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Poetry in Lockdown: Part X

A Giant Oak Fallen

Dedicated to the memory of Peter Dervan, Professor of Pathology UCD

A giant oak has fallen after a long fight,
A giant oak has fallen and put out a bright light
Death must come to the human race
But comes to us all at a different pace
Peter met his with courage and grace
Never complained of what he had to face

A giant oak has fallen to the forest floor Peter,
scholar, gentleman and a whole lot more
Writer of books, papers, guidelines galore,
Designer of websites, and media by the score

A giant oak has fallen leaving a large space
Peter in our hearts you had a special place.
The best of his generation with a diagnostic eye,
No tumour would ever pass you by,
For you always knew when - they would multiply!
Breast cancer in its mysterious way
Was always your research forte.

A giant oak lying in a forest glade,
Peter you fought the good fight
And what a price you paid!
Cancer the enemy that everyone fears’
You struggled with it, for seventeen long years.

Together we crossed Europe by day and night
The European Working Group bound us tight.
Four other members are also with you,
The rest of us in the departure lounge, In a queue!

Waiting to pass through that dark lonely valley,
When we hear the bugle sound reveille.
Goodbye my friend, Adios, Adieu,
We will all soon be joining you!

A giant oak fallen — Rest In Peace
Your tortured body has at last surcease.


-Charles Eugene Connolly

Submitted September 24, 2020

I'd be a glutton

I don’t remember Paris except Eurodisney:
Which is a shameful thing to admit, 
I assume now I’d feel its energy 
Its je ne sais pas
If the films are anything to go by -
Emotion, idea and desire trumps sense 
And everything’s a boozy dance
With sex as undercurrent.
I get the sense of hedonism 
But somewhat masochistic
Nihilist even 
Breakfast of coffee and nicotine 
four layers of butter in puff pastry
And stylish women in jeans and navy 
Bien sûr
bodies are things for kissing 
Enjoying, comfort, dancing.
Why wear wire and padding 
When you have raisins under that shirt 
And you like the feel of the sea at night?


-Chaelio Thomas
Submitted September 26, 2020

When Asked to Return What Was Given Me

When asked to return what was given me:
I need to locate the hard-shell suitcase.

Empty it of mothballs-
fill it with exceptionally beautiful things.

When asked to return what was given me:
I need to catch a transatlantic flight.

Curse the distance between continents-
the virus that wedged the divide. 

When asked to return what was given me:
I need to find the house, set in sight of water.
Enter the door that will never fully close-
suppurate in silence, watch the light fall.

When asked to return what was given me:
I need to quieten regrets that echo the walls.

Remember the love we both shared for the moon-
the long-ago language only we understood. 

When asked to return what was given me:
I need to rewind clocks, uncover mirrors. Stay.

Until the scent of lilies washes the pain clean-
until snowflakes sweep silver into the west.


-Theresa Donnelly
Submitted September 28, 2020