and a walking stick, and says he’s well known in the restaurant at Woodbank. Phoebe’s named one of Jane’s new chickens Leia; Tilly and Charlie will name the others. Rosie finishes The Phoenix that came yesterday and makes origami cranes and pyramids. Lena and James have a family picnic at Hallas Bridge falls; Ulle and Otis fight the whole time. Their dog Doris has wheels for back legs. Woodpeckers rattle up the evening valley. Mark Rylance looks just like his grandfather in the war. The moon’s nearly full, of love beamed from Venus.


We are molecules
of proteins, lipids
and carbohydrates.
We are atoms,
with a nucleus
of protons and neutrons,
orbited by electrons.
We are particles
formed when the universe began.

Every bit of us is
permanent, recycled
from suns and planets
rock and air,
plants and trees,
every kind of creature.

We are creations of odds-on chance
with no right of tenure
or obvious purpose
except to perpetuate ourselves
at the expense of everything
that is not relevant to us.

We are so much the same,
we viruses and you.

William Coniston wrote boring legal documents for years but now he’s written three scary novels for 8-13s, a lot more fun. He lives in West Yorkshire and also writes poetry.

The first poem shows that even at the height of the first lockdown in 2020, there were things to celebrate. On a lovely spring Saturday I had a walk, chatted with people encountered along the way (suitably distanced), later talked to family and friends via the web and after sunset watched a little TV. Venus was bright in the night sky.  The second poem points out that humans and the virus are similar in many ways.

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Christine Edmonds
Christine Edmonds
2 years ago

Lovely, interesting poems, William, both giving food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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