After the Catastrophe – by Clive Donovan


After the catastrophe
The grim shake down
Crying in the snow
Breaking hail
Rattle of rain
Spoilt straw
End of law

The inevitable occupation:
Refugees in ruins
Of castles, manors, bungalows.

First the food, then the clothes,
The furniture for fuel,
Looting expeditions – no –
Let us call it foraging:
For metal, tools, for pots,
For knives, cups, for picture books
And shampoo.

They wondered about the soaps and lotions
And shampoos. In tiled, white, useless bathrooms
Grimed with the last of unflushed shite so many
Bottles and tubes of salves and talcs and oils
And thick nourishing jellies.

Those who knew to read would entertain;
Horse-chestnut, jojoba, ti tree, chamomile…
Several on the go – how rich they were –
Those golden people of the cosmetic age,
With their never quite finished pastes and mascaras and dyes.

Here, behind a barricade of bricks and girders,
A brigade chief’s daughter lovingly lathers
Sainsbury’s own-brand washing-up liquid
Into her wild, lemon-scented, pink hair.




Clive devotes himself full time to poetry and lives in the creative atmosphere of Totnes in Devon. He has had many poems published in poetry magazines including Agenda, Acumen, Salzburg Review, and Ink sweat and tears. He has yet to publish a first collection.

2 thoughts on “After the Catastrophe – by Clive Donovan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s