This too Shall Ebb.

By Kimutai Allan.


Fear abounds,
In crowded cities,
And in the little hamlets,
The world, is scared stiff,
Hopelessness is all we feel.
It’s here,
A rogue affliction,
Ravaging us like a fire.
We want to escape,
But, whereto?
It’s all upon the world,
Can we win against it?
Well, it might serve us,
To relook at our past.
We,
The intelligent human species,
Have been bedeviled before,
By disasters so detrimental,
But haven’t we risen up?
And lived better than before?
Take heart,
Be of good cheer,
This insidious tide too will ebb.
Keep on acting,
Upon all that our medics tell,
For a day is coming,
When normalcy will again grace,
These our beautiful shores!

Poet Bio:

Kimutai Allan is a Kenyan writer whose works have been published in numerous publications like the Kalahari review and others.

Covidéjà vu.

By Jean Pierre Nikuze.

Unhand that twig
& recede
into your tenebrous tub!

Backtrack, creep
in reverse. Sibilate!

Like a funambulist
hinged,
the gasping close by
notwithstanding,
backpedaling

on a duly oiled
unicycle, silently
as time en route
even
as time unlapsed,

career backwards
& grow into your death
as the rouged user
of a concave mirror
colors her vim.

Tumble back first
heel into curb,

miss the ground’s receipt
of your inion, only
a figure of speech
you levelled bastard,

you bleeding out beast,
cursed owner
of a
staunchless wound,

the compound
good-as-dead;
in three syllables: carrion.

Glide, wriggle, convulse,
rousted by the tail

as in an ill-matched
tug of war,

for though
the wild goats are as

close as Wales,
all who’d been to Eden
died off
with the memory
of whereabouts.

Poet Bio:

Jean Pierre Nikuze is a Rwandan writer and poet.

Masks

By Mniko Chacha 

Masks.

“Wear the masks,” the prominent governor announced,
Soon after Covid-19 emerged,
Despite the increase in price everyone demanded masks at any price,
So, I bought two masks to cover my face,

At home, the wise passerby uttered,
“Wear masks everywhere you go, otherwise, you will cease to exist.”
I resisted it for a while and tried to disbelieve my mind,
Then, I recalled what the Television broadcasted. “Those who will wear masks will defeat this pandemic beast.”

I thought a little bit and took the face mask,
And covered my face,
I looked on the mirror and saw that my face was becoming the dusk,
The confusion disturbed my eyes.

Afterwards, I moved towards the sitting room where my wife drank a beer,
“Woo the ghost is coming to kill me right here.”
She shouted and struck me with the whisk broom,
And fled from my sight.

I threw down the mask thinking that it brought the pandemic ghost in my home,
“Take care, nowadays, the face masks are rare to find,
Like the dust of gold.”
The fading mouth roared to me,

Later, I shook my head to grasp the reality,
And restore into me the sincerity,
To the best of my own ability,
I wore another mask and got back to my sanity.

We Live by the Hands of Others.

By David Mellor.

We live by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

They pass the parcel

Stand at the till

Nurse the wounded

Or keep order

We live  by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

Our hands scrubbed clean and safe

But…

We  live by others. We are grateful to them,

Who have to live with that fear, day by day.

So that a whole humanity can be preserved.

Poet Bio:

David R Mellor is from Liverpool, England. He is a writer and performer.

The Heroes (for Eryk Hanut).

By Carolyn Gregory.

The heroes fill my heart with joy.
They open community kitchens
and shut down restaurants.
They reach an ancient birthday
after living a good life.

They offer face masks
to help the poor survive.
They write articles to help
readers know
what looms before them.

The heroes are both invisible
and also in our lives,
carrying good jokes and prayers
in equal measure.

We are lucky to have them among us,
offering peace and much better days
if we are alert
to all their good works.

 

 

Night and Day.

By Jan Tromp.

At home during our first lockdown
it’s as if the end has come
the whole world quieted by the plague
businesses closed, people sent home,
in some countries hospitals overrun
and death at the corner…
us, confined in the house
musing what’s to be done,
doves calling at sunset,
and there was evening
with its glinting star
and morning —the first day.

***

Futilely searching for the manual to all of this,
cut-off, we attempt
to connect by zoom, tik tok and whatsapp
seeking the safe centre,
the how, what and why in countless
burning digiscreens, one-world windows,
We open them to love and hate,
falsity, truth, we can’t resist them now:
chipped with the apple, scared of the doctor
and the dark laboratory churning under,
even as the antelope roam savannahs free,
we’re the planet’s freaks now
shivering…broken/hopeful in the lonely wind,
and there was evening
with shattered neon cloud
and morning —the sixth day.

 

Poet Bio:

 

 

BREAKING FREE

   By Agatha Malunda.

 

The slavery of free men has began.

A ruthless Queen has risen from the east and 

She, unlike the sun, is harmful to man.

Each day she exhorts the power of death,

many are struggling to survive;

 all living under the fear of losing their lives.

The world is under attack

And lockdown has become Noah’s ark

to protect us from this fiery flood.

We cover our nose and mouth with a mask

and  we’ve become accustomed to this task.

Large gatherings are restricted

our feeling of togetherness is afflicted.

Handshakes have become illegal 

They say hugs and kisses

contribute to the further spread of the illness.

 

The sun shines but we admire its beauty

through our curtain windows.

We can no longer feel its rays on our skin. 

We spend all day listening to news

hearing how the masters of science

are struggling to find an antidote.

But this pain won’t last forever

we will fight it together.

The reign of Corona will be gone

a new era will be born.

in the meantime let us practice safety

by washing our hands regularly and staying indoors as part of the remedy.

In so doing will defeat this enemy

and convict it for its felony.

Life is sweet and we will not let Corona

still the honey in our bodies.

Masks

By Mniko Chacha.

 

“Wear the masks,” the prominent governor announced,

Soon after Covid-19 emerged,

Despite the increase in price everyone demanded masks at any price,

So, I bought two masks to cover my face,

 

At home, the wise passerby uttered,

“Wear masks everywhere you go, otherwise, you will cease to exist.”

I resisted it for a while and tried to disbelieve my mind,

Then, I recalled what the Television broadcasted. “Those who will wear masks will defeat this pandemic beast.”

 

I thought a little bit and took the face mask,

And covered my face,

I looked on the mirror and saw that my face was becoming the dusk,

The confusion disturbed my eyes, so, I broke the mirror with my fist,

 

Afterwards, I moved towards the sitting room where my wife drank a beer,

“Woo the ghost is coming to kill me right here.”

She shouted and struck me with the whisk broom,

And fled from my sight like a ripe plum,

 

I threw down the mask thinking that it brought the pandemic ghost in my home,

“Take care, nowadays, the face masks are rare to find,

Like the dust of gold.”

The fading mouth roared to me,

 

Later, I shook my head to grasp the reality,

And restore into me the sincerity,

To the best of my own ability,

I wore another mask and got back to my sanity,

GRAVITY UNGRATEFUL

By Mark Blickley.

 

Yes, I am dressed in mourning

Dark clothes for a dark time

Yet I yearn to escape

Pandemic imprisonment

With the germ of an idea

That will allow me to soar

Above my confinement

In an airborne threat

Against complacency and boredom

As I reach up to a blue heaven

That promises social distancing

On a cosmic scale,

But that old bitch gravity

Bears down on me,

Slapping me down

Like a petulant child

Crying out

For what she cannot have,

Slammed back

To a blanketed earth

Of red white and blue.

 

Poet Bio:

Mark Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. His latest book is “Dream Streams”, is a text-based art collaboration with Amy Bassin.

Corona-Shaped

By Babitha Marina Justin

This is the first pandemic since
my birth. Believe me, I know
chickenpox, madness and
herpes — I was afflicted with
typhoid twice – all had vaccines.

This virus has taken the city down
people don’t walk on the streets
without masks, I am terrified if my
father would spit on the roads as
a force of habit and gets arrested.

Meanwhile, the tailoring shops
are shut tight, parlours shuttered,
they have opened community kitchens
in schools, I am almost tempted to
go and work with some strange faces
and socialise at the time of
social distancing.
My days and nights stretch-out
in an endless sleep on the bed-spread
with the Corona print, it blooms like
a lotus in my dreams,
cascades its terror on me,
swims like a jellyfish
on its super slow batwings,

it mushrooms like a cloud
before it goes, Kaboom,
the Big Bang that has buried our love
in your house and mine.

Our glistening love is
lotus-eyed, in a half-open
trance, buried in a corona-shaped
casket called waiting.

 

 

Poet’s Bio:

Babitha Marina Justin is an academic, poet and artist from Kerala, South India. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2018 wose poems have been published in over 20 forums including Chaleur Magazine, Kritya and Journal of Post-Colonial Literature.

Her first poetry collection, “Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills” was published in 2015 by the Writers Workshop in 2015 and the second, “I Cook my Own Feast” was published in 2019.