I Was Once on a Quest

felt like I could ride any horse
and had destiny like a hound at my side.

Then I had a fall, and another, and another…
so much churning of hooves the whining of a dog…

and now I am alone in my profound uselessness

walking the labyrinth of my home town
in the snow trying to count every fleck on my eyelid
as a blessing because so many are dying

and I am alive in this pure rawness of being
in this body in which I have always been ill at home.

I wanted to live by the myths until this gormes became reality.

If only I’d studied science, medicine, rather than poetry
I might have been able to decipher the dragon’s
RNA – the pathogen’s genetic code.

But now I’m just one of the many told to stay at home.

Jobs

I.
They’ve got jobs –
we finally see the key workers:

the paper-clad doctors and nurses
saving the sick and the dying (or trying to
on the linen streets of the front lines)

the stackers and cashiers within
the tin-packed walls of the supermarkets
who are saving us from starvation

and the students and unemployed bar staff
stepping up to pick and pack berries and lettuces
packed with vitamins to keep us healthy

whilst the grave diggers and funeral service
pack post-vegetable bodies back into the earth

and the binmen in their bleeping lorry continue
to turn up weekly to remove our waste.

II.
And no, I have never seen a binwoman, but
I was asked if I was one when I was litter picking.
Now even this small job has been taken away

I am flicking through job descriptions application forms
fingers hovering over wonky letters stuck on keys because
the originals were rubbed off over long years of writing
(which has never quite been a ‘proper job’) weighing

the balance between making myself enjobbed useful
and the risk to my seventy-odd year old parents.

III.
All the while the name of a job
that I have never seen advertised online
or even in a fluffy cloud in a Pagan magazine
is pressing its silver lining against the back of my brain:

low risk, innocuous, invisible: ‘MYSTIC.’

“By the Stars of Annwn are you having a laugh?”
I rage at my gods before joining them
laughing loud and hysterically.