Doorways to a post Covid World

Currently I am fascinated by doorways and have been pursuing the idea of doorways to a post Covid future. Which bits of lockdown would we keep as improvements to our lives!p? What might we change? I have completed the first draft of a pamphlet of 13 poems on these ideas, mostly in sonnet or haiku form but not exclusively. I thought that my followers might want to take a look.

Here is the first draft of Doorways To The Future


Taking a look at how things might be beyond Covid-19
How will our world look? How will we feel?

Once Covid steps down

from being our chief concern 

New doors will open

What will we find there?

New ways of living our lives,

Changing our future?

There will be choices 

to make. Stay as we were, or 

forge a new pathway…

A greener future,

A kinder society,

Love to all people

What will you choose then?

Will you campaign for what

you feel strongly about?

Pause, take a fresh look 

at all possibilities,

Make up your own mind!


‘Love Thy Neighbour,’ Charity Work, Community Initiatives

Each day she walks to work past his old house

Through smeary window panes she often sees

An old man in his bed, still as a mouse,

His features masked by overhanging trees.

Clearly he’s sick and desperate lying there

Alone in bed, no relatives around.

She pauses, waves to him to show her care –

He could be dead and waiting to be found?

Today’s the day she takes a chance to  post

A greeting through the door, to wish him well. 

It plops down echoing in the hall, where ghosts

may find and keep it, read it, who can tell?

Next day, surprise, he waits there like a child 

with nurse and wheelchair, just to see her smile.


Telling it like it is, Avoiding the Blame Game

We know we should report with honesty

the things which happen causing malcontent

The easy option’s lying, being free

with truth, believing that it’s  kindly meant.

But such behaviour stores up trouble ahead

The truth will out at some point, causing rage.

When lying we don’t sleep easy in our bed,

We should all speak as one from the same page.

The latest ruse is ‘gaslighting’ I’m told, 

A cunning plan, a sensory assault,

Disguising truths with schemes and lies so bold

We start to think that we’re the ones at fault.

The liars must dig a hole to hide their guilt

But truthful men can keep the house they’ve built.


Arbitration, Campaigning, Promoting Pacifism

Dark skies pervade a land in deep distress

Perhaps the clouds are mourning a lost love?

A sombre mood prevails, a deep darkness

The birds of peace have flown, no turtle dove

Now nests within the city’s ravaged walls

Where once so many cooed and raised their young;

The atmosphere has changed, the landscape’s soul 

Is etched with grief, the victory unsung

Of heroes, warriors who have fought the cause

Now slain and buried deep within the earth.

Their quest was futile, tyranny and wars

Prevail, sweet peace is gone, we await the birth

Of justice, when the dead shall once more rise

In hope, as victory flares light up the skies 


Accepting help, Swallowing pride, Apologising

We fail to notice how our little lives

(Apportioned masterfully), run their course.

We may pretend that we are in control,

But in effect man’s choices have a source

Beyond him, which is only part revealed;

A tantalising glimpse of what might be

His future, if he follows surely on, 

Towing the line and waiting, just to see

What hopes may reach fruition given time,

Ambitions realised, avenues explored,

Imagining that he has willed it so,

Whereas in truth his plans have been ignored.

A hidden compass is our willing guide

Success comes when its message is applied 


Me too’ issues, Personal Space, Respecting Free Will

Do not paint my portrait,

for I have a changing face

that alters with age

Do not declaim me in verse,

for I am a fledgling poet

not defined by genre

Do not photograph me,

for I am a free spirit

not confined to time and space

Do not dance my dance,

for I am a swirling ribbon

unrestricted by routine

Do not sing my song,

for I may have a new one

not yet composed

Do not aspire to know me,

for I grow in wisdom and change….

Allow me to be ME!


Gather ye rosebuds….’ ‘Strike while the iron’s hot’

Gently she carries us, floating downstream

Rhythmic, hypnotic, tempering the mind

Gliding in measured flow, wrapped in a dream

Past fields, trees and banks where reeds intertwine

Coot, moorhen and mallard paddle alongside

And dab chicks dive under the boat for shade 

The pumping house chimney commands the sky,

Behemoth of bygones, whose pomp never fades

We squeeze under bridges, scars etched on walls

from past times when horses pulled boats along,

Then drift to the aqueduct, briefly pause,

Observing the wild life’s enchanting song…

What pleasure is ours as the world ripples past

Come then, ‘carpe diem’ – such bliss will not last!


Supporting refugees, the homeless, the displaced, the marginalised…..

Now thirty two he’s found love, has a wife 

And life has turned out better than he thought.

He learned the language quickly, though self-taught,

Did not react to bullies, get into fights

Though it was tough for him in a strange land

In early childhood, he learned to forgive,

to turn the other cheek, tried hard to live

the best he could, without a parent’s hand.

The hardship he had suffered made him strong – 

To combat loneliness he’d read and write,

Became a big sensation overnight

With pithy stories, poems made into songs

Yet as a man he still missed kith and kin

And wept remembering the child within


Caring for the Environment, our Planet, Fighting Climate Change

In lockdown months the air became so clear,

wild animals revisited the town

And thrilling birdsong brought us joy and cheer

In days where we felt useless, sad and down.

We spent time in our kitchens baking bread

Long afternoons in gardens planting flowers

No restaurants to go to, so instead

We cooked and baked to while away the hours.

Each new calf born, each new tree bud we saw,

Took photos charting progress of the Spring

Via Zoom we showed our grandkids times before

Plastics choked wildlife, throw-away became king.

Perhaps time should rewind to the  40s, 50s

When shopping came by bike and folk were thrifty?


Reducing waste, Eliminating plastic use, Repurposing

I often wonder if they feel sad,

the recycled clothes in the charity shop?

Maybe they feel rejected? Suffer separation anxiety?

I imagine them holding parties in the wardrobe

when their owners are out at work,

getting high on moth balls, swinging naked on coat hangers,

shoes shamelessly tapping out the Charleston in their racks.

Those Jimmy Choos, what an incredible Oxfam find!

Too small for my feet….. but I love them anyway.

I like to coax them out of their box and stroke them

as you stroke a cat, hold them to my ear and

hear them purr. I stare into their lacquered reflection

and see my face ….. a lopsided moon, squidgy, 

out of focus like a fairground hall of mirrors…..

Was she an arrogant rich bitch, their first owner? 

Or a regular nine-to-five shopgirl who won the lottery?

What stories those shoes could tell if only they had

the power of speech. I could listen all day!


Investing wealth and resources for the benefit of all, Enabling Projects

Wise woman or white witch?

Star-child of the universe, sapphire eyes, 

just a soupçon of otherworldliness.

Her mission whispered on the breeze:

To purge the poverty of city slum children

To feed and clothe the refugee and the homeless.

She tiptoes through grief-mulched meadows,

down cobbled lanes echoing thudding boots

of war-weary soldiers, supports their widows.

She eases the birth of breeched calves,

Revives dying infants in mothers’ arms.

Tree bark and plant sap are smudged 

with her sweet kundalini energy.

She is invisible to most humans,

yet indigo children hear her sweet singing …

On wolf moon nights they catch 

her winged flight across planets and galaxies.

Angel of hope or Nature’s philanthropist?

Her identity an eternal mystery.


Being thankful for what we have, Showing Appreciation

A sharp wind licks the casement window panes

And cottage fires are lit against the chill,

Maple-tipped leaves chase swirling down the lanes,

The old gnarled apple tree, high on the hill,

Pregnant with harvest’s bounty, gently moans,

Dipping her laden boughs towards the earth,

Duetting with the wind she sighs and moans,

Awaiting bright fulfilment with the birth

Of juicy apples, dappled green and red,

Filling the orchard baskets, nectar-sweet,

Tempting the children eager to be fed

They plop down smiling at the workers’ feet.

The Harvest Angels sing from up above,

With gratitude for harvests gathered with love



Accepting Joy and Sorrow, Good and Bad,  Celebrating the natural cycles of life

The Belfast skies weep tears of deep distress

As grey clouds mourn the loss of their dear son*

A brittle dawn breaks through with marked tristesse

Heads down the locals brave the morning run

The turgid Lagan crawls through swirling mist

No birdsong yet is heard, no deep lament

The city waits with breath held for the tryst;

His Muse invokes a man whose words were blessed;

Son of a shipyard worker, poet fine

Who took brave stance against sectarian rule,

A polymath, possessed of brilliant mind

Artist, translator, words his daily tools.

Belfast today clings tightly to its own –

The city’s arms enfold him – he is home!

*James Ellis, actor, theatre director, poet from Belfast NI, best known for his TV role as policemen Bert Lynch in the 60s series “Z Cars”, as well as “Ballykissangel”, “One by One”

“Playing the Field” and other work on stage and screen.

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