Return to earth 2020 and A Different Event. Two poems by Jacinta McParland

Return to earth 2020

(Inspired by astronauts’ setting foot on Earth, for the first time since the Corona pandemic)

Over 200 days gone from planet blue,
The travellers return, a bewildered crew,
Their home in space seemed less bizarre,
Than this new world, they had viewed from afar,

Many miles up, earth clear in sight,
They observed no signs of its pandemic plight,
Though remotely aware of the crisis below,
Nothing could prepare them for the upcoming show,

Greeted by humans with alien masks,
An air of fear to their familiar tasks,
Almost as if, the team veered off course,
And found themselves on Mars under an alien force,

With 7 months’ absent, their dearest they did miss.
But embraces refused, no hug nor kiss,
Instead more rigid post-landing chores,
Isolation known well, but not on these shores,

The airport is still, with its fleets all around,
What once flew rich, now stand poor on the ground,
No passenger frenzy, a dead passport control,
This invisible force has indeed taken its toll,

The vehicle-less roads, there were more in space,
What has become of the human race,
Few souls in sight, to their stations they are grounded,
Our world’s greatest conquerors, for once stand dumbfounded,

The playgrounds lifeless, where little legs have been,
Now enveloped in red tape, baring a major crime scene,
The school bus abandoned no cargo to ferry,
No thumps of school bags, no voices so merry

The concert, the party, the “Happy Hour” drink,
Have been wiped out completely, by a meteor, one would think,
Basic social contact now measured in feet,
Zombie-like humans wait distanced in the street,

But the hospital, the despair, the loss of life,
One could never envision these scenes of strife,
Signs of community prevail throughout,
Humankind the saviour, no reason to doubt.

The strange new ritual now occurring at night,
People clap in unison for the health workers’ fight
And the humble science expert, once quiet and unassuming,
Flourishes overnight, and a media star starts blooming,

The car factories repurposed for the breathing machine,
Cleaners at risk to keep everything clean,
Old habits reborn like the baking of bread,
The flour mill revived to keep families fed,

The female leader, in this male-dominated age,
Stands powerful and inspiring, her instinct her gage,
Politicians are tested, the weakest on trial,
The deserved outshine, others crippled in denial,

The animals have returned to their original homes,
The lion basks freely and unperturbed it roams,
Venitian canals once congested in gloom,
Have welcomed back dolphins with the absent tourist boom,

A lot you have gone through since we departed dear friend,
The loss of life, you have a lot to mend,
Some transformations though seem for the best,
Your occupants, your caretakers have been put to the test…

A Different Event

The bride to be, a bag of nerves,
A frenzied mess over mains and hors d’oeuvres,
Learns on the news our terrible fate,
And sets about postponing her wedding date,

The birthday girl all set for her day,
Months of excitement, it’s here “hurray”!!!!
Disappointment, dismay and a tear-stained face,
When the news is broken that it will not take place.

It’s now a new norm that events don’t occur,
And how they once were now seems like a blur,
The wedding party reduced to three,
And birthday invites just for family,

The Sunday service once a crowded scene,
Now a solo speaker relayed on a screen,
The renowned Irish wake, with mourners in mass,
A handful only get granted a pass,

Fertility treatments, only the fortunate enrolled,
Deemed as non urgent and hence put on hold,
Couples’ dreams for the moment denied,
An extension in yearning for their miracle child,

The hairdressing process a luxury in itself,
Now a risky game in terms of health,
Performed at home with a DIY aid,
Or left to nature to reveal one’s true shade,

The weekly shop where we took our time,
An uncomfortable experience and much standing in line,
Our restaurant cuisine now in the form of “to go”,
Whilst ghost sit at tables enjoying the show,

Will things go back to how they used to be?
Or this is a new form of normality?
Will our lives intertwine only from a range,
Will our chaos from the past one day seem strange??

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