STORIES IN THE TIME OF A PANDEMIC

POEM SERIES

PAUL STEVEN LAURENCE BROOKES

  1. All Exit Through The Gift Shop

After the journey when we hurry past notices
too long for us to read because we are distracted,

past recordings of war and disease and reconstructed buildings
imbued with the smell and tastes of the past

of the way they spoke and what they spoke about that all seems alien,
a foreign country and another world, even those our nannas and grandads

endured we can pick up packs of things we might have seen in polythene
carriers, posters, bus tickets, tram tickets, front pages of newspapers,

all that we might experience what our ancestors found difficult to talk about,
wondering why we want to know it has all been and done and they don’t want to return.


2. His Sharp Eye

A small lung
his black mask

blows up into a balloon,
sucks in to a thin spine,

a balloon,
a spine,

balloon,
spine

his sharp eye on
those who only cover their mouths,
those who wear it round their necks
those who do not wear a mask

damns them all to hell.




3. sky will et up

And worms will et thee up,
and Crows will et worms
that et thee up

and the sky will et up crows
that et worms that et thee up

and when they die
crows will be et up by worms
and roots will et up what dies
and what dies will bloom
will have a crown
that moves in a sky.


4. A Pebble

I think it a pebble in my coat pocket,
open my palm, find a shell,
a foot unfurls inside it,
I hurry it to soil, ground to move on.

Imagine it dislodged from a leaf,
when I sliced our hedge into shape,
rested curled in my pocket,
in the darkness of my wardrobe,
until I discovered it, nature’s gift,

perhaps

must always be returned to nature.
A woven cotton pocket, carved constructed
wooden furniture are not its home.
It needs to walk on familiar ground,
perhaps find another leaf,
briefly wonder in my palm.


5. Clock faces in the cemetery

rise from earth like balloons
tethered by almost invisible stalks.

The clocks have stopped.
Time will dance

when the clocks are blown
by a stray gust. Then the faces are blown

into seeds, so time can grow elsewhere.


8. Our Maskfall

Trees shed autumn masks
that pile up outside the cemetery.
All different colours float down.

Wade through the fibres.
Nothing like maskfall
to make you appreciate the seasons.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.