Colonies covid chronicle 8: Metaphors and imagery

Distancing ~ Pat Bryden

We wave

    across a street.

We call

    on phone or when we meet.

We listen

    as if newborn, awhile,

    to children, birds and dogs,

    and smile.



    Does it mean apart?


    Does it mean distant?

Or, by a quirk of nature

Turning what we knew as ‘normal’

    upside down,

Could that distance

    make us closer?



Week 7: Selective amnesia flavours this VE vision of the terrible six years of WW2 ~ Hilery Williams  

Monday 11May

I was angered at the jingoism of the suggested ‘Celebration’ (not even a commemoration) of the 75th anniversary of VE.

Vera? The Queen?? Churchill???


I find the mawkish evocation of WW2 metaphors and imagery surrounding this crisis to be abhorrent. The language of war – heroes, medals, Red Arrow flypasts – is utterly inappropriate, as is the suggestion that we collectively ‘celebrate’ a ‘Victory’ over our closest neighbours (some of whom may even be next door neighbours).

The modern army of nostalgia-mongers cynically and deliberately manipulates some people into accepting passively the status quo. Acceptance is a political and ideological stance, like it or not.

This unreflective lethargy – this denial of the fact that everything we do has a political component – ensures that fundamental changes necessary to improve our society never happen: Café Nero or Di Georgio’s, Amazon or The Golden Hare, Tesco or Tariq. It’s our choice.



Botanic Gardens

It’s a real pity the Botanic Gardens aren’t open – they would be a perfect haven these days. Here’s a kind of diary poem about a visit there in happier times a few years ago.

BOTANICS IN MAY ~ Hamish Whyte

on the way to the Botanics

  spot a magpie

     in a wild garden –

that criss-cross lollop

  down the slope

  through the bluebells

     wild garlic and dandelions


now in the gardens

I’m sitting on a bench

  dedicated to the memory

     of Mr & Mrs Robert Miller

reading a book about China

  in the shade of a Chinese tree

     it’s not quiet

what with the birds

  and a motor mower

     mowing nearer and nearer


a girl going by

  with her mother

     keeps saying

it’s most likely that…’


above the pages

  glimpse a couple

     of wheelchairs


a wee boy

  in a red baseball cap


I say hello

 he shows me a daisy

     he’s just picked

four’ he says ‘a four’


in the shop

  sudden surroundsound

     of wind gong

        and wind chimes


on the way back

  stop on the river bank

     to watch a heron

stalk and catch an eel

  flick it from side to side –

          fly off with it still

wriggling in its beak


it’s spring

  and all