Lockdown Travel Diary, Poetry


Stranger on the bus makes a call:

All right, my darling?
Yeah? And how are you today?
Oh, don't worry about that. You've got a few weeks' worth of washing to get through - only so much you can do in one go.
I know, but you know if you want I can come up and I can sit 2 metres apart form you.
If you're sure.
Have you got everything?
How's the drink situation?
Yeah, it's all right, don't worry.
If you're sure.
All right, I love you.
Be safe. I love you, darling.

The stranger hangs up and makes a second call:

All right?
Come on, then: Why'd you call me half past midnight? Who's died?
You're joking me.
You're joking me!
Oh my god. You know, you know I ain't one who wants to speak bad of no one, but I've got one word for you: karma. Fucking karma.
Yeah, karma.
It's finally done some good.
[Reaches into a bag and takes out a can of lager.]
All this bad and it's finally done some good, getting someone who deserved it.
[Opens can and takes a swig.]
Too fucking right, after all he's done.
After all he's done to women. I don't want to speak bad of no one but he deserved it. It's karma to him after all he did to those poor women. What he did to us. Too right his son becomes a woman and then this gets him. Too right. Don't want to speak ill of those taken by the black but let's celebrate.
Yeah, I'm serious, let's celebrate.
I'll get some prosecco. I'm on my way to Asda right now - I'll get some prosecco and we'll celebrate. And you can come down to me. We can sit in my garden and have a drink to karma. What do you want - can I get you anything?
Fuck 'em - it's my garden. You don't have to sit on me.
You what? Camping chairs? What do you want camping chairs for?
My love, you are too tall for camping chairs - and that's Aldi anyway.
No, you deserve a real chair. I'll bring out a real chair from my house so we can celebrate.
Yeah, bottle of fizz for you and me and we'll drink to him and his karma.
Lockdown Travel Diary, Poetry


When the rain arrives
We cross the road
Without looking
Lock a glance into
Wrinkled eyes that
Peep out from behind
Over masks
Under hoods
With scarves which spill
Down to hands 
Encased in reused 
Latex-free sagging gloves
Clutching shopping
On the way back from
A leg ulcer redressing

The lower deck of the bus
Is for them 
And remains
But upstairs is emptied

Of the midday gin can drinker
Goading her despairing
Children just to make 
Her mate laugh 
They claim she took their
Chocolate buttons
No they are not here today
They are behind a door
Behind a door
A door