Lockdown Collection

In order to celebrate England's return to a full blown lockdown, I've taken the time to herd up a few poems I cobbled together in and around the last one. I expect to receive a knighthood for my services some day, but I understand why the queen would be a little slow on the distribution right now, what with the pandemic and all. Happened to the Royal Mail too, so it's clearly something all royals are struggling with. I must admit, I'm a bigger fan of the mail part of the royalty than I am the queen part. Please don't tell Liz that though. Back to the matter at hand, apologies to other countries of the UK, and indeed the world, not currently under full lockdown conditions, I hope you'll join in the festivities anyway.

So many of these things (poems, if you will) get written that keeping track of exactly what I've said is a full time job in and of itself. I already have a full time job, it's definitely being a poet, and a disorganised one at that. Ultimately, this means what you see below is just a small collection of what's been written during the pandemic, and those which came to mind while I ramble out these few paragraphs to appease Google. There's actually months worth of the stuff, this pandemic has been dragging on a bit after all. I assure you, it's all brilliant. Probably.

If you don't find what you're looking for in this collection, you could always do some poetry hunting yourself. It's a great way to waste a few hours, and the design of the website makes it even more enthralling. There's biting political commentary, loneliness, romance, all kinds of topics really. It's nice to see someone finally give them a go in poetry form, you know? Go! Hunt and gather, you're a human after all. Show a little respect for where you came from, for god's sake.

Let's begin with a little piece celebrating how the previous lockdown ended. Reopening all of the pubs, and allowing everyone to mingle in their drunken states. A clear plan that simply could not fail. Assuming the goal was to infect as many people as quickly as possible.

Barold arrived at the pub with an extra long straw.
He weaved his straw through the punters and slurped from their glasses.
Barold's investments in toilet paper and pasta hadn't yet paid off. 

It's difficult to know what to say between these things. This is art, it's not for me to tell you how to appreciate it. Barold was clearly struggling with life after his seemingly infallible lockdown schemes failed to pay off though. Socially distanced restauranting also came into effect.

After months of Zooming Reginald and Delia finally went on their date.
Reginald had knocked up a couple of sticks to help with the distancing.
He'd stuck hooks on the ends and used them to release Delia's coat from her shoulders.
He pulled out Delia's chair with his hooksticks and knocked her back in place like a snooker ball.
He edged his way around the table pressing hard against the wall.
The ambience of the restaurant and the giant void between them made conversing difficult.
They screamed pleasantries and mimed rain and stuff like that.

If those kinds of public outings were not your thing, there was always more illicit mingling to engage in. Personally, I found the best solution was to simply sit in exactly the same spot for months on end and pretend I wasn't loving every second of it.

Dilbert ignored government advice and held a full on part-ay in his garden.
A massive gazebo sat proudly in the centre and bunting zigzagged between the fences.
On arrival each new guest wore the same giant hat and coat.
Dilbert tried to sneak them in one by one as though they were the same person.
He whacked the vol. up to maximus to mask the talking.
Ultimately none of this helped.
It still looked incredibly suspicious and the police arrived twenty minutes later.

The neighbours, on the other hand, somehow found a company to hire a gazebo from several times during the lockdown and loaded it with as many people as possible.

Carefully planned barbecues conforming to government guidelines were also encouraged for some reason. The guidelines were obviously all very safe and certainly did not feel like they were thrown together at the last minute because the government felt like they had to say something, they just weren't sure what. Dominic Cummings appears.

Beefy extended his novelty fork the full two metres and hooked a slab of meat off the barbecue.
He glanced over the cow and prepared for the big count.
There was Chopsy, Hunk, Nugget, Mincer, Leggers, and of course his very own Beefy.
Six! Beefy sighed with relief, the barbecue was in accordance with government guidelines and he was perfectly safe.
"Wait a minute, who the hell is that?!" Beefy extended his fork at the mystery person.
The stranger gnawed a gob of meat off Beefy's slab and gave him a little wink.
The meat oozed down the stranger's tracksuit and misted up his Ray-Bans.

There was a time people decided being at a beach was considerably more important than the lives of their elderly family members. It was the summer, which means it was quite warm out, so who can blame them really? I don't like Auntie Margaret either.

Finchley went to the beach.
Everyone else went to the beach too.
Wading through the mass he bemoaned their inability to social distance.
He stripped to his underwear and reclined across the pile of beach-goers.

Remember when everyone got dragged back to work, where everything was definitely 100% safe? I do, because I'm currently thumbing through the great database of poetry I wrote at the time.

Bunkins slapped a sheet of A4 across his gob and trekked to work.
He rattled the shutters and tried to kick the doors in.
"Bozza told me to be here! Open up!"
After a good two hours he began to question why he bothered with the trousers.
He trundled back home to bathe in some antibacterial goop.

Bonus work poem!

Colin Fuse peered at his wife through his plastic visor.
She gave it a trial run by sneezing and coughing in his face.
He couldn't believe his luck, completely impenetrable!
He reached under the flap and smeared his fingers across the bone dry surface to double check.
His wife pulled out a red felt tip and scrawled "ALERT" across the visor in big letters.
Colin wrapped two Sainsbury's bags around his fists and proudly marched out the door.
"For the economy!"

People also learned they detested their own families when they have no means of escape. Especially the thought of having to look after their own children. Absolutely horrific. Personally, I assumed this was evident since the day we were born, but I guess not. Once this has cleared up they can go on pretending they like each other again.

Hannibal sat grinning in his gazebo.
He'd ordered it off the internet after becoming tired of his family.
It was decorated with a deckchair and two soap filled bowls.
Hannibal sloshed his hands deep into the bowls and leaned back in his deckchair.
He felt invincible.

Agnes sent some horrifically irresponsible letters. But that's Agnes for you. Everyone had to figure out new ways to communicate, and for some reason family quiz nights were one of those solutions. You know, those things everyone desperately tries to avoid the one day a year entire families can be bothered to meet up. Also, did you know the internet exists? You can even look at people on it. What a revelation.

Agnes spent her day coughing directly into envelopes.
Writing "surprise!" inside and sending them off to her friends.
She'd slather the seals with an extra damp lick.

Every single person on the planet suddenly became terrified of running out of toilet paper, and some of those people lived with awful thieving housemates.

Bog was stealing all of the toilet rolls and hiding them in his bedroom.
His nights were spent silently pulling apart the perforations.
Their disappearance was occasionally brought up in the house's group chat.
"What's a toilet?" Bog would promptly reply.
Hoping it was throwing them off the scent.

Finally, there was of course the beautiful clapping. I believe Europe as a whole was united in their clapping desires. You got to meet up and chat with all of the neighbours on your road too. A brilliant little social gathering in the middle of a pandemic. Definitely not something that should be discouraged.

Tommy went to the busiest bottleneck he could find.
It was time for more clapping!
Tommy wasn't going to be outdone this time.
He heaved a full drum kit down the street and hung a rather voluptuous horn around his neck.
He pursed his lips and parped valiantly into his spit nozzle.
He clapped gleefully and coated the crowd in a veneer of slobber.

That'll do for now. As I said earlier, part of the fun is hunting down the poetry yourself. It's more surprising that way. Surprise poetry is of course the best poetry.

As my good friend Ringo Starr would say, peace and love, peace and love. Not too much love until that vaccine arrives though please. Maybe peace and quiet instead.