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Poetry in Lockdown: Part II

in a season or two

When I go to the toy store again, I will wander in semi circles for hours. Milkshake will coat my stomach, warm sun will caress me through an open window, I will play jacks on the floor, feet flexed, laughing with wide teeth, throat full pink visible. At the store next door, I will buy every copper kettle that sets my eye with bronze, a shiny place that I will touch, fingerprints dragging a whirling mist, cash jangling in my pocket with clinks of small change. In the aisles of the grocer I will find an old school friend, tired and wobbling on legs that have frailed in unmotion from thirteen tabs of work, and I will hold her up with two arms and my chin on her shoulder, her hair will tickle my neck, I will hand her a slinky from my tote and we will play it down the concrete steps, our apples falling from open produce bags, what tears we find hidden when all of this has passed.

 

-Jamie Silverthorn

Submitted May 27, 2020

Grief is a tree

Grief is a tree
that grows and cannot be cut down.

No matter how many times I run away
from it, I will find myself seeking its 
shelter from the rain. 

I will sit there, wondering where 
the sun has gone and no one will know 
the answer.

Why have you left me this tree?
Where has all the time gone?

The soil is too wet for the buds to bloom,
but I want to grow a garden for you
to visit.

Please tell me you’ll visit.
I’ll sit here with these flowers and I’ll wait
for you. I will live for you.

Grief is a tree,
but I want to sit here with you.

 

-Ally Macapaz

Submitted May 27, 2020

An grá in am an choróinvíris

Leanann na héin orthu ag ceol
in ainneoin go líontar na heaglaisí
le cónraí, is go bhfuil na reiligí lán
is na corpáin á ndó san Iodáil      
 
Tá an t-earrach ann is na bachlóga
ag borradh ar chraobhacha
in ainneoin an tost ar na sráideanna      
is na tithe lán daoine faoi ghlas
 
Gach uile rud faoin spéir ag tarlú
taobh istigh de na seomraí
ina bhfuil daoine faoi ghlas           
ag ól is ag bruíon is ag guí
 
In arásán i Milano
tá máthair le beirt leanaí óga
ag stánadh amach an fhuinneoig
ag brionglóidí faoi dul go dtí an gairdín
 
Fásann bláthanna is duilleoga 
Cé go bhfaigheann daoine bás
in otharlanna leo féin
gan éinne taobh leo
 
Ina gcéadta is ina mílte
gan sochraid fiú ná tórramh
ach beannú gairid amháin
ó shagart cróga gan chosaint
 
Lámh a chuireann banaltra
ina bás féin, tar éis di a fháil amach
gur tholg sí an galar                    
i ndiaidh aire a thabhairt d’othair        
 
Ligeann an domhan osna
Is teipeann ar scamhóga na ndaoine
Níl deireadh le fulaingt ná anachain
Ach leanann na héin orthu ag ceol
 
Leanann na héin orthu ag ceol…

 

-Caitríona Ní Chléirchín

Submitted May 28, 2020

Treoirlínte ó Éire nach maireann

Beidh tú go maith.

Seachain teagmháil fhisiciúil.

Fan ar oscailt 
duit féin amháin.

Coinnítear glan.

Coinnigh do lámha leat.

Clúdaigh do bhéal —
bosca bruscair é.

Ná roinn le daoine eile i do theach.

Ná roinn.

 

Translation:

Guidelines from a dead Ireland

You will behave.

Avoid physical contact

Stay open
to yourself alone.

Stay pure.
Keep your hands to yourself.

Cover your mouth —
it is a rubbish bin.

Don’t share with others in your house.

Don’t share.

 

-Eoin Mc Evoy

Submitted May 28, 2020

Mother's Day 2020

On Life’s veranda
We stood timid and unsure.
What would the next day bring?
On the canal, a swan
Her cob and cygnets foraged
With an aimless plan.

The news from Italy and from Spain
Was not good.
The lorries drove their slow-pace drone
Through familiar place names,
Bergamo and Lake Como
Towards the crematoria.
Medical teams too succumbed,
Idealistic and brave, fatalistic  
Fighters of the unknown, remembered,
Without an answer in their ambush.
A doctor, masked and gowned beyond recognition
Stood against nature’s mutations,
A virus thriving in unsuspecting crowds.

The heathers were good this year,
Springwood White, Springwood Pink,
Myretoun Ruby with a fringe of frost,
Frozen droplets doomed to evaporation
Ready for extinction.

This is Mother’s Day, with a history
Of a childhood story of long ago,
And the terrors too of their unknown,
The helpless huddles waiting for “The Fever”
And how their Typhus toll was told.  

On the Hill the walkers strove,
In apprehensive distances on their Sunday stroll.
The graph was steep today,
Yet not peaked.
Was there worse to come?
It was breathless on the hillside where they struggled,
But they knew that it would peak,
And from the hill they crested, perspective gained
With the hope that lay beyond this unknown.

Fear of the unknown creates its own paralysis.
Other generations went through their own unknowns.
An answer was found. There is an answer.

 

-Philip Brady

Submitted May 29, 2020

Lockdown poem

Twenty-three years young & sprung
Into a superficial world
Of conformity and commodification
The goal being exploitation
Capitalizing on the earth
predating on the people
       We pay to live
             We live to pay

Are those paid to protect aware of the stress, fears, and troubles of a law-abiding citizen?
Not only did we encounter an economic recession, we experienced a deep societal depression.

How can you sympathise with hardship if you have never felt the pain
Of family businesses being lost
     Unemployment & emigration,
          Families broken because of a suicide inflation
               But too proud to even allow that topic into a conversation.

But brighter days were soon to follow
     New money new country
A haven for the corporate kings
     Buying, spending, building
Multinational companies living tax free
Finally welcomed as one of the bourgeoisies
 our gas being exploited whilst foreign trawlers roamed our waters
all the while our faith in our government was getting smaller
     taking, indulging, splurging
an attribution to the profound pollution with no care for a solution
     - a modern-day industrial revolution.

The Celtic Tiger leaping through the motherland
Bringing wealth that eventually got out of hand
But always held on to the hope that everything would ultimately be grand
We were fools to think that tigers could be tamed.
rising housing prices & the homelessness crisis
     potential to protect
               power to deprive

                    capability to correct
                            capacity to revive

& the difficult days are drawing in on us once again
The sun has descended, and the storm is rolling in
But we will stand together to persevere and prevail until the darkness curtails 
The issues that once were, are currently being undone
Hospital funds & the most vulnerable no longer being shunned.

The home of the 1916 rising
We fought together before, we stand together now
In solidarity to the martyrs of this generation
The frontline workers battling a biological war
Protecting the most vulnerable of this civilization
All the nurses and doctors that had to emigrate before, came to answer our Country’s call to which nobody ignored
Spreading resilience, hope and kindness
Offering lifesaving guidance
Together standing tall
Someday the restrictions will withdraw
One day, Tiocfaidh ár lá.

 

-Hannah Nevin

Submitted June 3, 2020

ENOUGH'S ENOUGH (for Luke and Nicholas - lock-down in Dublin)

For a while it was fun to home school
Now class with my friends would be cool
It’s boring indoors all the time
Especially as the weather’s been fine
Each day the pattern’s the same
Yet, I long to play football again
My playground for weeks has been home
I long to leave my bedroom and roam
I yearn to run outside and be wild
Not unusual for an average child
To laugh, to whoop and to yell
And to cycle, to scoot.  Who can tell
To have fun on the street with my friends
But the answer will be “that depends”
If the lock-down restrictions relax
Once we’re made aware of the facts
We can draw up our own Action Plan
Perhaps, get in the car, if we can
Cross over the border and surprise
Nanny and Granda in Sharry Drive
See our cousins in Mornington Place
Overjoyed by the look on their face
Be all together at last
Self-distancing, a thing of the past

 

-Geri McAreavey

Submitted June 5, 2020