Delighted that my Out of Time poem has just been published on Dwelling During the Pandemic, Ohio State University’s Poetry Project website. Thank you to editor Zoe Thompson for selecting it. There are many brilliant poems on the site including Mustafa Illgin’s poetry film The Long Road, Angela Foyle’s ghazal, a Covid shape poem by Jessica Winter, Michaela Dengg’s Instagram poems and much more.
Out of Time
One March day streets peeled away
in a rear memory mirror as the world
shrunk to us and our back garden.
On the second day I was forbidden
to take pets I didn’t have
for an imaginary walk so I strolled
along allotment back lanes
spying nude mannequins
sparrows in nestbuilding fervour.
Tearful people flicked switches
on new time. Lucky ones opened
a portal through worked soil, shared stories
of late frosts, signs their seeds were growing.
Somebody said sun cream
might help or was it paracetamol?
On the tenth day actors stood too
close in A Fish Called Wanda.
They hugged and chatted and fought
while little dogs got caught in the crossfire.
On day thirteen I should have
packed an overnight bag
had my medication ready
but on day thirteen and a half
I turned off notifications.
By day nineteen fringes were flowing
over noses, beards caused accidents
postwomen in summer shorts struggled
with greedy parcels down empty streets.
On the twenty eighth day footballs
missed their goals, running tracks melted
swimming pools ran dry and swings hung lifeless.
On the thirty second day politicians
polished their falsehoods
windows spontaneously opened and shut
applause flickered across hawthorn
to the accompaniment of urgent wrens.
On day thirty seven Teams broke up
Houseparties squabbled, Zooms
ploughed into slow lanes.
On the fortieth day pavements
longed for the press of feet
echoes of laughter, snails prayed
for a slick of loud rain, yearned to smear
their fresh paths across silent sunshine.