Poems: The Bereaved and Exit Plan

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Photograph: avi_acl/Pixabay

Dave Anthony rounds off his series of poems during the movement control order.

13 April

The Bereaved

A common cold, flu, fever, hidden within

Coronavirus codenamed Covid-19.

Father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter

Rushed into quarantine, moved into ICU

Visitors disallowed! I no longer see you.

From mortuary in body bag to sealed coffin

I’m without you within.

The hearse, a convoy of military trucks.

At a distance metres apart in the rain

Pallbearers in white vestments I examine

Wearing protective suits, gloves and masks

Perform final rites, tearfully I watch the death of funerals

Deprived of paying my last respects with candles.

Body of my beloved swallowed up by the earth

Or consumed by the flames of cremation,

I return home wretched, desolate, heartbroken.

I kneel before the real absence in the tabernacle of my heart

Devastating emptiness in the house, a gaping hole in my soul,

Mournfully weeping, lamenting, hurting, distraught,

I resurrect him through the family album,

See her life fly past with memories of him,

I touch the gadgets cherished by her,

I play his favourite music.

S/he was always so full of life

Sometimes funny, brings a smile to my face.

The consoling pill, a bitter placebo.

Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Negrito

I’m not alone, they’re not alone

Lower the flag to half mast!

The Negaraku broadcast!

Declare a national day of mourning!

Wait for the New Dawn.

******

14 April

Exit Plan

Exit MCO? All will not go back to normal

Planning starts now, implementation later,

From DG Noor Hisham a caveat.

Planning in hands credible

Involves logical thinking

Rational decision-making,

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Ministers’ competency debatable.

A masterplan needs a mastermind

With expert planning skills in kind

With clear objectives on the course of action

On how and when and who does what

To encounter the future situation

With coordinated preventive action.

Plan not a blueprint to cover all

Future not certain at all.

Exit plan managing:

A team for planning

A team for deciding

A team for implementing

A team for evaluating

A team for forecasting

A team for action ongoing

One for overall supervising.

Coronavirus pandemic a powerful reminder

To change our way of life forever,

Current system of inequality

Creates unsustainability,

Critical turning point an opportunity.

The world faces a new common destiny.

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