Poem | The Time that's in It

In our seclusion is there also peace

No, we do not own our mother sphere,
We, whose role is steward and leasee,
In our greed are still so cavalier
Sundering our own nature’s filigree.

Climates shift and beings all migrate
Shunning warmer parts from which they’ve fled,
Changing how we creatures all relate,
Passing unknown viruses that spread.

Still so much that no one understands:
Will there be more waves? Will it mutate?
Staying far apart and washing hands,
We relearn forbearance and we wait.

Nature shimmies now beyond our ken,
Teaching us humility again.

Disappointments, things postponed, chagrin,
Dreams we must for now at least let go;
It’s what is, no point in living in
Past subjunctives of ‘if it weren’t so.’

How quickly isolation turns to hell –
Troubled, wanting it to end we miss
Moments that we might have savoured well
Conjuring perfections after this.

In our seclusion is there also peace,
Carefreeness of undistracted days,
Liberation from sideshows, release,
Time for being grateful and to praise?

What was and what will be life won’t allow,
Even in confinement our sweet now.

Published in the July / August 2020 issue: 
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Micheal O’Siadhail’s most recent book of poetry is The Five Quintets (Baylor University Press).

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Poem | Conversation with Messiaen

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