At the start of the lockdown, poet and playwright Trevor Smith included me in a challenge to write something inspired by the pandemic. There has been a plethora of competitions and special submission invitations on the current situation, and I truly have had little desire to respond. I don't know why. Maybe it's too depressing, maybe it's because it's so ubiquitous that it seems every radio and TV programme or conversation has to include it at least once. But this was a friend throwing down the gauntlet, and the work sent in was to be considered for some kind of production by members of ThezeGuyz Theatre Company, so I thought I'd better get on and produce something. After all, I'm a professional, aren't I? This has always meant writing on subjects I wouldn't necessarily choose for myself to deadlines I definitely wouldn't have set, so I ought to  be able to do it.
Once I applied myself, I found there were aspects of the lockdown that caught my imagination, after all. I wanted to stay away from the overall situation, which seemed too vague or trite, but focus on something more individual that might yet strike a chord with others. The result was a couple of poems, 'Long-distance Phone Call' and 'Green Unfurling', which I sent with a prose poem I wrote a few years ago, titled 'The Hope Tree', which seemed apt. 
I'm delighted to say that I've now had an invitation to record them to go online. I've asked if members of the company can do it instead. Not only will they make a far better job of it than me technically, but it will be interesting to hear how someone else reads them. ThezeGuyz have been producing plays that they've put on You Tube and their own website and Facebook in recent months. The company has a great record of supporting local talent, particularly youngsters. You can find them at 
That's something I have to look forward to. I hope all of you find things that bring you comfort through these, what are at best, trying times.