Today’s brief was to write a poem about a specific place. I’ve chosen my local park, which is on my road, but it’s more of a comment on what the park is currently like due to self-isolation/quarantine. Without intending to, I found that I’d written the first verse with an interesting rhyme scheme of abaca, with the fifth line being only two syllables long, so I decided to make that a feature of each verse – okay, I cheated a little by taking two of the syllables from line 5 in verses 2 and 3 and adding them onto line 4, thereby altering my nice 8 syllable rhythm into a more jarring 10 syllable one instead – and then I thought, Why not? I’ll say it’s symbolic of how unsettled we all feel in this current situation. Finally, my two line epigram at the end is a rhyming couplet where, again, I cheated, using the American term ‘fall’ instead of ‘autumn’ to fit the rhyme – I felt the rhyme was important because it makes the poem end on an almost banal note.
Overall, I hope this poem conveys not just a few impressions of the changed landscape of the park but the general unease and discomfort of a world struggling to comprehend how life is currently distorted.
Beds of wilting crocus lie
abandoned due to Covid scares –
“Surely that should be croci?”
a helpful voice now interjects.
Along the road, just fifty feet
or more, the park of Cotteridge
abandoned lies. Nor warmth nor heat
can tempt outdoors the residents of this
Abandoned lie the swings, the slide;
the benches too are now bereft
of chatting parents; far and wide
the void spreads out almost as if someone
A graveyard quiet descends on all:
will isolation last ’til fall?