Nice Matin
Photo Eric Ottino

Our cocooning becomes oddly normal. We are a household of seven including three grandchildren, two teachers who work online each day, and two “oulwans” who mind children and write an assignment for the Masters.

Along with this, meetings and workshops become virtual. Poems spread across the web, ideas travel from mind to brain to arm to pen to paper and to screen.

To date, 12 million people contracted the virus and 550,000 have died across the world, a world that did not understand what was happening and did not know what to do. It is how pandemics work – fast, deadly, and out of control. It hurts our vulnerable populations and their carers worst of all.

Washing over all of that came Black Lives Matter, the bursting alive of a long history of inequality against our black communities across the world. The tinder for that was the outrageous murder of a black man by a white police officer on camera.

Thoughts like these can send a body to the bottom of the pit quickly. An antidote helps and may even be necessary, some healthy dissociation to get through the day.

Here is something totally disconnected from our current situation. Read, enjoy, pass on, send feedback.



            Pleasure in itself cannot give our existence meaning thus

            lack of pleasure cannot take away meaning from life

                                                            Victor Frankl


Pavlova topped with strawberries, plums, grapes,

your clear skin under the palm of my hand


Grandchildren’s early morning jump on our bed


Mozart Soave il vento Cosi fan Tutti, Puccini

Addio La Boheme, Verdi Ave Maria Otello


The three-hundred-year-old oak tree that we hug


Mahler’s second symphony in Edinburgh

Shostakovich chamber music in the late evening


Pints with classmates, laughs and poems


Opening night of Twentieth Century Coward Peter

Shaffer’s Equus the college production all those years ago


Summer morning in the garden of a

bunker apartment in France


Peter Clarke

8th July 2020