And breathe is a short reflection on the peace of a garden in these times of lockdown. Here is a slightly modified version of the poem published on the Poetry Wivenhoe website on their Anti-Covid-19 poems page. A different, new poem has been posted daily on this site since the end of March 2020, and mine is on day 53.
The house breathes quietly around the reading man.
Rafters expand; they creak in the heat of the sun.
He closes his book. he opens the french windows;
the outside air is unseasonably warm.
He stands and listens to the birdsong,
louder than he has ever heard.
The cuckoo calls and the blackbirds trill;
they own this air and only share with butterflies and bees.
He looks for planes flying in the higher sky,
sees no contrails, no noughts and crosses on the bluest blue.
The quiet new world, he thinks. He returns to his book
and breathes …