polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
All hail, centenarian Captain Tom Moore,
knighted for trundling his walking frame
up and down his garden; millions are pledged
to swell the coffers of that favourite British charity,
the National Health Service.
Meanwhile, Burberry stops making trenchcoats,
and gowns and masks roll out
from production lines in Castleford.
Back in April, a call went out for protective eye gear.
I ransacked my toolbox for protective goggles,
wrote sentimental messages to front-line workers
destined to be the unwitting recipients,
left them on my doorstep,
like ripen at home tropical fruit.
We are exhorted to tap into the blitz spirit,
to fight the virus, defeat the unseen enemy,
to dig for victory.
The Queen addresses the nation,
minus Christmas tree.
Elderly relatives still answer the phone
with their entire number, local code and all,
and tell me they are soldiering on.
Hannah Stone has published 4 solo poetry publications, and also collaborate with other poets, predominantly on feminist issues. She has had over 300 poems published in print and online journals and other media, including The International Times and Prole. Some of her poems have been set to music or included in art exhibitions. During lockdown she has been volunteering in her local community, where she is an advocate for food security. She curates poetry events in West Yorkshire, including editing the literary journal Dream Catcher.
Wake up call
International dawn chorus day
arrives during the lockdown drought.
Birdsong is amplified by heightened awareness
of silence unfurled by furloughed cars
and grounded planes.
I pause on the woodland path;
add dunnock, black cap, chiffchaff
to familiar robin, blackbird, great tit.
At the plot, I water the parched strawberry bed,
ponder the irony of post-Brexit calls
for eastern European fruit pickers.
Everything is unseasonably dry;
apple tree offers fragrant skeins of blossom
to the first influx of swifts who tow
their keening call across unmarked skies.
Too soon, I tell them. And too late.