Creative Corona: Day 20

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Alison McCrossan graduated earlier this year with an MA in Creative Writing, The imperative mood in her poem echoes the admonishing tone of much of our public communication during this crisis, while in a poem dedicated to Alison, her classmate, Irene Halpin Long, anticipates returning to simple rituals when the danger of COVID-19 has passed.  


May The Bells Sound, Spring 2020


There are holes in the streets but no funeral bells sound.

The imagined clips,  the rattle out of sight.

Shut the windows, lock the  doors, lest darkness saunter round.


His name is viral, embedded in every social site, one of a kind.

He’s driven to infect your society, with no regard for plight.

There are holes in the streets but no funeral bells sound.


He’s a modern myth, ego of a single cell organism, bound

to his mission of riding, host to host, until he comes upon your light.

Blacken your windows, lock your doors, lest darkness saunter round.


He’s suffocating old stars, the sick and the frail, as you surround

yourself with solitude; his strength lies in your need to interact.

There are holes in the streets and no funeral bells sound.


For every heart he nulls; every hole for every soul, it’s time to mound

an edifice, taller and taller, mind by mind, soul by soul, lighten his impact.

Check your windows, check your doors, lest darkness saunter round.


He’ll shoulder your faith for a vulnerable thought, blood lusting hound,

but hold on tight, keep looking to the sun, strike this pact:

while there are holes in the streets and no funeral bells sound,

open your windows, look to the sky, lest darkness saunter round.


Alison McCrossan


Let the chips fall where they may 

  for Alison McCrossan


Some day soon, our asphalt car park will feel

the weight of bald tyres, unwaxed upper lips,

giggle pocked bellies, grumbling for a hit


of hand-cut chips, doused in salt, vinegar,

folded in a paper parcel, cans of pop

and pots of curry sauce standing sentry


on the counter as we argue; “I’ll pay!”

“No ya feckin’ won’t! It’s my turn this time!”

Fingers racing to find the right change first.


You carry the cans. I carry the chips

back to the car, offering our bounty

to the dashboard. Heat fogs the windscreen window.


Seats pushed back, we set the world to rights. Chips

hop from unfurled paper to brazen mouths,

cooled by slurps of fizz and safe silences.


Irene Halpin Long

TOMORROW: “And I’m Thinking” – an essay by Conal Creedon