Poem Hour Twelve

Counting Steps

In her sleep
She is counting steps.
She gets nowhere
But does not wake up.

In the morning, she rises early,
Puts on workout clothes,
Expensive running shoes,
And jogs on the spot.

She counts every step,
Every minute, hour, day,
Walking miles, never leaving the house,
Going nowhere fast.

Poem Hour Eleven

The Other Place

I’ve never been to that other place –
You know the one.
Hidden, secret, a degree away from normal.
Entered through a small wooden door,
Only noticed out of the corner of your eye,
Or through a large wardrobe in an empty bedroom.
It could be a hole in a garden wall, almost buried
Under thick, heavy vines.
Or a locked entrance to a castle,
High in the mountains,
Where no-one ever goes.
Except when they do
And later return,
Somehow different, transported to
That other place,
Where I have never been
And am unlikely to ever go.
And so I watch the doors open,
Even as they remain closed to me.
I watch and I read
The signs, the books,
Find the almost entrances,
Almost hidden
In plain sight.

Poem Hour Ten

Moonshadow

Reflected in Moonshadow
You smile at me,
Reach a hand out towards me,
As I step over rocks and whirlpools,
A landscape as strange
As the surface of the Moon
In this quiet time
Between days,
Reflected in the shadow
Of a bright, full, heavy moon.
And I fill as bright and full,
Heavy with possibility,
With the future,
With the knowledge of you,
And me.

Poem Hour Nine

Zoom

Zoom is the new meeting place,
The cool place to be.
Safe behind closed doors
We open virtual lives to each other.

This is the strange new normal,
Waving into screens miles apart,
Choosing virtual backgrounds
More real than our homes.

Conversation buzzes brightly,
Like fireflies in summer heat.
A small bottle of time,
Unreal and unmasked.

Poem Hour Eight

Like Wildfire

She is a wildcat, burning strong,
Furious and bright as wildfire,
Claws sharp and deadly,
Ready to attack.

Or defend,
A lioness protecting
The young and helpless.
Cleansing fire spreading wide.

With wildfire in her veins
She is glorious.
Or awful.
A black hole pulling you into her molten centre.

She is no longer nothing.
She is everything.
Wildcat. Wildfire. Wild.
Woman.

Poem Hour Seven

Season of the Virus

Hidden, locked down, safe indoors,
We wait.

We wait and wait,
Hidden and safe,
Against the creeping virus.

No cure, no vaccine
Unknown illness
Takes it toll
On millions.

Millions infected, like a horror film
An invisible enemy
With no weapons available.
Except one.
Stay at home, stay alone.

We wait, unsure, unknowing.
A new normal is close.
Wash your hands and wear a mask.
Better still – stay at home.
Life slows, we live,
One day at a time.

Poem Hour Six

An Ideal Day

Lazy, sound of silence
Maybe the song of birds outside,
Safe and cozy covers surrounding us,
As we smile at the lack of anywhere to be.

Later, immersing ourselves in stories, laughter,
Comforting cups of tea and sandwiches,
Curled up together
As we listen to pitter-pattering raindrops outside.

Warmth holds us close
As we hold each other,
Content and relaxed
On a lazy, perfect day.

Poem Hour Five

The Day it Rained Umbrellas

One day the sky opened,
And poured down umbrellas.
No rain in which to use them,
Just thousands of umbrellas.
Different colours, different sizes,
All styles and shapes and shades.

They hurdled down towards us,
Handles first, fully open,
Before suddenly slowing
And letting a gentle breeze guide them down,
Into waiting hands, one per person,
Choosing their new owners one by one.

People reached out and found
Their favourite colour waiting,
Or an animal shape,
Patterns, stripes, spots,
Handles of wood or plastic or metal,
Just what they would have chosen.

Small girls had pink umbrellas with unicorns on,
Disney princesses and kittens,
Or maybe a Star Wars figure,
Space rockets or spiderwebs.
Men in suits reached for rainbow stripes,
Women for bold red or rich purple.

The day the umbrellas rained down,
Magically, mysteriously.
We reached out and held on,
As the day saw not a drop of rain
But an outpouring of love
And understanding.

Poem Hour Four

A Letter

I hope this letter finds you well,
If you can be well – or not, where you now are.
And where is that? I wish you could say.
Or tell me anything really.

If I could see you once more,
I’d hug you tight and full of love,
Tell you I have a good life,
A husband, friends, a job.

I’d like to wander memory lane with you,
One last time.
Remember your garden,
How you would teach us the names of all the plants?

Before heading inside for lunch
And The Archers on the radio,
Games and books,
Cartoons on the TV.

Quiet, easy days in school holidays,
So many years ago.
I’m all grown-up now,
And you are long gone.

But never forgotten.

Poem Hour Three (Not following prompt)

The Visitor

On my morning walk
Around the garden,
During lockdown as I avoid
The outside world,
He enters in –
A black, feline visitor.

Bravely, he watches me
Creeping closer as I count steps,
Check my fitbit,
Jog on the spot,
And smile
At bright green eyes.

He stalks a prey of cut-down bamboo,
Leafs floating on the breeze,
And butterflies circling flowers,
Pounces and plays,
Before finding a spot of sun
And stretching out to rest.

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