Tesco Extra Bulls Bridge May 2020


Keeping a sort of two metres distance
Under the sun we’re following
The S bend of crowd control barriers
It’s shorts and t-shirt hot
Our families have been reduced
To one solitary representative individual
Allowed to shop alone


I have a mask but it’s around my neck
no-one else is wearing facemasks yet


We take six steps forward then wait
A ripple running through
A crowd which shuffles then settles
Back into uniform array and
I find relief in the shade
Of the bounteous cherry trees
Whose blossom blesses all beneath
With a floating snowdrift
Of pale pink petals

Tell us the journey from first seeing the prompt to the final creation?

First of all I read the email and thought “I’ll do that later”. Today I was prompted to look again at the email and opened the attachment. The final creation which I attach is the work of thirty minutes, grasping the first memory i had and trying to write it down quickly. It began with two sentences of prose, which then became the title (much reduced). The poem happened, as poems will (for me). It had a form of two four line long stanzas then a couplet, repeated once. This written I picked out the best lines or couplets and jammed them together a bit more, keeping one couplet for the ‘intermission’ and breaking the second couplet into the last four lines of the poem.

I enjoyed doing this.

What keeps you awake at night?

My wife’s occasional insomnia.