Creative Corona: Day 1

Welcome to the first day of “Creative Corona”, an initiative to highlight the work of the virtual community of writers  associated with the MA in Creative Writing at UCC.  Our first writer up, with two poems,  is the Cork novelist, short story writer and poet, William Wall, who was conferred with a PhD in Creative Writing by UCC in 2019. 

The Virus: Fiumicino Airport, Rome

in the almost empty airport

masked ones wait for doom

they gaze at their phones

like heroes to the oracle

the numbers rising hour by hour

inexorable as a spring tide

some have seen roadblocks

the army waving them down

some have come by train

every traveller masked

how did we get this far

we wash our hands

and wash them again

we have not seen hands so clean

since Pontius Pilate

we touch nothing

friends and acquaintances

greet with polite nods

no hugging no kissing

no holding hands

this is our future

soon we will gaze at the world

through hazmat eyeglass

listen only to our earbuds

the sweet sound of fear

at eighty decibels

(February 26th 2020)


The Ides of March

today is your birthday

and the day dawns bright 

and bird-filled

bullfinches stripping 

early flowers from the plum

a goldfinch’s garish flash

when the rain comes

it falls as soft as ash and is gone

a clearing is coming they say

already the west is lighter


the news continues bad

we message the children

strangers send love

we remake old contacts

and avoid old friends and relatives

on the beach we all wave

but avoid salutation

we turn our face away

in case the spring breeze

carries contagion

(March 15th 2020)

William Wall

TOMORROW:  A short story, “Viral”, by  Eileen O’Donoghue