We are all dislocated

lucked out of our lives and left marooned

frozen portions of a whole which we assumed through motion,

never proved.


Now dependants, patients, penitents,

each served on a bed of circumstance:

we must endure

the rigorous displacement of ourselves

lodged here as metaphors;

in notes,

as images,





our personhoods postponed, our selves deferred,

(though unattractive residues persist, mere obstacles to hygiene and control).


So file us under pending.


Battered, blurred,

we inch between the tragic and absurd.
















It is not cheering,

being old, in pain, about to die,

the nurses do not like it when you shout,

turning hostile, they neglect your hurt,

they have their own, internal miseries.

One is allergic to her skin,

one was not told she had to work all week

here in the closed ward under quarantine;

if it is cheering that we’re hearing now

it’s distant televisions, not for us -

these are the promises, the guarantees.



















The ward is closed,

we’re scrupulously pale

we wash our hands in alcohol in fear

of spreading further the unwritten word

of vomiting and diarrhoea.


















‘I wish to God that I were dead’

he calls out as they make him stand

he wants to fall back on his bed

but that is not what they have planned.


He seeks the swift simplicities,

the minimum of fuss and pain,

while nurses with their therapies

require that he should work again.
















The sun comes out (‘comes out’,

as if released from prison,

or discharged)

and there are dark birds blown like scraps of bag;

it has discharged itself, protective cloud

has roiled away to blackbird-eggshell-blue

and still this building leaks and lets off steam,

a shanty-town of huts stacked at the gate

a mystery of plans we dare not trust

a portakabin-temporary time

that ticks into an era.



Place and I

in permanent transition, reconstruct.....

All my lost clocks,

their batteries expired

gone feral now.


My life goes on without me, as it must.