top of page

Home > News > News article

  • Writer's pictureWalsall for All

Former Walsall Poet Laureate on social distancing

In times of challenge, art, in all its many forms, often helps to clarify our feelings and provide hope. We asked former Mayor of Walsall’s Poet Laureate, Ian Henery, to write a series of poems on the theme of social distancing.

Ian has since shared these poems on a global platform called Speak Your Peace, a five week global expressive arts series based entirely online and hosted by iLikeZach in New York in partnership with the Stafford Space Station.

Today, as we begin the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, social distancing is as important as ever. We would like to thank Ian for his moving contributions.

If you’d like to find out more about Ian and his work then please visit his website.

Stay Alert, Control The Virus & Save Lives (Rondeau) Six feet apart and wash your hands A virus sweeps across our land. Stay alert, save lives, wear a mask; Control the virus, all we ask This our credo and our command. We can beat this but not in bands On sea-side shores, on sunny sands Removed from where day-trippers basked Six feet apart. COVID-19 we can withstand: Stay alert, save lives, understand? Controlling the virus, our task, Released from its demonic cask And - together- we’ll make a stand Six feet .

The Language of Social Distancing - COVID-19 (Sonnet)

Six feet apart and not six feet under,

Grieving families with hands on window panes

Quarantined, masked grandchildren in the rain.

Coronavirus has torn asunder,

Waves with the rush of tsunami thunder

Engulfing constellations of sorrow;

The curl of surf, trembling foam of woe -

Pandemic, the news-drunk virus plundered.

Unite! Come together - but stay apart,

Social distancing - wash hands and wear masks,

It`s the language of love, it`s all we ask

As the coronavirus scales ramparts.

Communicate by voice, eyes and heart,

Life can`t be measured by inches and feet

But love and respect, kind deeds, words so sweet

Let`s begin again and our lives restart.

I Love You - From 15 Million Miles & 6 Feet Away (Villanelle)

My love is in social isolation,

Six feet apart, masked, gloved hands, forced to hide

COVID-19`s viral decimation.

Virtual hugs are no consolation,

Our gloved hands reach outside, never inside;

My love is in social isolation.

A galaxy away, aberration:

Screen time, blue light of phone, tears that have cried,

COVID-19`s viral decimation.

Language of love is in devastation:

Two worlds and computer screens, love denied,

My love is in social isolation.

Gloved hands hold love, viral incubation,

Daily statistics of those who have died,

COVID-19`s viral decimation.

The stars go out in our constellation,

Love cannot cross over the great divide:

My love is in social isolation,

COVID-19`s viral decimation.

Walsall Poem (COVID-19)

If the pandemic begins to worsen

Keep it together - but six feet apart;

Social distancing - length of a tall person,

Communication by eyes, voice and heart.

We need poetry now more than ever,

It`s limited social interaction;

Social distancing - let`s stay together

On digital platforms, an attraction.

Our hands are cracked, we`ve used up all the soap

Walsall behind bars, quarantine, lockdown;

Social distancing - poetry is hope

We need lots of that in our Walsall town.


bottom of page