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Poetry in Lockdown: Part V

West Jet Flight D12

The datura in the botanic gardens
Must be so lonely now
The watchtowers in glasnevin
twiddling their thumbs
Grafton street must be starved for touch
The portraits in the National Gallery
On the brink of posting thirst traps on twitter
I wonder what the Liffey looks like
When no tourists are looking into it
What temple bar smells like after
Weeks without stag and hen parties
Dublin, what do you feel like
In the empty weeks of late winter?

- Erin Emily Ann Vance

Submitted June 19, 2020

Trees Please

No more statues.
Trees please

No statues to humans
No statues to gods
To Gods who would be man
Or to men who would be god

Trees please
Life giving, air breathing
Big bold and beautiful leaves please

- Louisa Moss

Submitted June 20, 2020

Antipodean interlude

Thrilled shrieks
pierce still blue
a party in the garden:
saffron, crimson
emerald slivers
swirl from overhanging
branches as
lorikeets cluster
to feast on
teeming liquid
-ambar seed pods and,
embracing these welcome
minutes' distraction
from distancing measures,
calls from ‘home’
half a world away—
a third family
member lost to this
silently creeping curse,
I spread wide my arms,
stretch heart skyward
breathe deeply under
overarching boughs
and open my eyes
to a small universe
of grey-brown spheres
gently swaying
midst the frenzied
each one so like
a tiny spiky
Death Star—
a perfect
wooden replica
of a COVID-19 cell

- Anne Casey

Submitted June 22, 2020

First published in Boyne Berries 28, Summer 2020: The COVID Issue for Poetry Ireland Day 2020.

Pandemic day out

Give us a day out
a day out with no anxiety hanging over me shoulder like a bag of rusty fittings
let me aul soul out for a fly
unclunck the old Victorian styled cage
if only around town for a little while
just a stroll in me aul walking shoes
but it’s way out of the two kilometre zone
and the gardens in kilmainham are closed
and sure, so are cafes and pubs and I cant even get a take away coffee and if I could I probably wouldn’t
want it
I’d be too paranoid about picking up a dose from some surface someone forgot to wipe
or some object that was never wiped at all
even though I wear rubber gloves and a mask going in everywhere
and all the museums are closed
the modern art one as well
me favourite
I’m parched of culture in the council estate now the city switched off its tap
In these eerie streets
they resemble the answers to the questions my soul begs for these past few months,
when will it end?
and like the streets there is no answer
only the echo of my question
these eerie, eerie streets
where U2 said the streets have no name
have they ever been to a place where the streets have no soul
and the TV and news gets worse and only makes your confidence and fight to march on worse
then a brief clip of a vaccine in the works
we are hung up to dry in between tiny morsels of hope
stringing out viewers like drug barons do addicts
I’ve searched Covid 19 vaccine so many times for updates
It’s now the only search that comes up when I type in a new one
and old eighties and nineties movies make life seem like some strange paradise from the past
people actually hanging around in groups in bars and restaurants
hugging, shaking hands, kissing and god knows what else
I feel like shouting out why are you not social distancing?
to a late eighties comedy actor through a grainy picture
and maybe one day he’ll hear me in an alternative reality
so he too can feel the pain and isolation that I’m going through
I pray to faith or chance that this ends
I pray life will be normal again one day
and I walk around these eerie streets
getting inspiration for poems that’ll never be read
maybe they’ll evaporate if I don’t write them
evaporate into a creative void or mist that some other struggling writer will come across a hundred years
from now
when the next pandemic supposedly comes around again

- Declan Geraghty

Submitted June 22, 2020