Poetry Shelf Monday poem: Paula Green’s Covid blues

Covid blues

It’s 4 am and Ella is singing

summertime on National Radio

and I could tell you about a broken

heart and our dead cat and body life

breaking down in pain

or the rain pounding on the roof

in the humid dark

or the way I am counting years

or last night’s birthday paella steeped in saffron and paprika

or the way loneliness can rise in gut-kicking waves

or you feel you have dissolved

in the water tank or an extravagant bath

lemongrass and majoram salted

or the plot of Rajorshi Chakraborti’s novel

or the nostalgic music we picked for the boom

as we birthday ate and sang and danced

but I want to tell you how I went

garden crazy in the first and second lockdowns

and how the garden is a gushing glut

of tomatoes beans zuchinis pumpkins herbs

the vines and tendrils knotting together

like wildfire like verbs nouns semicolons

in a poem because I never went to poetry school

and learnt straight lines and golden rules and

how yesterday I was piling warm earth on tomato roots

snipping off dead leaves feeling for the potatoes

but here I am listening to Eva Radich make her picks

wanting to pile steaming earth

on the exposed roots of this poem

because it’s 4 am and I keep repeating

myself and tying up in garden knots

It’s 4 am and the Cuban trumpet is knotting up

the Cuban piano and the Cuban trumpet is aching

for a world where we are all fed and we

are all warm and much loved and the tyrant is impeached

because crossing the party line is human good

and where we can pack the car and head north

to the booked bach for our first family holiday

in summers, and peace and kindness and wonder

are the words we picked as we passed

the birthday cake and candle glowing in the dark

Paula Green

4 thoughts on “Poetry Shelf Monday poem: Paula Green’s Covid blues

  1. Christine Rush

    Thank you for all that you do. Poetry is for everyone, for all times. I read all your posts and share some of those poems with my students. Take care



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