Ever since I can remember

And probably much like everybody else

I’ve been doing things of grand importance

Or so I tried to convince everybody,

Everybody including myself.

Doing things of great and worldly significance

Things that would enhance the very fate of mankind

But I was like a rat on the proverbial treadmill

Barely pausing to reflect or unwind.

I rushed to work every day on trains and buses

Packed like sardines in a syrupy oil

Then I’d rush home in those self-same cattle trucks

Having completed my transformative toil.

And there was a smugness about my endeavours

I was clearly indispensable to the whole world at large

I planned and I schemed, and I plotted

Never doubting who was actually in charge.


I was building an empire which was unstoppable

I was marshalling my resources with the greatest of care

I was manoeuvring the multitude of pieces around me

Try and catch me, I would scream, if you dare.

I would zig zag across entire continents

Networking furiously wherever I went

I was political, economic and philosophical

I was on a mission with instructions heaven sent.

Then the whole world went into sudden lockdown

Everything ground to a shuddering halt

A deadly virus was stalking my empire

And the fiendish Chinese were apparently at fault.

Or was it the CIA and their secret machinations

Or perhaps the Russians or the much-maligned Jews

Either way the planet was in meltdown

And the virus dominated every item of news.


The planes and the trains were all grounded

The factories were shuttered and still

The highstreets were ghostly and silent

Future generations would pick up the bill.

The pubs and the cafes stopped serving

And the schools were indefinitely closed

Social restrictions were dire and imposing

Our world was becoming small and enclosed.


For millions it was the beginning of great hardship

Lives turned upside down in the blink of an eye

And for the elderly and sick it was quite horrendous

Gut wrenching stories to make you break down and cry.

The global repercussions were of epic proportions

Global systems grounded far and near

And the ‘not knowing’ was in many ways the worst aspect

As we huddled in our houses full of fear.


But for me the lockdown was a golden opportunity

To relax and consider what’s what

To ponder on the absurdities of modern living

And to assess what’s important and what’s not.


I learned to cycle ten miles every morning

Then do the things that I’d put off for years

And the reading in the afternoon was so delightful

And the stillness nearly brought me to tears.


A precious time to reflect and to ruminate

A precious time to take stock of one’s life

A sobering time to consider one’s own mortality

And a brief respite from life’s struggles and strife


A time to step off from the treadmill

And to dare to let go of the reins

A moment to take in nature’s wonders

And inhale both the sun and the rain.

Take a walk to the end of the neighbourhood

To the end of the universe and back home again.






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