Two Poems

By Andrew Martin

Coughing Crow

Spring morning roofline, solitary silhouette,
ailing avian, gasping for breath,
no clean bill of health,
Coughing crow,
observing below,
my whirring wheels,
cleaner city air inflating lungs,
percussive heart inviting hill.

Bird family of rooks, ravens, magpies,
a peaky, beaky winged wonder,
cousin of jackdaws, jays,
chuffing choughs.

Lofty isolation,
black presence,
portent of death,
no mask or pretence,
possibly a Covid Corvid?

D = S x T

Distance equals speed multiplied by time,
data equals statistics multiplied by trying
to maintain a life, our lives saved,
remaining in our residence,
state-sanctioned decree,
exercise, food, medicines, work,
essential local journeys.

Distance equals speed multiplied by time,
two metres equals need multiplied by rhyme,
singing ‘Happy Birthday twice,
to ensure continued life.

Audible avian joy,
tamed tarmac ribbons,
my lungs feel so refreshed,
absent taste of toxic waste,
vanished vapour trails,
cornflower canvas,
April solar heat a blessing,
beware, no Easter bunnies kissing.

Clap and sing appreciation,
gloved healthcare hands,
medical masses, nurses’ stations,
British and foreign lands.

Disquiet, doorstep number ten,
applauding with the nation,
NHS, no cash since when,
Boris abomination.

No governmental social distance,
Dominic, Matt and Bo Jo,
breaking news, another case,
the PM’s lost his mojo!
Jack Russell Dilyn, unheard by humans,
learns to use ‘the dog and bone’,
cultured Corgi shares the gossip,
heir and son are now recovered,
ma’am sanitises palms and fingers,
before and after using ‘throne’.

Absent social humans, Llandudno,
North Wales’ nanny state,
opportunistic feral goats,
distinct daytime disorder,
roaming with impunity,
panic-eating herbaceous borders,
so much for herd immunity.

Paper rolls in short supply,
no blame the Andrex puppy,
empty shelves, toilet time,
you should be so lucky.

Panic-buying tinned tomatoes,
pasta twists unravelling,
ravioli stuffed full,
greed before need,
shelves stripped bare of cans,
streets devoid of cars.

Doubt = Strangers x Transmission

Symptoms = Decision / Testing

Trust = Disease / Speculation

Andrew Martin, a poet with a strong environmental / social conscience, published his first poetry collection ‘Echoes of My Mind’ (2018) and performed with DIY Poets at the Edinburgh Fringe (2019).

‘Coughing crow’ is a true story and a good example of how I like to play with words. The word ‘Covid’ gained widespread use during the initial weeks of the pandemic and I started to wonder if the crow family could be woven in to a poem. Et voila!

‘D = S x T’ combines my love of current affairs, equations and poetry. Some jokes might jump out whilst others are a subtle contrast, as I like to keep readers and listeners on their toes!

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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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