the head, the legs, the heart.
To lie in bed and watch the stripes
of sunlight on the cream wall;
to be held in the bounce
of the here and now,
waiting for optimism to start.
A jug of Old Blush
on the mantelpiece below
the mysterious interior
of a room in oils;
a chair and a table,
sketched in browns
make the madder of the roses glow.
From my bed, I imagine
all the trees in all the streets
are shaking off their blossom
the petals like confetti
turning from paper into dust
for the dead poets who are not dead –
drowsily my heart aches too, Keats.
Poem by Jehane Markham, April 21 2020
“Writing has always helped me to understand my conflicting feelings and finding the ways to express them in poetic forms has been my task for a long time.”Jehane Markham
Jehane’s Lockdown Story
‘Like most people the lockdown has filled me with contradictory feelings. At first a feeling of fear and a feeling of panic and scarcity and a great fear that I would succumb to the virus simply by being in London, that it would leak through the door on plastic bags or envelopes. Missing my family and my grand children, wondering how I would get enough food etc or how I would get to the doctor.
Writing has always helped me to understand my conflicting feelings and finding the ways to express them in poetic forms has been my task for a long time. During the first three months of the pandemic I felt my work developed in new ways which gave me a strong link to hold on to and dispersed my fears. I had something to share and communicate.
I think that I responded to the extraordinary change in the atmosphere and it released something in me. The old hang ups and jealousies evaporated – we were in a new scenario and life and humanity were supremely important. Also more time to be at home, not rushing around ‘doing stuff’ and losing precious empty writing time.’
Text and poem © Jehane Markham