What’s lost is lost. Ordinarily.
Care home visits pass by unremarkably,
Clocks tick the dragging school day to a close,
And wasted seconds, minutes drip the hours away.
Can what’s lost be redeemed? Extraordinarily?
Downcast Joseph hauled from pit to palace.
Wicker-basket Moses plucked from reeds. And
Saves a nation slaving, sunk in grinding toil.
And a rabbi, consumed with love of God
And a passion to bring it back new, fresh
From the gravest brink of failure, rises up
From Calvary to kingdom come, right here.
And redeems right here our Covid-blighted
Losses, all now brilliantly transmuted:
Hand held - touch exquisite like a first touch,
Class drinks learning in now, wisdom-thirsty.
Plumbers, we solder up those dripping leaks of time,
Treasuring what’s saved, what’s found, ground fine by
Loss, the grit that polishes: the pearls of every day.
Sculpture: your faces carved
By twelve-hour shifts in PPE,
Lines chiselled in by patient,
Masked and visored selfless
Dance: the doorbell’s ring now
Choreographs the pas de deux:
Love rushes eagerly, _grand jet_é
To your courier-suitor’s courtly
Bow, two metres back.
Painting: disinfectant, mop & pail
Your workday palette, early, late;
Brush-strokes confident and quick
Build layers that obscure the virus
Roughly sketched beneath.
Music: the shop’s tills beep their
Melody, Da Capo al Fine. And re-
Repeat. You: ringing up toilet roll
For masked and queueing choir
Drama: as children of key workers
Tread your classroom’s lockdown
Boards. Six characters in search of
Knowledge, bubbling, in the wings
While Covid struts the stage.
Good and faithful artists, these long
Muse-months of turbulence, of grace
Distilled to care, your gift our richest.
Not lost, your love’s creative labours:
A priceless offering.
The first poem, entitled 'What’s lost is lost', examines how God, who specialises in redeeming people and situations, might redeem ordinary everyday things we have lost or missed during the pandemic, and transform our renewed experience of them.
The second, entitled 'Covid: the essential arts', celebrates the lockdown contribution of essential workers and expresses a hope that our appreciation for them and their contribution will endure.
Jeremy Bevan is a 60 year old civil servant. He works in London and has lived in Earlsdon for over 35 years, and is currently training to become an ordained minister in the Church of England.