Spenserian Stanzas

Covidian Cogitations

By John Lewis Smith

This section is currently under construction, as at 05 Oct 2020
Go to some background to these stanzas

The Ides of March brought in the Covid train
We put in place a plan to isolate
They said the virus was a nasty strain
It took some getting used to, this new state
One picks one's nose to self-exterminate
Self-isolation is a better bet
An open-ended long and lonely wait
For light relief we search the Internet
But face masks have become the things we need to get

Self-Isolation: it's my second week!
The clocks now change to English summer time
I think of ways to work on my technique
Piano scales, I'll practice till sublime
The Spenser stanza, I can learn to rhyme
While on guitar, I shall improve my strum
Could swap my plectrum for a silver dime
Timetables I draw up with much aplomb
Despite this firm resolve, lock-down remains hum-drum

At first the problem: how to order food?
The supermarkets' websites are opaque
Deliv'ry slots were lacking plenitude
All bread was scarce, we started to home bake
There was no flour, we could not mix a cake
There was no yeast, we could not make our bread
In vain, I sought my culinery break
And tried to think of what to eat instead
The thought that we might starve was filling me with dread

Our hands with sanitizer we do clean
Hard surfaces have now become ill-starred
The fingers, touching face, must never preen
Don't chance your life; don't cut that pack of cards
In hospital your world is in retard
Your breathing slows, you're feeling very ill
The will to live, this virus disregards
In I.C.U. you start to go downhill
Covid-19: the Ace that has the Power to Kill

But early on it seemed like good clean fun
The novelty was there to be explored
The trawl for unread books had just begun
No time to sit around or to get bored
Amidst the mess, let order be restored
A chance to clean and tidy up the fridge
Or for that novel make a storyboard
That lengthy chapter, finally abridge
Meanwhile the Covid graphs climb surely to the ridge

Still going out, my relatives and friends
Regard my reticence as slightly wierd.
My hermit ways nobody comprehends
As week by week I start to grow a beard.
The solitude is worse than I had feared
Depression: a blue cloud that lies in wait
To catch me unawares has sometimes steered
Me down to brood and self-excoriate
Avoid this trap! Stand strong, stay fast - it will abate.

I fall into a categ'ry at risk
I'm clinically vuln'rable by age
Surprising as it is, I still exist
The time's not ripe for me to quit the stage.
While Covid has the power to make me fade
Our birth comes with its guarantee of death
The 'where', the 'when', the 'how' are hard to gauge
Corona is designed to mess with breath
A cough that's dry can be its telling shibboleth.

Designed a weekly supermarket form
With columns for the family's favourite stuff
Completing this did not go down a storm
It wasn't bad for something off the cuff
The steak we had last time was rather tough
I make a note to get some sage and thyme
Would half-a-dozen pittas be enough?
I'd double check, but haven't got the time
I'm Covid quartermaster of this pantomime.

Pandemic data breeds its technospeak
It's all so new; there is no paradigm
The economic fall-out could be bleak
I hope that on my lawn the sun will shine
A dash of optimism is no crime
The chances for a vaccine may advance
A deck chair and a book will do me fine
Just stay at home and try to take no chance
There's nothing in the news that makes me want to dance.

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