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Released 17 March 2020 - republished December 2021


First, you are scared , yes, very - 

This thing is swooping down like a great monster-hawk to grab at us suddenly in batches and moments of shock.  

Run! They say: run into the shops, run away home, scurry into your burrow little furry ones

And there is ‘this cannot be’ and ‘how on earth’ and ‘what about maisy/ma/my dearest friend/my psyche

And have-you-got-your-medicine 

And what-about-my-treatment 

And realising that thing can’t happen 

Nor that

Nor that either ...

Realising this is horror

And grief



And unthinkable 

And rushing for cover again 

Tears and awe

The planes are coming down

Brace! Brace! 

This thing has come 

And the Scientists are making our vaccines as fast as they can

And the fires will flicker and burn

And not everyone can do this

And not everyone can do this right


But the birds haven’t heard the news,

They are busy at their singing and nests

Pecking at ladybirds and teasel

The hedgehogs are managing a little better this year

The badgers are building new dens like children

The sun will rise, over and again, on the days

The moon will keep waxing and waning her winking eye over us

The stars still sprinkle the velvety night with bright glitter as always 

And hold Space for the satellites 

We will wait, and break, mourn, and shake

Fight and despair and remember 

Send messages and love 

Drum ourselves in the empty streets

We will peer for weeks at each other through windows and whatsapp

Calling in the hush our songs that keep the living alive 

And comfort the dead and the tenders of death 

We will do what we can in our tiny corners, keeping the fabric mended

And notice the things we couldn’t pay attention to before 

In our little agar dish of the world 

Something new and ancient 

Nothing and always the same 

Death swoops at The Animal human 

And we must run to earth. 


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