Poem: Alarm – Pause Lockdown Poems 10

Welcome to my series of Lockdown Poems, where I’m posting fairly free and unpolished jottings, writing of a life limited to my own patch.  Here is the tenth so far, and this one did not come from a time of quiet and contemplation, but from wandering around in a chilly breeze, checking all was well with the veggie patch.


Blackcurrant bush – a gift from a dear friend.  I do miss her. I hope the blackberries ripen.

So there’s more of that kind of unstructured thinking in it….
but what I wanted to record was how startling it was to hear a sound like a phone ringing, how much it felt like something from a different world, intruding on my calm.


Yes, the lettuices are doing well.  I’ll get some more started.

So with these pictures, we’re checking the progress of the future harvest, as we take a look around the garden.


Beans! good, at last.  I wonder how high they’ll grow this year?

We can take a seat in the shelter of these trees, and read the next poem.


Alarm – Pause  Lockdown Poems 10

The wind is cold,
blowing from the north
and I pull down my sleeves,
sheltering behind the trees.

I walk to the place where
the veggies and the soft fruit grows –
yes, they too are sheltered.
The wind does not reach them.

Gooseberries might do well here,
I think, and more blackcurrants,
wondering – can I order them?
Essential? Food?
Yes.  No. Perhaps. Don’t know.
But I do know this – it is good
to see growing things,
even these tiny growing things.

And a bird breaks in
as if from another world –
the bird who has learned
to alarm like a telephone.
Startled, I jump up,
but only for a moment,
and then other birds join
the song, weaving music
from that stark call,
softening its insistence.

The north wind blows still,
the loud world retreats again,
as the bluebells open,
as the pigeons strut
on the roof ridge,
and the whole green
glorious song pauses
a moment, steadying
its startled breath.


After a conversation with a friend, I thought I’d better point out that I did, in fact, order some fruit bushes from Chris Bowers.

My usual plant suppliers weren’t taking orders at the time, and it’s all quite variable, but nurseries could do with the business, and gardens could do with the plants.  I’m very much looking forward to them arriving, and growing, and fruiting!

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