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Poetry for calamity by Ursula Nixon

The Beagle Editor,

During the bushfires I wrote 15 poems about the experience and after other Bodalla poets had read some and  urged me to get into print I dug into my savings and got Eyprint to run off copies. These were then on sale at $10.00 each under the title Fire Sequence and seemed to hit the spot with terrific feedback and copies going to Canada, France, Germany, Scotland and Vietnam.

Fire Sequence was also timely as now CovId 19 has taken focus off the bushfires. The booklet is no longer on sale but did  raise $2,150.00 for the Bodalla Fire Brigade. Meanwhile, here are two  poems that are virus-inspired.

COVID 19

We’ve got this noxious virus

COVID-19 is its name.

If we don’t follow rules and regs

we have ourselves to blame

First of all keep social distance:

two metres sit apart;

not easy if you’re deep in love

and would sit heart to heart.

Those raised on class division

have no problem with this rule

upper, middle, working, rarely breached

an out of reach gene pool.

You may find yourself in lockdown

and having to stay home

frustrated at not going to the mall -

or beach to play and roam.

No point in going stir crazy -

with a clutch of books to read,

TV, music, Netflix, chess

you’ve everything you need.

Try not to touch a surface

where others went before;

or if you do then quickly

seek to sanitize each paw.

No kiss to cheek or friendly hug:

such contact is now banned

and germs are so insidious

you cannot shake a hand.

Watch out for sore throat, fever,

plus a cough distinctly dry –

and if you’re tested positive

no need to scream, sob, sigh.

For unless you start with poor health

you’ll probably survive,

since of those who catch the virus

Eighty percent remain alive.

Ursula Nixon March 2020

And the second one features toilet rolls!

Villanelle: Toilet Rolls

A shopping list may focus on fresh food

But not on toilet paper roll by roll

That seems to capture now the public’s mood.

It’s not that toilet paper is eschewed

Though it is now replacement on the whole

Of shopping lists with focus on fresh food.

To battle over toilet rolls is crude

With trolleys full of rolls in heaped up shoal,

Seeming to capture now the public’s mood.

This is obsessive need that’s almost lewd –

Seeking more toilet rolls from pole to pole!

No shopping list with focus on fresh food.

Psychologists reveal that people brood

And virus fear makes them buy every roll;

It seems to capture now the public’s mood.

All supermarket shelves are bare and nude

Of toilet rolls as shoppers seek control.

No shopping list with focus on fresh food

Can seem to capture now the public’s mood.

Ursula Nixon March 2020

Above: Ursula Nixon: photographer Ted Richards

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