By Jan Howcroft

ONE rolls a dice
ANOTHER sets a counter
moving clockwise round the board
while ads flash and jump like migraine
on the edges of your vision

the cat miaows

a THIRD moves a spade onto a heart

the cat miaows again

a FOURTH accepts a word you made
but never heard or read it anywhere till now

you stroke the cat you

CLICK for friends
CLICK for courses
CLICK to fill a grocery basket

three days after ANOTHER CLICK
a package drops in on the welcome mat

the cat stops going out

newsfeed juggles, reconfigures
and, when you CLICK
presents itself as something new
you CLICK it off

and CLICK and enter dramas,
never your own
so many lives lived on the sofa
you don’t know who you are

in the hall the cat chases a red laser dot

at night you sleep frantically
index fingers worry imaginary mice
if you’re late they won’t
admit you to the zoom meeting

in his basket the cat twitches

Jan lives in Essex and has been writing since she retired. During lockdown, she has spent time song-writing with her husband. This is a link to a covid-inspired song, written at the start of the first lockdown. Waiting out the Storm – YouTube

A couple of weeks ago I was spending so much time playing online games that my index finger had become painful and I had to stop. Later that day, while watching the cat and laser light, I thought how similar our lives had become. The poem is the result of these thoughts.

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Dhee Sankar
Dhee Sankar
9 months ago

You are a wonderful songwriter, Jan! I listened to the one mentioned in the bio and it’s absolutely lovely.

Janet Howcroft
Janet Howcroft
8 months ago
Reply to  Dhee Sankar

What a lovely comment! Thank you. We do have other songs but they are all very different: jazz, rock, even disco! If you are interested in hearing any of these you can find them here: Nick Dobbs – YouTube

Eithne Cullen
Eithne Cullen
9 months ago

Love this poem…the cat -mouse -click platyfulness

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