Howard Saunders   May 20, 2022   Uncategorized   0 Comment

PPP (Post Pandemic Poem)

Our world, overnight, turned upside down

Enforced suffocation of city and town

Hospitality’s smile turned on its head

Replaced by warning posters instead:

“Stand on the markings, stay six feet apart

Please use the hand gel, pull up your mask

I told you once, stand behind the lines

Offenders are subject to on the spot fines.

Wait your turn, and sir…please keep your distance

Rudeness is not tolerated. I’ll ring for assistance.”

And the cruel wind whistled down deserted streets

“We’re all in this together…so say the elites”

A million playground swings unswung

A billion Christmas songs unsung 

A haunting silence, rather than peace

Shattered with drive-bys from zealous police.

For the siren call, the voice of authority

Has a soporific effect on the vast majority.

We hummed happy birthday, not once but twice

We scrubbed and we masked and we sanitised.

Surveilled by the state, grassed on by next door

Things must improve in a week or more.

Managed and monitored wherever we go

Fluorescent wardens to keep us in tow.

Permanent tenterhooks, badly frayed nerves

Only two weeks to flatten the curve.

Stay in and order from Mutton Jeff

For he is blind to your woes, as well as deaf.

Twice weekly parcels from DPD

A desperate glimpse of how things might be.

Our living rooms turned prison cell

Trapped in a loop of Netflix hell.

Welcome to the state of permanent fear!

We craved the pub for contact, not for beer

Businesses failing, mothers dying alone

Pingdemic chimes on your mobile phone

We’re all in this together, that’s what they said

Together? Not by your mother’s bed.

And the cruel wind whistled down deserted streets

“We’re all in this together…so say the elites”

But while we reheated our ready meals

Ministers made unscrupulous deals

In exchange for promises forged in hell

Oh, how far the mighty fell.

Boris embraced the charms of Big Pharma

Unsavaged by the sheep that is Sir Keir Starmer

Educated clowns, turned on by legislation

Nothing but an orgy of elitist masturbation.

They see the world through a corrupted lens

Lucrative contracts with old school friends

While the green monster grinned through guilty teeth

For abstinence is his hand relief.

Innate corruption, that is the virus

Not one of those bastards even tried to inspire us

Or made an attempt to understand

It’s hard working people that run this land

The needle it jumped from ‘freedom’ to ‘control’

All for the greater good we were told.

Ridiculous rules for the greater good

While the great and good laughed, like only they could.

“Keep your face covered, whatever you’re doing

You can lower it slightly, but only when chewing.”

Draconian measures with simply one aim:

The face of humanity must be covered in shame.

Egged on by a salivating, salacious press

Apocalyptic predictions to heighten distress

But while locked in your homemade penitentiary

Ministers danced like the birth of the century.

Glorious spreads of cheese and wine

They partied like it was nineteen ninety nine.

They shouted above the music, they laughed and they joked

They scoffed and they drank and they karaoked.

They ordered curries, suitcases of champagne

No time to feel guilt. No need to explain.

And the cruel wind whistled down deserted streets

“We’re all in this together…so say the elites”

So the road to hell is not paved with good intention

Something the elite forgot to mention.

A symptom of power, or political curse

But they spaffed away billions from the public purse

As if in a rush for economic decline

Hoisting petards of their own design.

No, the road to hell is paved with your tax

Just another of those revelatory facts

Both indigestible and hard to swallow

Now that our hearts are collectively hollow.

But we hold our grudges close and quite discreetly

Time does heal, though never completely.

Scared and scarred is the legacy of the Twenties:

Homo Trepidatious is emotionally empty.

So as the blood returns to our browbeaten towns

A hubbub is heard, a beautiful sound

Reminiscent of pre-pandemic days

But damaged in so many ways

With brushed off hurt and dented pride

We now know the state is not on our side.

For these are our towns, our streets, our stores

Just leave us alone, this is our land, not yours.

Big thanks to Jan Enkelmann for the cover image

Now please follow me on Twitter @retailfuturist for daily insights and musings.

About Howard Saunders

The Retail Futurist, otherwise known as Howard Saunders, is a writer and speaker whose job it is to see beyond retail’s currently choppy waters. Howard spent the first twenty five years of his career at some of London’s most renowned retail design agencies, including Fitch & Company, where he created concepts, strategies and identities for dozens of British high street brands. In 2003 he founded trend-hunting agency, Echochamber, inspiring his clients with new and innovative store designs from across the globe. Howard relocated to New York in 2012 where the energetic regeneration of Brooklyn inspired his book, Brooklynization, published in 2017. His newfound role as champion for retail’s future in our town and city centres gave rise to the title The Retail Futurist. Howard has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts for BBC Radio 4, BBC Scotland, the British Retail Consortium, Sky News Australia and TVNZ, New Zealand. His talks are hi-energy, jargon-free journeys that explore the exciting, if not terrifying, retail landscape that lies ahead. When not in retail mode, Howard has recorded, literally, thousands of digital music masterpieces, most of which remain, thankfully, unheard.

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