Two Poems

By Neil Clarkson

Another parcel delivery

It’s quiet as a church yard outside,
pre-pandemic shouting has stopped,
motorbikes glide like silver swans.

I fall asleep in my
hamster hibernation bed,
then wake under a pile of parcels.

I struggle with the thick brown tape,
the jumble of numbers, letters
that snake round all four sides.

I open the front door and
what falls is an avalanche
of polystyrene pieces
like squeaky quavers, like seashells.

I go back in, rub my eyes,
pull back a piece of curtain,
let in a glint.
There they are waiting for me:
UK Mail, UPS, Fedex, City Sprint.

Spring 2020

It’s wet round the base of the waste pipe
though it hasn’t rained for six weeks.

I spotted a deer in the local urban woods,
that is, in the wood within the wood.

Cranes have made a comeback:
stepping through the grumbling algae in the still lake.

Inside, the cracks in the ceiling
are exercising with confidence.

The door keys are
not self-isolating.

The dog can’t decide what diseases
It can be bothered to carry.

I hear from a grandmother shedding tears:
she can’t hug what she safeguarded in the womb.

Win a war for the first time by sitting on the sofa:
except it’s not a war.

Before reaching for the
light switch before bed

gently pull down the single
open eye lid

of the dozing dog.
The eyelid pings straight back up like a spring.

I’m a poet from the poetry capital of the North – Huddersfield. My debut collection, Build You Again from Wood, was published in 2017 by Calder Valley Poetry

Spring 2020 was about the anxiety that the lockdown and covid brought out in me and many others (and still does) and about how seemingly small things can be amplified into big ones. 

‘Another Parcel Delivery’ was inspired by the seemingly endless delivery of parcels to my own and neighbours houses during lockdown which led to a fantasy of being overwhelmed by boxes piling up in the house.

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stephanie Bowgett
Stephanie Bowgett
3 years ago

Brilliant, Neil

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x