2020 is a Crust

(written Nov 2020)

2020 is a crust

that has formed over me

and muffles my mind in

a foggy shroud of rising numbers

numbed by tepid tea

and wine poured thick against injustice

and meagre human contact.

I long to share a silence

un-cushioned by a squinting screen

to slough this shushed skin of


and pierce my body into freezing water fresh with

glass-sharp thoughts

and words that dart around like silver moonlit fish.

© Charlotte Oliver 2020

Dream Catcher 42

My poem ‘To be the Sea’ has been given a home in the beautiful Dream Catcher 42. Getting my contributor’s copies through the post certainly brightened up a(nother) dreary lockdown day.

Poetry Commission for BBC Radio York

It’s been another quiet month of lockdown but I did have a lovely commission from BBC Radio York to write a poem to celebrate their Make a Difference campaign which connects people who need help with the huge numbers of people offering help across North Yorkshire. The launch day involved a chat with the excellent Georgie Spanswick on the Breakfast Show as well as some lovely comments from friends and strangers. You can see it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08g4l2v

A week’s a long time…

A week ago it was just the cat and me at home all day,

Me tapping away on my laptop,

Him napping away on the chair.

Our lives would overlap at lunchtime

When I would squeeze a pouch of smelly jellied meat into his bowl,

As I waited for my soup to reheat.

One week later and our lives are unrecognisable.

We have FOUR new full-time work colleagues

Who overlap with us ALL the time

(And won’t settle for a squeezed pouch for lunch).

They don’t do much work either – they are noisy and always want sweets and want to bounce on the trampoline and sometimes they just lie on the carpet.

Our new work colleagues often leave their pants on the bathroom floor and one of them occasionally gets into bed with me in the middle of the night (one of them ALWAYS gets into bed with me).

On the plus side, they often kiss me and tell me that they love me and are less judgy than the cat.