I’ll be sharing my thoughts, ideas, questions that have arisen whilst enduring the UK Coronavirus lockdown. They may take any shape; poems, short stories, rants etc. all first drafts (or close enough), in attempt to overcome a fear of sharing work that isn’t finished, to keep sane, to connect to world…

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Listen to me generating ideas whilst running, via the links, this is where the poem started…

Running

Five Days in Lockdown

and start I running

somewhere

this was not how I imagined using

my daily allowance of exercise

gentle walk to the park, visit the swans maybe

a five year old died today

the invisible killer working its way

inside the lungs

Government might ban exercise

people are too free

my arms pumping

unraveled fist gripping air

the pavement a conveyor belt

churning out strides

Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4

Exhale 5, 6, 7, 8

my lungs become pistons

fine tuned machine

along the the ring road

curving with the tram lines

past the the factories standing

still at Basford crossings

Inhale 1,2,3,4

Exhale 5,6,7 8

encircling the parks

I’m frightened of falling

so only lift my eyes

a few meters ahead

I have no energy to work out where

I’m running to,  distance is a

bully in my ears saying ‘I can’t’

So i keep my gaze short

Inhale 1,2,3,4

Exhale 5.6.7, 8

I need to call my Grandma

she’s got asthma

I’ve only ever ran once before

10 years ago when I was lockdown

with a boyfriend who tried to kill me

frequently

when I  decided to live

I ran bare foot through the still of night

claiming a future with each stride

Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4

Exhale,5, 6,7, 8

theres an invisible  killers on the streets

4954 dead, we’re told to stay in doors

But behind these doors some women

have an underlying health problem that can kill

With any ‘late’ return home, or any wrong meal

Or wearing a fitted T-shirt

Or holding eye contact too long

Or saying no, there bodies on the front line

Some women have been under

lockdown and surveillance for years

my grandma was one of them

until she ran

Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4

Exhale, 5, 6, 7, 8

I remember isolation

not being able to take a shower

with the door closed

prohibited for leaving the house

for any reason other than work

until I was prohibited from going to work

from leaving the house, from leaving the bed

from saying no

and I thought about running

before that night

but a fear of falling, of loosing my footing

the humiliation

no faith in my ability

tied my feet from taking the first strides

But I’m greedy now, I want all the space

eat up my daily allowance of exercise

my strides wide and ravenous

a predictors bite

400 hundred more died today

an ice rink in Milton Keynes refashioned

into a mortuary to keep the dead on chill

Stopping is not an option

my eyes lift a little higher, hungry

for more road, more space

and think of the women who

be on the front line everyday

their mind is the only space to run to

their personal protective equipment

but it’s running low

his words infiltrate and circulate

weakening their thoughts until each one is a clone of his

and their defences can’t cope with the onslaught

their eyes infected and they start

seeing themselves through his eyes

some women are hoping to contract coronavirus

to be admitted to hospital, it’s way out

they’ll take their chances

And I keep running

knowing this is how survived last time

one foot in front of the other

with nothing but my body and mind

I lift my eyes to the horizon, know I have far to travel

realising I reached my destination

when I stepped out the door

 

And I wonder if I’ll react this way each time

my liberty is infringed

If I will start running in any direction

until my thighs are ablaze

not needing nothing but myself

and a taste of madness

I wonder if I’ve become a wild horse

I wonder If I’ll ever stop running

Post Run Free Thought

© Ioney Smallhorne 2020