At first it’s novelty.
A chance to catch up on housework.
Garden trimmers burst into life.
Unwanted noise becomes reassurance,
a signal of normality over the hedge.
But the world’s grown strange
beyond the letterbox.
The Government prints money,
gives it away. It’s early days:
Cupboards still half full,
accounts still in the black,
a vicarious global crisis over the horizon
where great cities thresh like wounded whales
and pimp politicians root around
in the muck for a quick fix, an easy blame.
But it’s just a matter of time, before the horizon
catches up with us.
An invisible miasma folds itself over the land.
Bat spawned superbug, cellular neutron bomb,
pirate RNA throwing grappling hooks
over the side of our civilian organisms.
The day the earth stood still, the week,
then month, when things in general just stopped,
went slo mo, ran out of juice.
Streets bereft of clamour.
Some have to get on with it.
Gowned medics, checkout chicks,
remote database admins in midday PJs.
The patient and the tense queue
and avoid looking at other
in case infection can shimmy down
a casual glance.
Phoney war, evolution’s arm race,
everything’s a means to an end
for these microscopic time travelers
and their nasty ways.
The world is suspended in its own bubble.
Keeping our distance,
we somehow become closer.
Words, video, music by Victor Billot © 2020
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