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Poetry in Lockdown: Part I

Tell Me Again

Tell me again of the time we ran
To catch the train in pouring rain
Tell me again of the joy we shared
The burst of storm, the soup that warmed

Tell me again of the night so cold
You gave the man your coat of tan
Tell me again, the woman in church
Her candle lit, you hugged a bit

Tell me again of the time we cried
For friends now passed and time that lapsed 
Tell me again of the trials waged
And some that cost and others lost

Tell me again of the dreams we dreamt
A cottage plain where love remains
Tell me again of a home for all
Where fáilte lives and we can give

Tell me again of a melody
That men will sing, remembering
Tell me again of a story wild
A poem’s truth and lasting youth

Tell me again of a vision new
Where hearts delight and then take flight
Tell me again of an ideal home
We till the land and take a stand 

Tell me again of how passions true
Can change desire to the inspired  
Tell me again the essence of hope
To love and give, it is to live

 

-Kathleen Lonergan Erickson

Submitted May 20, 2020

An Unseen Power

World in dismay
Not because financially
Motivated tribes as usual
Are at war, or that millions
Of ordinary people have
Been displaced, maimed
Traumatised for generations
And made Dead, as usual

World is in dismay
Because unseen bacterium
Is playing an international game
Of hop, skip, jump across all tribes
And global markets
Are in disarray

An unseen power
Has nations on
Pause

Reevaluate daily living
Revealing fear driven
Self-preservation
Manifested in a toilet-roll

New buzz words driven by governments are Social distancing, Self-Isolation and "We"
Will flatten curve.

Think. On freedom of movement to breathe
Sea scent, or mind lift of
Assorted colours from nature
Manifested in contrast of
Intermingling daisy and dandelion groups Growing up through green carpet.

Today. Again sit in
Apartment contemplating
Whether it is worth risk
Of venturing out for
Cycle to sea breathe; erratic
Traffic is not risk concern
Just the unseen.

Poetry is honesty
Protraying loveliness of
Nature which counteracts
Ugliness of human behaviour patterns
Poetry is recognising Valour, of those humans Who overcome self for others. And an unseen Power has brought into sharp focus those People, such as Paramedics, Shop assistants, Nurses, Delivery drivers, Gardaí, Medical Professionals, Hostel housekeepers, DFs, Carestaff, Public transporters, Homeless Volunteers, community helpers, and more.

An unseen power has
Brought the ordinary people
Forward; maybe in future
They'll have a Covid19 Public holiday
To honour the 'Ordinary
And remember, the 'Dead.

Unseen power has
Brought an element
Of simplicity
Amid chaos.

 

-Patrick Bennett

Submitted May 22, 2020

Are you going for a Pint?

Jasus I’d murder a good Pint!
Only there are so many guards around I could end up in the
joint
The pubs are shut people are doing their nut
We all need to get a haircut!
The Greens are going on about our carbon emissions
Meanwhile the women of Ireland go to work in their kitchens
Everybody is joining meetings on Zoom
Broadcasting to the world from inside their front rooms
Will they just tell us to wear a mask
Why is there ambiguity over such a menial task?
On the brighter side Sharon is on the news at nine
I swear as time goes by she gets more and more fine!
You can get out of the house for a journey of 5K as long as you
stay two meters away
We are all being asked to take this two to three weeks at a time
This is something we can live with as long as there is no danger
of the country running out of beer and wine!!!

- Liam Flanagan

Submitted May 2020

In Times to Come

I imagine when I am old
And fortunate enough to get there
The small secure bulk of a grandchild
Sitting on my knee
Telling him or her of pre Covid days

Days with a stroll in the park
In the setting sun
Resting at a favourite spot
Watching children play
In joyous ignorance
Of the turning tides to come

A kiss on my mother’s soft cheek
The strong embrace of a friend
Sipping coffees in a café garden
Bees droning in an out
Of intimate conversation

I will tell him or her
This is how I used to live
The things I took for granted

He or she will look at me and say
Thank you
And I will ask
What for?
He or she will answer
For listening to the bees
And the sea and the trees
For not listening to the lies
For trying to do the right thing
So we can have those days you loved so much

And I will say to him or her
You are wise beyond your years

 

-Maeve Henegan

Submitted May 25, 2020

These Days

don’t trouble to gaze beyond yourself,
there’s so much in line of sight 
wherever you are, Mayo, Dublin, London,
anywhere you can think of right now – quiet,
only blue and green, borrowed light and birdsong, 
you don’t even have to listen, just sit
and when dark falls you can create your own night sky.

Don’t ask ‘what’s new?’ or ‘any news?’
there’s no point, the tide is far out, the pull slow.        
Set down the mowers, chainsaws, power washers. 
Leave behind the vast swathes of concrete, 
the bus shelters, the rain, the rowdiness, 
the sirens, the burnt gorse.

Imagine that we stand in our kitchens 
with our mothers, knowing – 
there is no need to keep sweeping ourselves up.

 

-Edel Burke

Submitted May 25, 2020

Grief Under Masks

Pink skies
Humid sunrise
Birds and butterflies
Fearful faces and baggy eyes

They wish to run
but are chained with silver
Unknown when's the next victim

They welcome, help
until night they serve
The only option is sacrifice 
Grief under their masks
Faithfully completing our tasks 

In the warmth of the cuddling night
Where dots is all the sky can write
To the stars they pray 
Keep this virus away 

They dream to hide
Until the sun tickles them to begin again.

 

-Yousif Alkhabbaz 

Dedicated to The Coronavirus Helpers, From Doctors to Delivery and Food Service Workers.

Submitted May 26, 2020

A Storm During the Pandemic

Cops dredge out the flesh of the loss
from a flooded pond. The corpse sports
electricity in its quivering limbs. I pass the scene
wondering if the pandemic exterminated it
or if the cyclone did. Other things also croon within -
The chronicle of the father who went to bring water
after the quake in Turkey. Perhaps it happened in
some other country after the Reich exploded.
We know how they thought the father a thief, and
how they shot some leads. 

I pass the dead and the drifters. My gnarled fingers
hold my shopping bag, and my grey cells,
for no reason, hums Havah Nagilah. 
Two naked boys skimming something in
with a couple of broken branches turn their heads.

 

-Kushal Poddar
Submitted May 26, 2020