Meeting Ground: Poems in the time of COVID-19
In the two poems below, the personas are in isolation, but that doesn’t stop the creativity bred from their pandemic observations. – Ann-Margaret Lim (Meeting Ground coordinator)
My iPhone keeps me company.
Plays music for me, shows pictures
of friends, what they’re thinking.
Lights up the dark when I’m missing you,
brings other poets’ words with a touch.
iTouch, order groceries, watch
the latest updates, debate the far right
on Twitter: Should we go back out there?
Greet the second wave? Or stay safe
inside our phones, iPads, Netflix?
Zoom conference: The kids text me
from other rooms, stationary too long.
I listen to Dire Straits while writing this poem,
think of you, thirty miles away. Think:
The virus decided for us.
As doctors and old people die in waves,
our sons skateboard in empty parks at night.
Julie Mahfood (Jamaican in Canada)
BLUE MANGROVE 1
It is April. Rains must wait.
I do not leave my house.
I am planted here releasing blue zemis
from a mangroved canvas.
Their mood is phthalo.
Easter light adheres to hills like silk.
A merciless bronze
brushes eyelids, browbones.
Chores must wait.
I am planted here
and will not leave.
Not for insensible streets
oblivious to changing light,
emptied of their last currency.
no cheekbones there.
No highlighted lips
with hints of smiling.
Here, the hiss and chuckle
of the tawny *ti-born tree,
the molting gomier
thriving through this season,
the brazen bougainvillea,
all taunt rainclouds with fire.
Surely tomorrow, when zemis walk,
the eye of sky will widen, weep.
Adrian Augier (St Lucia)
*ti-born tree: scientific name: croton guildingi: deciduous seasonal forest mix: Indigenous to Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent, the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad and South America.