Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Two poems from Coronaworld

by Graham Fulton

hair salons
have been ordered
to close immediately
along with bookmakers
and pubic waxers

a septuagenarian trim
is not considered essential
to the continuance of life
unlike tins of prunes    
and mushy peas

bottom rolls
scented soap

there will be some
reckless experiments
carried out over
the next few months
with clippers and colourant

families emerging
squinting into the light
of a brave new world
with catastrophic hairstyles
and sutured scalps

bearded ladies
baldy children

cartoon-like tufts
exploding out at
extravagant angles
and irreparable damage
done to the national soul


we watch Death in Venice
which features an epidemic
everyone wants to ignore

it slunk from the east
a human feast

Venice awash
with generous sloshes
of milky disinfectant

beautiful stinky canals
burning piles of elegant rubbish

the body count
beginning to mount
a black tear
running down the side
of Dirk Bogarde’s corpse-face

art drained
of soul or heart

out of control disease
is bad for business
it will totally bugger-up
the economy

bury it under
the time-worn carpet

Tadzio’s slinky bum
silhouetted against the sun
as he turns into a Greek statue

a malevolent minstrel
sticking out his tongue