Harry’s pager went off`: “Here we go again. Car still wouldn’t start. I’d rather hoped the leprechauns might have magically fixed it while I wrote poems.”

What lockdown? Yesterday, I was in Shannon, Florida and Reykjavik (which I couldn’t spell until now). It’s all Zoom, Zoom, Zoom these days.

In yesterday’s Zoom poetry class I attempted to try and write a poem that doesn’t rhyme. Apparently rhyming hasn’t been fashionable since the Victorian era, so I was told. I disagree, having always considered hip-hop poetry.

Anyway, I must be missing something because I just can’t get my heathen, hip-hoppity head around it.

I could break a line
and poems I would make.

In fact, the author/poet who gave a talk on his work said he once read out prose from his book at a poetry festival just to see if anyone would notice. None of the literary buffs in attendance did. So, I had to ask:

“What exactly is a poem?”

“I don’t actually know?” he replied.

No wonder,
I thought,
Poets make
no money.

Ah well – lockdown is going to be extended. We all know it. It’s been all but admitted – it’s nice to be let in on Government secrets. It must have been someone’s fault and it wasn’t me. Admit it – which one of you broke the 2km?

Anyway, it means they are going to have to keep handing out free money. Which means we can all become poets. According to said author, “It’s going to be important to document this crisis.”

Imagine being the Wilfred Owen’s or Seigfreid Sassoons (leading British poets from the First World War) of the 21st century! Like them, we live in unusual times and have plenty of time to write.

Not quite the same though is it? For a start, they had something to write about. And they, at least, went to the effort of making it rhyme.

(Read Wilfred Owen’s ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ here).

Imagine: By 1918 they were mostly the same age as this generation of lost youth who face the horrors of the Leaving Cert in July.

Poor old Wilfred got killed in the last week of the war. By that stage they knew the armistice had been agreed. The only reason they were firing at each other was to use up their ammo so they didn’t have to carry it home. I’m not making that up.

It’s like a thing that would happen to me. I’ll probably die of a cheese induced cardiac arrest the day Leo announces Ireland has made peace with the virus. At least, I wouldn’t be around for all the inevitable Covid anthologies.

Can you imagine how bloomin’ boring Covid poetry is going to be?

I sat on my ass and watched Netflix and smoked cigarettes.
And went to the fridge and ate some more cheese.
And went on Facebook and got pissed off.
by people posting garden pictures.
I am so bored of lie-ins (not).
And so traumatised.
I’m missing


I hate.

Is there a poetry option in the Leaving Cert? How could you fail?

[Ed – Harry was musing on all this when his pager went off].

It was 2.57 am. I came to. I thought, for a split second, should I pretend I didn’t hear it?

Then my heart made an extra large beat as it does when the call sounds and the adrenaline flooded my system. Someone needs help.

Out the door – here we go again.

Car still wouldn’t start. I’d rather hoped the leprechauns might have magically fixed it while I wrote poems. They didn’t.

Run – bunker gear – fire engine – fire.