Reading ‘The Waste Land’ Before My Residence Permit Renewal Appointment. A poem by Gerry Stewart

Perched on a dry lip of a rock,
jutting above mud and dog crap.
Dogs fight and drunks shout,
seagulls batter the blue with their cries,
I almost miss the buzz of spring
creeping up on me.

Waiting to be judged,
not wanting but needing to stay,
I focus on birds pulling insects
from the sprouting grass.

Try to forget about the germs,
those I touched getting here,
the particles that ride past in the air,
those awaiting me on the chair,
I burrow further into the sun’s warm slant.

The daffodils, the blue sky, the heat
draws a trickle of walkers
who consider me with wary eyes.
We are drawn to this park
sketched amidst the office buildings,
a few seats and a sprinkling of bulbs.

Someone considered this breath of green,
allowed the unhindered breeze
to find its way through, planned
even the trees with heavy buds, waiting too,
and knew exactly what we would need.


Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. In 2019 she won the ‘Selected or Neglected Collection Competition’ with Hedgehog Poetry Press for her collection Totems, to be published in 2020. Her writing blog can be found at and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *