COVID-19 - Poems by Ted Roche

The Beginning

It could be a day like any other
but it isn't
Everyone knows there's a shadow
A dark, giant, sinister, evil shadow and
everyone knows it's moving.
Moving slowly, moving cumbersomely,
moving silently, relentlessly, lumbering toward us.
There's no roar, no growl, nothing to see,
nothing to hear but it's there.
Out there somewhere. We can feel it.
Looking for a host, to infiltrate, to carry, to incubate
and then to destroy.
Everyone knows.

But wait
Looking out the window
It's a beautiful day!
The sun's shining, buds are opening
birds are singing, birds are nesting,
looking for a mate, building for the future.
The seafront's crowded
Full of dog walkers, joggers, cyclists,
working from homers not working from home,
and even the supposedly self isolating,
self hibernating 'at risk' elderly.
All enjoying the sunshine.

And outside the café with 'Armageddon' lattes,
'End of the world' toasted tea cakes,
Cranberry and Brie 'Apocalyptic filled' paninis and

'We're all doomed' salted caramel ice creams
All perfectly normal
A rude, impatient 'I'm in a hurry' man at
the cash machine and from his car window a man
shouting abuse at a woman trying to cross the road.

All perfectly normal
But underneath
There is awareness
Everyone does know
Panic buying says so.

Ted Roche


Up on Hawkshill, a beautiful morning.
Sitting on Charles seat and looking out to sea.
A soporific, peaceful, blank canvass.
Looking out on a scene bathed, a scene wrapped,
a scene folded in comfortable embracing silence.
There is a chill wind but also a warm
penetrating sun so there is balance. A good exchange.

One watches the odd bird skimming across the landscape
and behind there's a sudden eruption of spring song.
So enchanting one thinks a blackbird and probably a nest
nearby but it needs conformation. Not that it really matters.
The sound's enough.

Somewhere in the distance one can hear a saw and
in the warm sunshine sleep would seem an easy, enticing, option
but now someone's approaching and social distancing say's
it's time to move on.

Ted Roche

white cliffs ramblers
white cliffs ramblers
white cliffs ramblers