Two Poems

By Catherine Whittaker


Inside this room
there are paintings on the walls,
houses, mountains,
places I recognise, Wasdale,
Linbeck farm,
faces framed in silver on the bookcase.
There’s best china in the cupboard,
six chairs piled with books,
a dining table littered with files, registers,
laptop open and ready for zoom
squares filled
with other people’s rooms.

Outside this room
are roads with masked people,
shuttered shops,
two-meter apart queues,
zigzag yellow lines
for the hole in the wall coffee.
Outside of this room are my family
grandchildren, daughter, son,
growing up on camera,
growing old in the monotonous days,
losing touch.

Feels the same as any other day

in early September
hint of leaves turning
smell of grass and earth
taste of crispness in the air


this September
death is stalking its edge
watching me with wide eyes
as I dare to go into town
as I breathe in the last of the sun.

The months in front of me
already torn up like last year’s diaries,
dread ahead
as I think of the days to come
weighing up the risk for each one.

September used to be
a peaceful month
paused between summer and winter
a time when soft light radiates

The sun is here in my garden
but there is no healing.

My poems have been widely published and I also work as a tutor in poetry, fiction, and memoir for an education centre in Warwickshire. I work with a colleague offering workshops –


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