Beating bowel cancer together

A series of poems about the Coronavirus pandemic

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Angela Thomas, 61, was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2012. She has since made a full recovery and during lockdown she wrote a few poems about the pandemic.

The Arrival of Covid 19

So here he is, Covid 19
In terms of destruction the absolute dream
Ravaging our businesses, families and homes,
Causing havoc wherever he roams.
A cruel pathogen on his world of adventure,
Coronavirus with a strain of dementia,
He doesn't know how or why he is here,
As he self-replicates amongst panic and fear.

So respect his tenacity,
He's determined to travel,
Like some gap year student with dreams to unravel.
We need to contain him, He's out of control,
He's looking for victims, including their soul.
Let him be eradicated, he's needed no more,
And take the advice that our leaders implore,
Let's save the lives of society we love
And get back our freedom
like the wings of a dove.

King of the trolley

Not usually adored or admired by many
Until it's time to spend a penny.
I sit on the shelf for weeks on end
Knowing my fate
Some 'ideal standard' U bend.

It's not a bad life
Whilst I'm sitting in Lidl
But I prefer the top shelf
And not the middle,
That's the one where you're likely to go,
As you plead with the shopper,
"No, no, no, no."

Into the basket
Thrown in like some junk
Not treated like biscuits
purchased to dunk.
Suffocating, gasping under the weight of the shopping
My smart plastic coat, fractured and popping.
At some point it's realised I'm taking the space
Of the more fancy items in their luxury case,
I shout to my twin who's conjoined to my side
"whey up lad, hold on, we're going on a ride."

I'm tugged and I'm pulled from under the beans
delicately manoeuvred
Past Hills custard creams,
I'm thrown in the air and drop down with a thud
Land back in the basket on top of the spuds.

My packet skewiff
I feel really shattered,
I'm now at the till
neglected and battered.
But I know this treatment
can never prevail
And soon I'll be telling a different tale.

So here I am
KINGPIN of the trolley
No longer treated like some kind of wally
I'm carried first class from warehouse to store
I hear customers shouting

My price has soared
My ego inflated
My lack of appearance
Largely debated.

I'm taken with love, care and compassion
And so I should be
Ha ha I'm on ration.
Some kind of virus
Has spread like a plague
Availability of bog roll
Seemingly vague

So next time you see me
When all this is finished,
And panic buying is almost diminished
Treat me respectfully,
Handle with care
Oh, and don't forget
Keep one for spare.


Those days are gone,
The world as we knew it
We all had our chance
But then we blew it.
Avarice, greed, arrogance took over
As our grass was green with plenty of clover.

We thought we were mighty, powerful and tall,
Not a chance of a sudden, catastrophic fall,
We wasted the food laid on the table
We took for ourselves
Before those less able.

We went on our holidays
socialised in bars
Discussing our plans
and our next new cars
We gave little thought
To those in trouble
who would never experience our luxurious bubble.
Those suffering hardship, famine or war
Not through their own fault
But politics and law.
Those refugees fleeing in boats
Their lives in the hands of inadequate floats.
We watched on the telly as they landed on beaches
Grabbing the lifeguards
Like terrified leeches.
We expressed our pity
"oh what a shame"
With a passive thought
but I'm not to blame.
We'd then carry on with our daily routine
As we turned off the news
On our big multi screen.

The tables have turned
and now it's our go
To experience the struggles
We don't normally know
No job, stability or financial wealth
Isolation from loved ones
Uncertain good health
Wondering when this nightmare will end
Scrambling for medics
Whose skills we depend.

Do not feel guilty
if this is you
You're one of the many
and not of the few
You've come from a world
that has gradually evolved
Allowing equality to be dissolved.
The good thing though
You can learn from this
As we hopefully emerge from the miserable abyss
With more compassion, thought and caring
A subconscious mantra
"Always sharing".


The nation's divided
A global pandemic
Unanswered questions
Confusion systemic.
You can if you want to, but maybe you shouldn't
I will, I may, I might, I wouldn't.
We look for direction
The chaff or the wheat
A difficult jigsaw
Too hard to complete,
Granada Reports or BBC News
There are no clear answers
Whoever you choose.
Question Time, News night or Andrew Marr
Controversial Piers Morgan who takes things too far?
The rules keep on changing
fragmented and bitty
Can't even be clarified by Boris or Witty
Scientists, medics, politicians and Sage
All of them reading a different page.
The media, the papers, Facebook and Twitter
Arguments, headlines and comments so bitter.

So what are the conflicts and opposite views?
Decisions to make to win or to lose?
How can we muster a sinking ship
Which to others is seen as merely a blip?

The virus itself is a source of contention
A natural occurrence or a human invention?
Is it a killer and a real threat to health?
Or a glorified flu destroying our wealth?
Do we close schools and have learning on line?
Shut pubs and shops
Whilst our businesses decline?
Are hospitals full or is that overplayed?
Or just normal admissions from surgeries delayed?
Are nurses all leaving
They've just had enough?
What's real and what's fake
Amongst all of this stuff?

No matter your thoughts
And opinions you hold
Statistical briefs or societies polled
Consider the whole and the facts of the matter
The thousands of deaths
and the Long Covid latter.
Regardless of status
Be thoughtful and kind
Try not to be arrogant, selfish and blind.
We're in this together
And we need to unite
Opinions gathered, some wrong, some right.

Read our blog written by supporters about staying safe and keeping positive at this time, and another with their top tips on staying mentally and physically active during these difficult times.

Click here for the government’s advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.


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