What makes lockdown sanity

What makes ‘lockdown sanity’?

Not violence!

Not marches, protests, mass dissent.

Not profanity!

To ease relief,

Suspend belief.

Don’t dwell on ‘normal’…….

There is no ‘normal’.

Take something small,

In other times not even on the list,

So trival, dismissed,

And make it big.

See the insignificant,

And sweep away the mist,

Make it magnificent.

A wild rose that blooms on a winter’s day.

Be yourself,

Be content with who you are…….

Not where you are,

Not what you are, 

Not how you are,

But who you are,

For this is your new life’s stage.

From here you rise,

No matter what your age!

Tell me…..

“Tell me, Grandad….

What did you do in the lockdown?”

“Me, lad……

Aye well……I stayed at home.

I washed my hands.

I wore a mask.

I kept my distance.

I walked alone.

I never had a haircut.

I never went to a cafe,

Or down to the pub.

I never met my mates.

There was just me…..and Gran…

We did it all alone.”

“But Jimmy’s Grandad…..he never did that

He had a good time.

He met his mates. 

He went out and about with them.

He went to town with them…..

…..and fishing.”

“Ah yes.

Jimmy’s Grandad.

I knew him……

Before he passed.”

The Stranger

Covid who?

Stupid name that.


That’s not a surname….

It’s a number.

Lead singer with a group, is he?

Or the head of some third world coup, is he?

Perhaps the next PM?

We don’t want another of them!

Well not for a while.

Too much guile…

Too much bile!

Oh, I know.

I get the flow.

It’s a TV thriller

And he’s the serial killer!

Or maybe he’s a ‘she’.

If you are wrong….

I can cope with ‘wrong’….

I can right it.

If I can’t right it, I can help to right it.

If I can’t help to right it, I can ease it.

If I can’t ease it, I can help to ease it.

If I can’t help to ease it, I can provide solace.

If I can’t provide solace, I can help to provide solace.

If I can’t help to provide solace, I can empathise.

If I can’t empathise, I can help to empathise.

If I can’t help to empathise, I can understand.

If I can’t understand, I can help to understand.

If I can’t help to understand, I can cry…..with you.

I can’t cope with ‘It’s not my fault’.

Everything is ‘my fault’.

Everything is of your own making.

Every decision you have made or not made,

Everything you have done or not done,

Every road you have taken or not taken,

Has led to this point.

It is nobody elses’ fault.

If you are ‘wrong’, you are ‘wrong’….

We can right it.

If we can’t right it, we can help to right it.

If we can’t help to right it, we can ease it.

If we can’t ease it, we can help to ease it.

If we can’t help to ease it, we can provide solace.

If we can’t provide solace, we can help to provide solace.

If we can’t help to provide solace, we can empathise.

If we can’t empathise, we can help to empathise.

If we can’t help to empathise, we can understand.

If we can’t understand, we can help to understand.

If we can’t help to understand, we can cry…..together.

Each day nothing….

Each day comes in turn

And then, the same again.

No respite,


Our best endeavours to change.

Inventing things to do,

Or going for a ride

Perhaps …. just to get away,

Just to stay sane for the following day.

Have we forgotten how to be alone?

Have we forgotten how to come together?

Or find a crowd?

A comforting shroud…….or despair?

Familiarity is not easy to find

Or bring to mind

In Covid time.

And so we hide!


Does time move faster each year?

Or is it just in my head?

Does the turning of the earth have a 5th gear

Secretly engaged?

It has been a year of turmoil in this life …..

Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew

All embroiled in daily work ….. and pestilence ….. or other strife

Nowhere within view

seems to escape to a quieter, calmer pace.

The world’s a melting pot.

Inhabited by people in an endless race

Each trying to improve their lot.

So, take a break; take stock

Join with those of differing belief….

…. or none at all ….

And feel the relief ….

…. from deadlines, from pressures, from speed …

Suspend briefly, the worry and fear……

Walk the countryside, recharge, and return refreshed indeed

To who knows what …. perhaps a better time!

Don’t ever…..

They read their verse

In monotoned voice

Droning on and on….

A dirge.

No soul.

No expression

As if ‘twere 

‘de rigeur’

To sound as though

They preceded the funeral bell.

I don’t want my verse

To be read….or worse…

To be heard

As though from a graveyard skull.

I don’t want it to be dull!

I want it to ZING



I want it to charge like a bull

I want it to laugh

And cry

And heave a sigh

And show emotion

Through the reader’s voice.


I want the listener to enjoy…

And share the thoughts…

The pleasure…

The doubts…

The laugh…

The shouts…

……so…….don’t ever read my verse in a dreary tone!


Where is ‘lonely’?

How do you get there?

How come you know ‘where’

But never the way ….. never the journey?

No matter how you go

Walk, bus, train, boat, plane or drive

You never know the way

You never know what stage you’re at

It’s just that …

You know when you arrive!

And, what’s worse, it’s a long way back.

No motorway, no road, no footpath, no track.

No company.

No fellow travellers.

But, if you make it….

IF you make it,

And you dare look behind,

What you’ll find …

Is two sets of footprints!

I just thought….

If I go first…….

You’ll never walk alone,

For I shall be at your side.

You’ll never sleep alone, 

For I shall be in your dreams.

You’ll never drink alone, 

For I shall taste each cup.

You’ll never sing alone,

For I will know the tune.

You’ll never play alone,

For I shall be the strings.

You’ll never think alone,

For I shall guide your mind.

You’ll never love alone,

For I am a recipient of that love.

You’ll never die alone,

For I shall be waiting and with you.

Just a reminder…..

We’ve seen it.

We’ve done it.

We’ve eaten it.

We’ve drunk it.

We’ve smelled it.

We’ve tasted it.

We’ve bought it.

We’ve been given it.

We’ve thrown it away.

We’ve borrowed it.

We’ve begged it.

We’ve wasted it.

We’ve rented it.

We’ve owned it.

We’ve lived in it.

We’ve changed it.

We’ve extended it.

We’ve decorated it.

We’ve driven it.

We’ve flown it.

We’ve sailed it. (Well not yet!)

We’ve ridden in it.

We’ve broken down in it.

We’ve cursed it.

We’ve laughed at it.

We’ve cried at it.

We’ve grieved over it.

We’ve created it.

We’ve raised it.

We’ve nursed it.

We’ve paid for it.

We’ve supported it.

We’ve watched it grow………. 

We’ve married it off.

We’ve baby sat for it.

We’ve enjoyed it.

We haven’t finished yet ….

There’s lots to do, 

And lots to see ….

And the best part ….. 

Is that little word ‘We’!

Plus qu’hier

Moins que demain.