The Virus Poems is a series of poems written in the ‘Lockdown’ period during the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK . The story follows Mike and his dog Bruce in self isolation and their, sometimes light hearted but occasionally difficult journey.


The Covid-19 virus outbreak of 2020 will forever be a pivotal part of human history. The impact was global and affected everyone on the planet. Here, in the UK, we managed the coronavirus in similar ways to other countries but also with a degree of Britishness that has defined us for centuries. Not that it was all good and it raised many issues about our culture and values.

This is not the time to write about statistics – you can look that up yourself. However, hundreds of thousands caught the virus and many thousands died. The impact on the nation, on families and our very own NHS was palpable and at times, almost too much to bear.

A Facebook group was set up to help people, to communicate and provide support to anyone that might need it. It became incredibly important for many and it was here that Michael started writing ‘The Virus Poems’.

When you read just one poem it might touch you or amuse you. It is when you consider every subject that, without knowing, this has become a walk through our time in ‘Lockdown’ as this period will be forever known.

We have included alongside every poem an extract of the news headlines of the day to help you put the poems into some context.

About the Author

Mike Bourton starting writing poetry in his late forties,  in direct contrast with his life as an air traffic controller in the Royal Air Force and then running a business consultancy across the world.  But his passion for poetry continued, comments on his life and the people and animals that share it with him. 

Mike has travelled since he was young and now shares his life with Bruce, his Dalmatian, often the inspiration for his poems.  He loves to write simple rhyming stories, with a tongue in cheek look at the world, but often mixed with love and some of the challenges faced by all of us.

Self-isolating during the Lockdown of 2020, he was inspired and encouraged by his local Facebook group to write poems that could help lift people.  What started as one poem became one a day and, in the end, he wrote 67 daily poems between the March and May.  This has been lovingly put together into The Virus Poems, a reflection on what happened to all of us during this period.  Each poem is accompanied by his own illustrations or photographs, usually involving Bruce of course, together with the news headlines of the day.

Mike and Bruce are also radio presenters on the local radio station, Marlow FM, running a popular Saturday Breakfast request show – Bruce acts as the producer and just barks a lot!

Mike has also written some children’s poems, soon to be turned into illustrated books and continues to write weekly poems for his community, with open mic events to read his poems.

Latest News

Here are a few images from the book signing on Saturday 11th July.

Published by Poems and Pictures Publishing who are a small independent publisher of books based in the North of England, established in January 2012.

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