The Poetry Kit




Poems written during the Coronavirus Outbreak 2020

How to submit   -  Back to Contents


Clair Chilvers

Gloucestershire, UK


Clair Chilvers was a cancer scientist, and worked latterly for the UK National Health Service. She started writing poetry after she retired. She lives in Gloucestershire, UK and has had poems published in on-line and print journals.

Poem completed 17th March 2020

Equinox epidemic


The equinox is near

a feeling of relief

to have got through the winter:

through the twilit late afternoons

the cheerlessness of cold and rain.


Last year tea and crumpets by the fire

with children, grandchildren;

friends met for brunch in warm cafés,

walking through the dusk to see a film.


This year is different:

a profound sense of waiting, of nervous uncertainty,

an epidemic hovering

on the cusp of exponentiality.


Empty shelves in the shops

human interactions put on hold,

thrown back on our own resources,

pubs feel threatening, restaurants unwise,

Saturday afternoons without the match

loom long and dull.


By day we talk on zoom and skype,

change how we live and work forever.

Rusty at neighborliness

we discover the invisibles -

the old, frightened, vulnerable,



Poem written 10th May 2020

Lockdown 2020.


Twice a month I used to take the train in late afternoon

change at Reading for Clapham Junction,

walk from no-man’s-land

up the hill towards the Common

turn right and count the houses.


The dog the first to sense me

as I stand on the doorstep,

fumble for my key;

then the Boy, doing his homework.


A glass of wine thrust into my hand,

news of the day, the week,

of school and friends and work,

of where I will go tomorrow

ordinary, domestic things.


Then dinner, and on sunny evenings,

the doors open in the twilight

as we eat chocolates with our coffee.


It is already two months since

and still in lockdown

talking on a screen

of jigsaws finished, home schooling, hair grown long.