At the still point of this turning world
Stood before the great mystery
the poet calls life,
she senses something approaching,
which, as it draws nearer
the poet realises, is the plague.
Thrown into turmoil,
she tries hard to cut and run,
but the plague seizes her.
What is rejected will be poured into us
Take me on your shoulders,
carry me everywhere you go,
I will not infect you
of that I promise,
yet I will destroy the lives of others.
You must not miss a street
or a cul-de-sac, where
people gather, take me there.
Not knowing its name we call it Destiny
The poet refuses
and, with all her strength,
frogmarches the plague
indoors, where she will stay,
locked down, until mid-summer.
Behind the glass door
she knows she must wait
until this bitter season passes.
As we tremble with choices, known & unknown
In self-isolation, as the poet
lifts her pen to meet new life,
she notices her body
reflects the climate catastrophe
taking place in the world.
For her fever, cough and tears
mirror many a raging fire,
drought and devastating flood.
Trusting the death life will bring to us
She dreams of two gluttonous gods
feeding each other,
thriving together, side by side,
both wreaking havoc
on her body and Mother Earth.
With eyes wet with tears
her words wash away,
until the poet writes herself anew.
Earth, my love, we pray for your recovery
In the kitchen garden she plants
seed after seed after seed,
until the deeper Truth takes root
and regeneration arrives
in her quiet, quarantined life.
Formless yet complete,
the world as she knows it
has already gone.
If we do not, this plague will be fated to return
As the plague tries to gain freedom
the poet guards the door,
watching her shadow lengthen
while the dancers of death
threaten to break every window.
Deep in the dark, she recalls
the last family supper
she didn’t realise she was having.
Until we study the dark & learn its language
In grief she opens a window
to share her poem with the world,
yet, as the light rushes in,
the plague nails her to the door
and crowns her in thorns.
The old ways have broken down,
her resurrection will come
but first, the gathering of bones.
Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2020
(My italicized lines can be read as a
poem within a poem or extra verse).