Lockdown Fragments


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.

One book

a replacement

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..