Three Poems

By Anthony Watts

Talkin’ Covid-19 Blues

I gave my woman a hug and a kiss.
She sprayed me with Dettol and called the police.
Turns out she’d been watching that BBC News
and that’s what’s got me singin’ the blues.
Now, when we talk, I gotta give her a ring
cos she’s doing that social distancing thing.
Ain’t never too late to self-isolate
cos there’s nothing so mean as that COVID-19.

I went down to Asda and joined a queue
hoping to buy some rolls for the loo.
I asked a ‘colleague’ (that’s a member of staff).
He said, ‘Mate, you must be having a laugh’.
When I went to the checkout, the girl at the till
said, ‘You’ll just have to use the back of your bill.’
Ain’t never too late to self-isolate
cos there’s nothing so mean as that COVID-19.

I was sat in the garden reading Chaucer
when out of the sky comes a flying saucer.
An alien got out, just like in a dream.
Then he saw my mask and he started to scream.
He got back inside and away he flew
all the way back to Aldebaroo.
Ain’t never too late to self-isolate
Cos there’s nothing so mean as that COVID-19.

Not Searching for Lambs

based on the folksong ‘Searching for lambs’

As I walked out one May morning
(For thus it did betide)
I met a cop who bade me stop
And get my arse inside.

“What makes you rise so soon, my lad,
Your journey to pursue?
Aren’t you aware you must beware
A brand new strain of flu?”

My daily exercise is all
I have in mind today.
Pray stick your truncheon where never sun shone
And let me go my way.

“O stay, o stay, you reckless youth”
(Thus spake the man in blue)
“Self-isolation down at the station
Is what’s in store for you.”

Not so fast, Officer, I cried,
The guidelines are most clear –
Heed their insistence on social distance;
You’re getting much too near.

“OK, OK,” the policeman said,
“I’m bound to let you stay.
Though I detest you, I can’t arrest you
From two metres away.

“Even the long arm of the law
Can’t span such lengths as these,
So don’t delay, just go your way –
I think I’m going to sneeze.”

As I walked out one May morning,
The day was fine and fair,
But I got sneezed on and that’s the reason
I’m in intensive care.


Coronavirus, now known
to be of extra-terrestrial origin,
has been traced to the newly-named
Planet Covid-19 in the constellation of Fuckknowswhere.

The entire surface of this planet has been marked off
in two-metre squares (this is impossible
on a curved surface but maths are much simpler there.)
There is precisely the same number of two-metre squares
as there are people on the planet.

In the exact centre of each square,
a single masked figure stands, head bowed
over a small rectangular, hand-held device with an illuminated screen,
in which they are silently engrossed.

Not a lot happens on Planet Covid-19.

Anthony Watts lives in Somerset.  His most recent collection is Stiles (Paekakariki Press, 2019).  His poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. 

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Elizabeth Block
3 years ago

Love Not Searching for Lambs – I know the tune and shall sing it. Love the rhymes, especially truncheon/sun shone. I may try to learn to do talking blues.

Paul Clarke
Paul Clarke
3 years ago

Good fun: I recall the first one from early on, but the other two are new to me.
(this is impossible \ on a curved surface… “
Of course, that’s to assume that Planet Covid-19 IS spherical.
Jus’ sayin’
From your friendly neighbourhood pedant

Chrissy Banks
3 years ago

Such a hoot, Tony! Genius rhymes and classic colloquialisms as usual.

Marianne McAleer
Marianne McAleer
3 years ago

Hilarious poems from Anthony Watts! My favourite couplet being,
“But I got sneezed on and that’s the reason
I’m in intensive care”.
It shouldn’t be funny but I can’t stop giggling!!!

Chris Banks
3 years ago

Hilarious, Tony. Love all 3 of these. Inspired rhyming and imitation of the song genres.

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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