The storm in waiting

We’re officially locked down again, to within a 1km radius of the house for at least four weeks. Predictions are it will be extended into the new year. It’s going to be a lonely winter and I’m going to work this water theme for everything it’s got! (thicker than water links here)


We batten down the hatches
again, watch the gentle swell,
the sky hang blue as autumn,
cloud-quiet, bird-busy,
hoping the storm will break
on some other sea.

No sail on this green horizon
to call this pile of stones port,
no harbour here, no berth;
though arms reach out
there is nothing to cradle
but the cry of crows,
the patter of the next rain.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “The storm in waiting”

  1. It sounds beautiful, but lonely. I like “cloud-quiet, bird-busy.”
    The birds and clouds have been busy here today–pouring rain all day, the leftovers from the hurricane that hit New Orleans yesterday.

    Do you have stores within 1 km?
    Our president says everything is all better here now. What an idiot!

    1. It will be even quieter than usual here. I expect that hunting will be counted as an essential service so they’ll get special dispensation to be out doing good.

      No, the shops are much further away, but we have a dispensation to go to the nearest shops for food and other essentials, pharmacy, doctor, taking children to school and going to work, as long as we have a written attestation. Otherwise, walking, dog walks, exercise and anything non essential is limited to 1km from the house. Means we can’t see the children and they can’t see us.

      1. Your states are pretty huge compared with European countries though. At least we don’t have a curfew in our region. Two thirds of the country aren’t allowed outside between 9pm and 6am.

      2. We have some big states, but people also travel between states (unless there are lockdowns). Like we’re so close to Philadelphia, and also close to Delaware, and lots of people who work in NYC, live in north Jersey. Yes, I’m glad you don’t have a curfew, too. Does that mean people can’t even go in their yards?

    1. Thanks Bill. I enjoy the quiet and it’s certainly a good time for contemplation, but I don’t like not being able to see the children. We were hoping to get the house more cold-tight for the winter but we won’t be able to get the materials now.

      1. Thanks 🙂 I have two children who are supposed to be moving house and can’t now, one coming back from Italy earlier than she wants to avoid Christmas in quarantine, but she’s going to get it anyway as no one is allowed to travel. All very messy.

  2. We’re all caught in the same sea. Merril is right about the different states having different rules which really makes it impossible to contain anything in the US. I’m sure another lockdown is on its way here too. Not being able to see family is the hardest part. (K)

    1. I miss not being able to see the children and we had big plans for the near future. The eldest is expecting her first baby in April and we wanted to have them all here for Christmas. Even decided that we needed a proper house where we could actually have several people staying over (six adult visitors minimum plus possible babies later) but it seems as though there will be no authorised get together at the end of the year and no physical movement at all except to go to work. They’re already predicting it isn’t going to be a radical enough lockdown as so many commercial activities have been allowed to continue, because of the economic disaster if they don’t.

      1. I hope things get better before the end of the year, but realistically, you are probably right, we will all be isolated. I’m hoping I will still be able to get together with my daughters. The younger and I can walk from our opposite directions to the older’s apartment. We’ll see. Nothing that strict has been imposed here yet. But I feel so bad for you. We need family.

      2. None of them are mobile even if travelling was allowed. They all rely on public transport and it’s horribly expensive, as well as running at half-throttle at the moment. We’ll see over the next week if people are going to respect the rules. Lots of the rural communes (ours included) are ignoring the restrictions on which commercial activities can open. A second temporary closure will be death to many of them.

      3. Public transport is iffy here too. I only go where I can walk. I doubt they will close businesses here again–maybe bars will have more restrictions–for the same reason. People will pay no attention anyway.

      4. We had a political commentator speaking on the TV a few nights ago (I read about it on twitter) who put the whole situation better than any politician. Whatever the mistakes and hesitancies at the beginning of the epidemic, we can’t pretend we don’t know how to behave and what the stakes are. If we are being confined again, it’s because we have ignored the recommendations about social distancing and mask wearing, so before blaming the govt for their shortcomings in March (lack of masks, hand gel), we should blame ourselves for being so idiotic as to ignore sanitary measures what we had previously been complaining the govt wasn’t allowing us to follow.

      5. I agree–the places here geographically with the largest outbreaks are the ones who ignore mask-wearing and social distancing. It’s a strange idea of “freedom”.

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