Lockdown limerick lament

12 June 2020 | Poem John Bolton. Photo Lydiane Mattio. Read time 1 min.
When moved to poetry, Emer Prof John Bolton opts for writing limericks.
When moved to poetry, Emer Prof John Bolton opts for writing limericks.

#UCTLockDownLetters is a new feature on the University of Cape Town (UCT) news site. Staff, students, parents of students: we want to hear about your experiences of work and life in lockdown. Emails, audio and video clips, prose and poetry are also very welcome. This is your space.

This contribution comes from Emeritus Professor John Bolton, a senior research scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences. He wrote this on the last day of lockdown level 4.

31 May 2020

Lockdown’s a miserable state

You sit and you wait, then you wait …

You feel such a loner

As you wait for Corona

To avoid it, now that would be great


It was once just a Mexican beer

Tasted awful, but nothing to fear

Corona’s a brand

That could have been banned

But beer was banned anyway, here


It’s not a good time to be male

Or old, or with parts that may fail

Blood vessel rigidity

Becomes co-morbidity

We all feel increasingly frail


I drag myself out of my bed

Early morning, a brisk walk instead

But all down the road

Gagged in facemasks they strode

Feels like I’m in ‘Shaun of the Dead’


We hope soon the last will be seen

Of murderous Covid-19

A year maybe, or two

Like the old Spanish flu

Corona will be a has-been

Share in our community. Document your thoughts and feelings during lockdown. Send your letter from home (max 1 200 words), audio, video (60 seconds maximum), prose poetry, slam poetry, prayers, benedictions, or songs to lockdownletters@uct.ac.za.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

UCT Lockdown Letters: Share your stories

In order to foster a sense of community during the COVID-19 lockdown, a new initiative – #UCTLockdownLetters – invites staff and students from across UCT to share your stories about life and survival at home.

How has the lockdown affected you and your ability to work or study? What does your study-from-home space look like? What adaptations have you made to working from home? How are you coping as partners, parents, children, siblings and individuals? How do you cope with stress? What will you do differently after the lockdown?

This is your space to express yourself in any medium you choose: in words, prose, poetry, audio, video or pictures. Your contributions will be curated as part of a special platform designed for sharing – and to create a unique archive for future UCT communities.

Please send your submissions to LockdownLetters@uct.ac.za.

Please remember to avoid including copyrighted material in your submissions. UCT reserves the right to review and select submitted content for publication on this feature page. Videos (in .mp4 format) and audio files (in .mp3 format) can be shared with the Newsroom through downloadable link services like WeTransfer or Google Drive, among others. If you are unsure about how to film yourself, please watch the video tutorial.

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