beyond these walls

hard to sense
beyond these walls
this nation—
an invisibility

seeded by a tiny dragon
threatens a global community
united but carefully separated
so we may not unwittingly
shed the viral nuclei
in breath
by touch
an uncaught sneeze

in spiralling numbers
we grow sick
fill hospitals and morgues
so many grieved
by those who cannot meet
to honour those they mourn

a blessed majority
most of us will make it through
give meaning to their sacrifice

how will we seed a world
where our indices lack acronyms
or bear and bull markets?
where our wealth is not confined
to a dwindling few—
the apocryphal eight in the minibus
who may profit even now

can relentlessness of financial growth
now be seen as cancerous?
unlike the unchecked growth of plants
though finite
it has been curtailed so much of late
we could welcome
exponential growth
in that green realm

and love and creativity?
those limitless capacities
possessed by human beings
we need some deep investment
by entrepreneurs in their billions
with true courage
strong hearts
and very little in their pockets

let’s heed what
the Earth pronounces
on this long-awaited in-breath
she rests grateful if exhausted
no longer circled so persistently
by flying tubes of seekers
destined to keep travelling
until all our needs are sated
the holds filled with goods
we could not live without

she’s feeling the relief
as less whirring wheels
parade her shielded surfaces
their enchanted drivers
lost in the dream of escape
or chained to the daily grind

let’s listen
resting in place
staying at home
closed up
locked down
eyes open
hearts wakeful
as tender and as strong
as midwives to the unknown future
longing to be born

Tanya Coburn



wait, you do not need to move now
wait, you are exactly where you need to be—
and the branch that crashed to earth behind you
and your car which needs repair
and the blisters on your feet
are asking you to wait—
to savour this fresh moment
this instant when something new unfurls
silently within the shelter
of a hidden part of you
you are aware of something
new and numinous
that clings not to the past but says,
you are luminous now
when you risk revealing
more than the shy edge of you,
forgive yourself for all that you are not
and weren’t
and perhaps will never be,
bask in the balm of that acceptance
so you father, mother, cherish
who you are right now—
and now is too short a word
for this long moment

Tanya Coburn