On 9th March 2020, I suffered heart failure. With a heart rate of 257, I was rushed by ambulance to the Accident and Emergency of the local hospital which luckily for me had not been closed by the machinations of the Health Board bureaucracy.
My life was saved. Within four days I had two heart operations and a pacemaker defibrillator installed in a kind of skin flap on my chest linked by wires to my heart. Following the operations on the fifth day following admission I was discharged to home and six months of shielding to look forward to. Followed by a lockdown, a short period of what people called “normality”, followed by another lockdown and before we knew it we were into 2021. The time we found ourselves in could definitely not be described as “normality”.
In the isolation framed by shielding and lockdown I wrote.
I completed poetry which has been well received and prolifically published in the US. I re-edited my first novel and made good headway on my second.
I gardened as best I could…I cooked meals. And walked the hills around my home accompanied with my faithful sheepdog Meg. But most days I spent alone with my wife returning from her teaching in the evening.
I also wrote in Journals and notebooks. The following fragments are excerpts taken from my Journals.
It also contains observations, thoughts and early workings and excerpts of poems. These are just a few beginnings.
We live on the steep side of a hill
when winds blow in from the North
the days and nights are always cold
this winter and spring
the winds have turned
a cold wind from the North East
not blowing from the Southwest
as they normally do
I saw one Swift caught
by a sudden winds gust
it was my first
of the year.
A gale still blows on a spring day
the crop covers bedraggled
blown over the kitchen garden
scattered wherever their taken
looking to the house
the smoke from the new lit fire
swirls in the fast wind of these days
white smoke from Ash kindle
new gathered not yet dry
still burns with a bright flame
as Ash will do
a spring day trees fully leaved
open to damage
and these silent “lock down” days continue
No jet trails cross skies
in this year of contagion
TV news cast politicians headshots
empty phrases assumed lies
like north westerly winds
there’s no let up or restraints.
for the lost original
I know not where
last seen it sorting through
shelves of books of lives
not seen in an age
another mystery unsolved..