3 poems by Lucy Whitehead in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Door, Window, Curtain, Glass, Floor

In the week after birth
the gateway between life and death
stands ajar.

A black moth settles
on the thick thermal blinds
of my sweltering hospital room,

where dust gathers like human ash,
clinging to bare soles and
won't be swept up.

In the middle of the wakeful night
conversations pattern the air
like a mosaic;

people move
over the royal blue curtains
that billow like a window

to a secret ocean
pregnant with light.

My baby's eyes are endless,
scrying bowls without edges
unprimed canvases,
infinite indigo sky, 

The gateway pulses
through everything,

to break open
the fabric of the world.

Love is roaring
through my veins.

It shatters me completely.

Pandemic Lullaby

It's too windy for bees today or birds,
the cypress tree's silhouetted branches
are engaged in a creaking dance.
Our old cat stands sentry
among the fuchsia pots
watching over me.

We have been too busy for weeding lately;
blooming hyacinths fight with a canopy of tough green.

There are so many signs of spring
in this late March garden; buds are filling to burst
like hot air balloons or Victorian women with
a breeze up their taffeta skirts.  A child's
shouting voice reaches us over the garden fences.

In supermarkets people fight for fish fingers and
toilet roll: there is not a single bottle of Antibac
in sight. An old lady with what once were icy blue eyes
sprays a sneezing women with disinfectant
from her mobility scooter; a middle aged man glued
to his smart phone mutters about home defense.
People lunch on deck chairs in deserted car parks,
one to a parking space. A cashpoint queue
snakes down the road like a row of stacked dominoes.

The choreography of pandemic is at play:
one in, one out in corner shops. We orbit
each other like binary s tars, distant galaxies.
Everywhere comparisons with the Black Death,
even though the statistics are off; there are
mumblings of apocalypse in saver shops.
The prime minister and the health minister
are sick. All of us locked in a game of chance.

On webcams all over the world, I wander
through ghost towns: the shadow of a seagull
in flight follows a line of palm trees along
Miami's empty seafront; stars and stripes
flutter in an abandoned Fifth Avenue;
only the occasional car moves
among the urgent neon adverts
in Times Square.

At the Western Wall in Jerusalem,
flood-lit people recite prayers at the corners
of invisible two metre wide squares. Overnight,
the world has become organised
according to a different mathematics.

And in your own isolation chamber deep inside me
you wriggle and kick after I eat another strawberry
on the neon pink sun lounger in our windy garden, 
surrounded by all these tightly wound buds,
all this beauty and life
I want you to see.

a printed iris

a blue spread flat in bloodless veins
curled as silk white corners
as a feather caught
in a compass of one dimension

sands glitter the hour glass
suspended like fireflies      diamond
tips of exquisite pins        angel wings
thrust into some nebulous pin cushion

how many petals pulse
the spaces between stars

Bio from 2020

Lucy Whitehead is a disabled poet who writes haiku and free verse. Her work has been published in Amethyst Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Barren Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Broken Spine Artist Collective, Burning House Press, Clover and White Literary Magazine, Coffin Bell, Collective Unrest, Cypress, Electric Moon Magazine, Ghost City Review, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Mookychick Magazine, 3 Moon Magazine, Neon Mariposa Magazine, Parentheses Journal, Pink Plastic House, Pussy Magic, Re-Side, and Twist in Time Literary Magazine and in numerous international haiku journals and anthologies. You can find her on Twitter @blueirispoetry 

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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