November Poetry – Week 1


Today’s the day that we celebrate you
The special man who you’ve grown to be
I’ve never known you to blossom like this under all the attention

Maybe this weird year’s been different
And you’re leaning into it because of the distance

that you’ve never had between you

and loved ones, while celebrating,

I hope, my love
You feel my love
as it takes its strange form of Amazon boxes
All a-twist with tinsel and lights
Bringing some cheer.


I’ve been thinking
about how this year has changed how we think about relationships
where we put in the effort
where we struggle.

It’s made it clear
That when friends matter,
Distance doesn’t

And while it can be months or even years
between hugs and catch-ups
there is always so much care.


Doom scroll
We wait for the tweets that shout and trumpet
Election counts
Anxious and praying for a divided world, spring coiled
like a wind-up toy.

I hope – and pray –
for a peacemaker and forger of unity
in that world-shaping office


Breathing (while we can).

Unroll the doom scroll
Write it over with finding humanity and repairing relationships
To give voice to the voiceless
Protect the vulnerable.

We wait and watch, bidin’ time.


“It’s Lockdown Eve” yells the news,
with reporters gathering voxpops of the last thing we bought before the shops were closed again

“I bought slippers and some matching pyjamas”
The focus on making comfort, showing unity

“I bought some stocking fillers and Christmas cards, just in case”
Preparing psychologically for a longer time indoors – no chance to pop to the shops

The government repeating the mantra “Hands, Face, Space”, as people flood
to the pub – for one last pint out (with a substantial meal).

“I bought a cable for my son – he’s eighteen tomorrow”
One mum is hopeful for the future her boy has ahead of him – navigating a stranger career prospect
than anyone could have anticipated in a high school guidance session this time last year.

“Lockdown Eve”, as we bid farewell to places we may not even have had a chance to visit
since last time –

Until next time.


Remember, remember
The chant in your head
As gunfire bangs
And rocket whistles
Burst the foggy night air
Into showers of stars and celebrations
So strange to our southern eyes
Unaccustomed to celebrating
A near act of treason
From four hundred years ago
Not near now.


The day’s dawned, cold and clear
I am learning to appreciate the cold.
Later in the day, I appreciate
that crisp lungful
when darkness has fallen too early.

Pinked up jet-streams against a slowly darkening sky
The lovely dusk, post-work wander,
Allowing me  to walk
Alongside light-glinting water

Silhouetted swans
Inky black, back-lit
By the last of sunset ebbing
From the sky.


Today will be known as the day the world breathed a sigh of relief
Celebrations in parking lots, on the street
Banging saucepans, car horns blaring (this is America, after all).

I still think there is more groaning and despairing to come
And the best this new administration can do is to figure out
How to unfracture
A society that has been so poisoned and divided
It is difficult to see how it can come together.

But, my heart is glad – for the little girls who can look to a new example
Of jobs they can aspire to
One day, when they’re big, maybe they’ll be able to be even greater.


The thing that I’ve realised about winters that are properly cold
Is that they allow you to appreciate the coziness of home so much better
This weekend, I laboured in the home – I swept
And scrubbed
And wiped
And even baked.

At the end of it all, I have the luxury of snuggling in
On a couch, with some tea
To knit, and watch reruns of cozy murder mysteries
(far less work than continuing writing my own).

So keep investigating, Hercule, or Miss Marple,
Or those lads from the one I’ve not watched before –

And I’ll investigate who ate the last biscuit from the tin…
Or confess – “It was me!”

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