I begin an argument with myself

It’s so easy to start. Frustration bursts out

in curses, everything’s fragile in this silence,

and there are so many things to be irritated by

but nobody’s around to complain to.


Inside, I break my glasses, turning over in the bed.

I set the plastic carton on the still-hot stovetop.

Outside, litter trails, left by the daily picnicers.

I blame them, but forget to bring a binbag.


Yet sometimes the river gods do intervene,

restoring equilibrium. Today I heard a voice,

a woman keening by the weir, to a loud

accompanying rush of water, falling.


Seven perfect notes repeated, seven times over.

No words, but both a melody and meaning.

She left the sound to echo, where I picked it up, as I

half-blindly mopped sour milk, and then forgave me.



‘Testimony of the Untested’, a daily lockdown poetry series by Robert Alan Jamieson, who is in recovery from a corona-like virus. You can read his other works here.


Comments (2)

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  1. George Farlow says:

    Thank you for this. It’s 7.03pm and I am avoiding television. I am alert to kitchens being very dangerous places. Stay carefree tonight.

  2. John Cawley says:

    There’s something of Walt Whitman in that poem. I like it a lot.

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