(The W.H. Auden Variant)
by Peter Mills
Turn off the box; don’t fiddle with your phone,
Stop the child from dancing; leave her all alone,
Shut down the night clubs and with muffled clatter,
Bang on pots and kettles to forget the ones who matter.
The jet overhead makes no noise, just vapour,
Writes in the sky as if it were paper,
You’ve lost your freedom; you know they’re lying,
Let the masks cover up what we know; we are dying.
Alpha, then Beta, the Delta, the Plus,
Stay home, work from home, making fools of us,
Unwittingly, gullibly, we all played along,
I thought it couldn’t last forever; I was wrong.
The stages are not wanted now; close down every one,
Pack up the beach and dismantle the sun,
Flush away the beer and do without the food,
For nothing now can come to any good.