On Southampton Sports Centre During Lockdown

By Cathryn McCarthy

This strange April, we watch the daisies rise

on ragged lawns, ignored till it began;

lost traffic jam orphans, bereft of plan,

we jolt awake at solitary cries:

bumblebee’s zip, rattled laugh of magpies;

trembled whirs from blackbird’s wings force human

scrap to invoke childhood wont: to again

watch spring unravel beneath blistered skies.

Caffeine lusts mingle with a keen new need

to hear swift’s shrill yip, spot swallow’s forked cloak,

while flash red woodpecker swipes wifi speed

minds that strain to glimpse first frilled leaf of oak;

fresh breaths amid leaden lungs, may you breed

a love for nature we’ll never revoke.


Inspiration: My piece was inspired by walks in the early weeks of that strange period. Alone, I watched and discovered nature in a manner that both reminded me of my childhood and – given the circumstances – proved fresh and new, not least because many people around me appeared to be going through the same solitary yet uplifting process.


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Image by Klaus Böhm from Pixabay

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