Yet Another Country

Only the sound of birdsong
And the rumbling drone of bees,
Breaks the crushing silence.

There is no electricity in the air,
No distant hum of traffic,
No diesel fumes.

Venues echo with the sound of unplayed music,
Theatre stages, empty with unperformed plays,
Cinemas stack spools of unscreened film.

Bars and restaurants, bewildered,
Café street furniture redundant,
There is no match day buzz of hope.

City streets are shuttered and haunted,
Populated by trespassers
Shopping furtively.

The police look on, vigilant for new crime,
The inessential journey, unnecessary visit
Or unwarranted expedition.

Is this face-masked frightened nation
A vision from the future which,
Just like the past, is yet another country?

Steve Bishop


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