Poem 83 – Covid Guidelines

I’m still working on ‘The Visitation of Black Shuck’, it’s coming along nicely. In the meantime today I was challenged to rewrite the church’s Covid guidance to those hiring it for parties in verse. Over I quick cup of tea, I hastily threw this together… a bit of light relief

Our doors are open
Please come and visit
But don’t forget
We’re in a pandemic

Here are the guidelines
For us to follow
Please pop on a mask
And open a window

It’s not so wise
To gather in the middle
Don’t overcrowd
Spread out a little!

But if in the end
You’re stuck isolating
We’re more than content
To help rearranging!


© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 76 – Red Lines

This morning drew a thin red line
Delineating night from day
Thus separating what has been
From what has yet to come our way
Meanwhile another thin red line
Emerged upon my plastic stick
Announcing I could play my part
In all this new day might yet bring

Another quick one today, after a full day of work and college. Brain full of toddlers, practical theology and commuter trains for anything more imaginative or deep!

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 72 – Collateral Damage

To me this feels familiar and strange
Conflicting feelings jostle dissonant
It’s a relief to finally be back
Albeit we’re masked and social distant

Somehow, however, we’re now out of phase
Alternative dimensions are our homes
Like Schrödinger’s famous experiment
We’re both together and it seems alone

We watch each other from the corners of
Our eyes avoiding contact if we can
A living photograph doubly exposed
Collateral damage from Covid’s bans

Last night we went to see an episode of a sitcom being filmed (Andy Hamilton’s ‘Kate and Koji’). We watched a number pre-lockdown and it was lovely to be back, but noticeably the interaction in the queue and set was lacking, as if everyone else wasn’t really there.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 49 – Seeking Superpowers!

Remember how it took a spider’s bite
To transform Peter Parker into that
Amazing spinning, swinging superhero?

I wonder what that makes me as I’ve had
Not one nor two but three sharp needle bites
And antibodies flood throughout my veins!

Alas it seems I haven’t been transformed
There is no lycra suit in my wardrobe
Today my only powers are aching limbs

Yesterday I had my Covid booster. Although I’m glad to have had it done, and as a former scientist would encourage everyone to do so, it’s left me feeling a little grim today. A small price.

© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 48 – An Omicron Christmas

Uncertainty brings bitterness and breeds
This mental hesitation, leading us
To hover over plans and pause before
We press the button and maybe withdraw
Brand new unknowns confuse and cause unease
When experts disagree in their response
Are parties on or off this Christmas season
To hold or not to hold that is the question

Listening to the news tonight various experts were asked if Christmas gatherings should be cancelled. There was not agreement…


© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 26 – Stolen

I lost my sense of smell today
Not misplaced, but silently taken
Stolen as I slept along with
Shower gel invigoration
The taste and satisfaction of
A freshly filtered fine coffee
And all that’s left’s a lingering hole
Olfactory fissure, fragrance flees

Thankfully my Covid symptoms have been mild, like a bad cold. Today, however, a big sniff of a pot of Vicks revealed the surreal truth, my sense of smell has gone. (Altered the second line today, 06.11.21, wasn’t quite happy with the rhythm before)


© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 21 – When is Good News Not Good News?

The results are in
It was positive
This strikes me as strange
Not the result but
Positive should be
A good outcome or
News to celebrate
But sad to say this
Affirmative means
Hiding away from
Friends and family
Hoping and praying
That each imagined
Symptom vanishes
Not grows and becomes
Something more than a
Whisper or hint of
A misplaced breath or
Momentary flush
A twinging back or
Misplaced taste or smell
None of this seems that
Positive to me

Alas my Covid test results weren’t as hoped, although thankfully I’ve not got it badly at all. Reckon this period of isolation should prove productive for poem writing though once I’ve got my usual activities all covered…


© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 20 – Testing Times

Filtered faces disguise
Deep fakes deceive
Social media echo chambers
Brexit lies or frees

Fishing boats blockade
Protestors bar the way
Climate change deniers frustrate
Empty shelves just tease

Practise track and trace
Download the Covid app
Swab the tonsils jab the nose
Negative test please…

It’s been a confusing and tempestuous few years and to top it all I was just asked to take a Covid test...


© Ben Quant 2021