Covid Poems - Dr Diana Swann

Updated: May 25, 2020

Inspired by her new Covid world, Diana started writing poems in March. Her humorous observations resonate with all happenings we see through a lens that has had, for me at least, a brain fog removed during these strange times. Most people will admit life's beat as we knew it has changed, letting us enjoy the little things in front of our noses.

Artist is Kevin Dean, his contact details are below.

March 2020: Lockdown

A grim walk westwards along the sea-front,

East wind scuffling in my sparse white hair.

Clean-slicing the air, gulls plunge, then settle

on the massive curls of a spray-hurling tide.

A shower spatters, has second thoughts.

A bench’s inscription invites me to rest with

‘Maureen and Gordon, beloved parents,

sadly missed’. So how did they die?

A young girl pants past, drink-bottle slapping

on her plump buttocks, clenched with resolve;

she grunts ‘Good morning’, answering my smile.

Another smile from a boy on a scooter and

I wave to a toddler who waggles a finger.

Suddenly these greetings coalesce into

celebration of human fellowship

in this virus-haunted, unreal Spring.

Corona Confinement

She stretches to her scanty shelf of books,

the photo-album’s just within her reach.

It captures her with memory’s cruel hooks

that force her forward to a rending breach

of barriers holding back a flooding rage,

that calms to grief, self-blame, then fresh surmise

entwined with wisps of love. She turns the page

and there he is; those smiling, candid eyes

bely what lies within. The door- bell rings.

Remembering today is next door’s turn,

observing six feet gap, her neighbour brings

the shopping packed with kindness and concern.

She locks the photo-album, quells a tear,

unwraps a cared-for future with no fear.

Runners in lockdown

The promenade invites the set-faced couples

to stern pursuit of ideal weight or miles.

Their wrist bound gadgets set the calibrations,

that render them the masters of their run.

They punctuate the floundering joggers round them,

distancing exactly six feet gaps.

Not so the rest; their dog’s in charge each run-time.

A rescue lurcher’s in for the long haul,

An ancient spaniel flops into a sit-down,

A pug attempts to pick a fight and fails.

Two pale salukis tiptoe down the catwalk

A staffie shoulders past a drooling chow.

Ecstatic babies scream as Daddies push past

faster than a buggie’s meant to go.

A tattoo streaks through on a rattling skateboard,

leaving a toddler screaming in his wake,

Birthday scooters wobble to a standstill

when older brothers bike past at top speed.

Fluorescent lycra , misapplied to thick thighs

not fashioned for a greyhound silhouette

thuds by, with feet un-lifted, but worse follows,

an unclad pair that wobble with each gasp.

Succumbing to arthritis and rollator,

I sink down on a bench and smile.


The morning is calm and patient.

The sky joins the waveless sea,

the sea subsides into the shingle,

with silent, invisible shufflings;

its expanses smoothly accommodate

the deserted straggling Pier.

Only a mirage of the Island

rises seamlessly from clinging water.

No shouts of colour ground us

in the infinite merging of

pale blue mist and grey washed clouds.

Expectant silence is shattered

by the hectic sputter

of a small tug’s engine.

The sea, insulted, quivers ,

rent by the speeding white streak.

The seagulls are strangely silent,

but in the bushes along the promenade

a conceited blackbird glories

in his da capo aria, silhouetted

against the pink tamarisk tree.

Jolted back from enchantment into

this new world of demarcations,

We sadly smile at passers by,

six-foot distance.

Kevin Dean is based in Southsea, Hampshire, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London. Kevin has been painting scenes from his neighbourhood and home during 'lockdown' , which he calls Corona chronicles. His work is for sale.

Contact Kevin via his social media pages


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