An ad agency copywriter's poetry in the time of the coronavirus

By Lee Spencer | 8 April 2020
Coronavirus is house arrest for climate crime - Anthea Wright

This poem by Lee Spencer, senior copywriter at The Royals, was originally published on the agency’s online publication Everybody Knows, as part of a creative response to the coronavirus crisis


Creative Boom

Batten down the hatches.

Tighten the belt.
Scroll through the notes in your phone.
Act on the half-thoughts in your head.
Write the next great Australian novel.
Pen the card for your friend’s wedding, from four months ago.

Send a note to your mum telling her how much you love the creamy, vegetable spiral pasta she made when you were a kid that you called ‘Spirali’ in a thick Italian accent.

Read in the afternoon.
Crack the spine of Infinite Jest.
Read Goosebumps: Escape from Camp Run-for-Your-Life, instead.

Bake sourdough.
Bake a Napoleon cake with ten layers that takes 24 hours to make.

Get to know yourself, your neighbours’ daily movements, your roomies’ quirks, your pets’ escapades, your partners’ cliché boardroom banter.
Buy a sex toy. See what happens.

Create a short film.
The short film that always gets sidelined.
Watch all of Errol Morris’ docos.
Start researching your own.
Get sidetracked and create an Instagram account of your neighbours’ daily movements.

Study psychology.
Miss physical human interaction.
Even your friend who hugs you unnecessarily.

Pursue a business idea.
Realise you don’t have any money because you’ve been laid off or had your hours cut.
And you’re worried you can’t pay rent, pay the mortgage, or put food on the table.
Abandon business idea.
Figure out how to take advantage of the situation on the other end.
Like Putin after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Plan the podcast you’ve been telling everyone you’re going to make.
It’s this really cool idea that no one has ever thought of before.
Search the idea on Apple Podcasts.
Find out it’s already a top charting podcast.
Think you can do a better job anyway.
Set up a makeshift studio in your closet.
Hit record.

Now’s the time to do what you’ve always wanted but have been too busy to.
Off you go.
Or don’t.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus