Travel Diary
︎ Poetry for the Pandemic










The rain outside bends to receive the wind
Imprints of something invisible
In the quivering atmosphere
A resolute mark on the inclement
Autumn weather

We’re like the rain, I guess
Made up of lots of little particles
Affected by things we cannot see

I’m learning to let parts of me pass away
Giving reverence
Creedence
To internal phase shifts
as in any complex system

The virus that followed me home,
That came home with me,
In me
Is why yesterday I had a conversation with a friend
8 metres apart.
“I feel like it’s the sex thing,” she shouted.
“It’s normal to need physical contact,” I yelled back.
This is the closest I’ve been to someone in a week.

In California,
We hit the road early (for us)
For sudden rocky slopes
and violent waters that almost parody themselves
In their caricature of beauty
We were hesitantly obedient
And at times gleefully disobedient
Of the paths carved out of the rugged landscape
We stuck to the trail
And deviated from it
And lamented at the transformation
Of nature into artefact
Behind guide rails designed to keep us safe

I guess sometimes
preservation requires distance

Back in the city,
A land oozing with excess
And deprivation
We’re reminded by the news
That at the helm of this ship
Is a wig
Vomiting saccharine disclaimers
Full steam into the iceberg ahead

It was this home that gave me the virus
While I was swimming in the faulty determinism
Of my general perception:
Are cities good? Or are they bad?

I settled on bad,
With all their disturbed glitches and
Furtive sideways stares
The heady disorientation
That comes with the caustic tweak of daylight
Reflected off platinum rims on graceless highways

But then I met a woman
Who let me walk her to her car because her back hurt
10 minutes, ambling on a cracked sidewalk
Her wrinkled hand
Nestled into the fold of my arm
single handedly reversed
The murky and perverse Tug of urban disease.

It’s a clunky process,
Building this new normal.
Finding our way through
An opaque and foreign
Hierarchy.
Perhaps you, too, have collided with truth
The jagged reality that nothing is real
The monstrous system,
greedy and self-important
turned to a puddle at our feet
Overnight Leaving us with what?
Ourselves,
Alone with
Each other.


© Anna Hutchcroft 2020, All Rights Reserved