Two Poems

By Mark Blayney


We smoke it slowly, the tab you rolled the day the schools reopened.
Those six hours between nine and ten-past-three
a portal to pre-parenthood. And now we wonder
why did we have such little daytime illicitness before?
Why not slope to the bedroom at five past eleven,
and get up for a late, decadent lunch? Why not
have the engine running and sprint to the beach for a fast-paced relax,
get to the school gates just in time, pretend to have worked hard?
If this does not sound like your average working day,
try freelancing. The emphasis is on the lance, but the other half is free.
Enjoy those hours. Take a chance. After all,
we hear the plague bell and can guess for whom it’s tolling.
It could be you. It might be me. But it might not be.


is seeing a stranger across the grass
and as a glance which is not for you
strays in your direction,
desiring with not unreasonable lust
to be breathed on.

Mark won the Somerset Maugham Award for Two kinds of silence. His third story collection Doppelgangers and poetry Loud music makes you drive faster are published by Parthian. He was an inaugural Hay Festival Writer at Work, won a Wales Media Award for his journalism and has been longlisted for the National Poetry Competition. He lives in Cardiff.

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Jackie Litherland
Jackie Litherland
3 years ago

I love ‘The emphasis is on the lance, but the other half is free’ which sums up all the spare time we seem to have under lockdown. I feel I am always being prodded by the lance if I sit in my dressing gown all day.

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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