Lockdown Poetry

As another lockdown begins in England, we look back at a poetry project our co-editor and one writer contributed to for a fellow writer and friend on her teacher project. We reimagined old poems from some of the greats to turn them into a lockdown focus to reflect the present day.

She walks in duty

She walks in duty, no more

Cloudless climes or starry skies

All that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her memories and her tearful eyes.

Thus hardened to that deathly plight

Of seeing loved ones is denied.

One day the more, one meal the less,

Half impaired the shameless disgraces

who take all the food and cause distress.

Softly lightens her face

where thoughts of freedom sweet express.

How horrific, how isolated this dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and over her brow,

So sick, so lonely, yet composed,

The patience that wins, the determination

That grows tell of old days

Before lockdown spent.

A mind at worry with all below

A heart whose hope relents.

Amelia Lee

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Lockdown

I wandered through each desolate street,

Where the lake meets the running track,

A mask on every face I see,

Masks of pearl blue, masks of black.

In every cough of every man,

In every recoil of fear,

In every speech, in every plan,

The government tries to adhere:

How the local shop owners cry,

Every parent and student protests,

And the hapless nurses sigh

Runs unseen as we progress.

But most, through curfew’d streets I hear

How the mad clapping of hands,

Blasts the recoil of fear,

And lights with praise the medic’s wands.

Jill Lupupa

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Sweet Space

There are just not enough

pies. That

is the problem.

Nothing is sweet

or savoury. Dreams

balance crookedly on supports

thrust off the shortening.

Fats clutch at open seams.

The whole structure leans

dangerously

towards the miraculous.

Into this rough frame,

someone has squeezed

a happy space

and even dared to place

these eggs in a floury basket,

fragile curves of kasha

hung out over the natural edge

of a pleated universe,

folding the light

into themselves,

as if they were

the bright, thin walls of faith.

Liam Skillen

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