The Pandemic Commandments. A poem by Tess McKevitt

Soften the tresses of your gut
Do not let isolation make of you a lone scold
Eat from the softness
of your inner ripe fruits
Peeling bit by bit
the outer layers from the surface of your untouched rind
Unearthing the juice
of the living breathing you
A skelf of skin
A strand of hair
A pinch of flesh
A trickle of blood
Pull in the reign of your horns
Do not sharpen their willing shrill with the blade
of your tongue

Instead lick the wounds
of the delicate and weary
Nurture them with the remnants of the savage harvest planted
within you
Brush through the broken ends
and bends of
your pandemic hair
Do not shadow from the luminous light
that awaits you in the ether
Emerge suddenly from your soul
as a mortal flame
Recognise your noble face
upon reflection
the plague has eventually drowned
in the virtual waters
poured from the hands
and hearts of heroes


Tess McKevitt is a published Irish writer and poet based in Westmeath. Her work featured in various catalogues throughout different parts of the globe and she has read her works at various festivals and events across the country. The Oscar Wilde Dublin Festival, The Underground Venue, Dublin, Thomas House Dublin, The Mercantile and Whealans, Electric Picnic and Green Village festival. Tess is currently working on a book with Author/Poet David Mallaghan and they are in the throes of editing and subsequently publishing a book of Poems for Palestine.

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