Two Poems

By Tina Cole

Didn’t there used to be a wall here once?

I put my years into the gathering of stones, ochre, grey, mouse-back brown.
Took foolish delight in the precarious balance of layers in each familiar mosaic and highway. Then this progress of spores, at first innocuous beige-yellow then vivid green. Unease grew as weeks became tiny engines shunting up and back along short tracks returning to stations where they did not re-couple. Lockdown, and all the time the parasite creeping, stone no longer stone. Now new plans are needed, I pack up dirty duvet clouds, take down the dark curtain of sky, fold and discard it along with so many blank diary pages. Golf clubs and dancing shoes retreat to the closet, sheet music that has lost its song is locked in drawers. Future events pass their sell by date, tickets invalid, even the smallest distance becomes a destination. I take to binge watching box sets, want to step out into the light after the film has ended but in this landscape nothing has kept its shape. I dress my heart in heavy wool and cashmere, look to grandmother’s hard backed chairs for re-assurance, press my palm like a quiet vow on the blessing of the nearest wall.

Full Stop

I am a dot on the face
of this page
a white wilderness diary
boxed in by
dates with no purpose
it is new year in May
it is new year in June
the page edges
boundary a redundancy
vast as the Kalahari
framed numbers
tumble into a void
of numberless days
the future
is backed up.
I am a dot
on the retina
of my owner
she who rubbed
out appointments
left me to bagatelle
date boxes
looming long
and listless
I am the full

Tina Cole is a poet, reviewer and leads workshops with both adults and children. In 2020 She won the Yaffle Press Poetry Competition which has led to her second collection, Forged, being published this year. She is currently undertaking a Masters Degree in creative writing at Manchester University.  She is also the organiser of the children’s poetry competition – yppc2019.orgwhich has sadly been stalled by the pandemic, we hope to resume in 2022. 

Full Stop – was a response to finding pages and pages of a usually crammed diary empty!! Which although trivial felt rather shocking at the time.

·Wall – is a rather darker response to the isolation and fears that the pandemic created during the first lockdown. I had this image of moss growing on a wall as a metaphor for the ramifications of all this separation and anxiety. Something silently creeping along and then one day a wall is no longer brick but moss covered. 

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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.

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