Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #15

The stalled quilt project.

All of New Zealand south of Auckland is now at alert level 3. To most of the rest of the world, level 3 is simply “lockdown”, but to us it represents an important easing of restrictions. Just like level 4, we have to stay in our bubbles, work from home, and not travel, but in level 3 we’re allowed to sell and purchase items that aren’t food or medicine, provided we can do it online and have contactless delivery or pickup.

I was terribly smug at the start of this lockdown, knowing I had a quilting project underway, for which I had all the supplies I needed. On day 1 of lockdown, I spread out the top, batting and backing, only to discover I was 14 cm short on batting. Horrors!

I’ve spent lockdown making do with other craft projects—things I never particularly intended to make, but had the supplies for. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to finally be able to order that narrow strip of batting I need for my quilt.

We go! We go
To level three—
A lot like level four.
But it’s nice to
Click and collect
From your favourite store.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #13

I’m not fond of acrostics in general, but in my exploration of different poetry forms this lockdown I’ve written one for today—the 13th day in lockdown.

Like aircraft we manoeuvre
Out of the way of oblivious
Children and dogs
Keeping our
Distance, even
Waving to

Doing our part to
Yet another
1. We don’t need a
3rd lockdown.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #12

Another day, another … day. The good news is I’ve gotten work done in the garden around the rain we’ve had the past few days. I cracked open the compost pile, and the final product is excellent—always like Christmas when you discover you’ve got six cubic metres of compost to play with!

Unfortunately, it looks like the rain is going to hang around for a few more days, so any more work out there may have to wait.

Rain, rain, go away
So we can go out and play.
Covid’s got us stuck at home.
Lockdown means we cannot roam.
Because we’re tired of being lazy
Rainy weather makes us crazy.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #11

Had my second Covid vaccination on Thursday. After 20 hours of fever, I’m finally feeling better, and am pleased to be fully vaccinated. Today’s very short poem reflects my complete inability to focus or do anything of substance yesterday.

We wait upon the daily briefing
Listen for the count
Hope the numbers decrease further
So we can go out.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #10

Happy National Poetry Day to all my Kiwi friends!

If we weren’t in lockdown, I would have done some poetry with my students this week. But they’ve been about as interested in schoolwork as I have during the past week. For today’s poem, I imagined the educational tasks their parents were setting them.

School today
Will be held outdoors
Beginning as soon as
You finish your chores.

For maths you’ll measure
How far you can throw
A three kilo rock.
It’s not easy, you know.

The bees will be
Your new science teachers.
They’ll teach about flowers
And six-legged creatures.

PE will consist of
Cartwheels and rolls,
Wrestling the dog,
And digging deep holes.

And writing?
Let’s just forget about that.
Instead you’ll go hunt
For mice with the cat.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #9

Today’s poem is a bop. The rules for a bop are intriguing:

Stanza 1: 6 lines long, introduces a problem.
Stanza 2: 8 lines long, elaborates on the problem.
Stanza 3: 6 lines long, solves (or describes a failed solution to) the problem.
After each stanza is a 1-line refrain.
There are no requirements of line length, rhyme or rhythm. Just enough structure to inspire.

I zone out as
the meeting drags on.
Someone’s turned their
video off, someone’s left
their audio on.
The awkward online dance.

The sun shines brighter outside.

Would anyone notice
if I stepped out
to water the plants,
feed the cat
weed the garden?
Would anyone care?
Would they envy
my boldness?

The sun shines brighter outside.

Video off, audio on mute
I tiptoe out,
giggling as I go.
The air is warm.
Flowers nod their greeting
as I reach for the garden gloves.

The sun shines brighter outside.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 Edition, #8

pansies in a pot

Another glorious spring-like day today. I suspect it will require me to spend the afternoon in the garden again. If I’m not careful I’ll get ahead of schedule for my springtime prep. Or maybe I just won’t end up behind schedule like usual. 

The garden is weeded and clean.
We’ve read all the books we can borrow.
We’ve polished the floors to a sheen.
Now what will we do tomorrow?

Pandemic Poetry–2021 edition, #7

Yesterday’s accomplishment–a relatively weed-free winter garden.

This poem was inspired by how little writing I got done yesterday. The weather was so beautiful, the day required three walks and four hours working in the garden. The garden’s looking great, but I do need to try to focus more today.

Hot Desking at Home

Who gets the desk?
The dining room table?
I’ll take a window whenever I’m able.

Who’s got a meeting
And needs a closed door?
Maybe I can work here on the floor.

Who’s making coffee
At quarter to nine?
I’d like milk and sugar in mine.

Who’s going out
For a short walk?
I’ll come along, we’ll have a nice talk.

Who’s having lunch
Just before noon?
I’ll finish this meeting and be there soon.

Who took their laptop
Out in the sun?
A few more pages and then I’ll be done.

Who’s gotten nothing
Accomplished all day?
I thought we’d do better working this way.

Pandemic Poetry–2021 edition, #6

It’s a gorgeous day here. I intend to take full advantage of lockdown and spend my afternoon in the garden. 

I thought I’d play around with different poetry styles this week, since Friday is National Poetry Day. Today’s is a Dansa. The Dansa structure: the first stanza is 5 lines, with the last line a repeat of line 1, and the rhyme pattern AbbaA; subsequent stanzas are 4-lines long, with the first line repeated as the last line of each stanza, with the rhyme sequence bbaA. 

Work together by staying apart.
Free from our bubbles for nearly a year
Spared the worry, sickness and fear
That gripped the world right from the start
Work together by staying apart.

Vaccinate is what we must do
Because this thing is more than the flu.
Protect the ones dear to your heart.
Work together by staying apart.

Wear a mask whenever you’re out.
Stay home if you can, and please don’t flout
The rules, ‘cause they’ll work if we all do our part.
Work together by staying apart.

Have fun with your bubble
Though the kids give you trouble.
Bake a cake, some bread, or a tart.
Work together by staying apart.

Walk the dog, play a game
Read a book, try to tame

A pet dragon, throw a ball or some darts.
Work together by staying apart.