Arts & Culture - Poetry

2007 - 2022

But for the Lockdown …

A COVID-19 love poem by Jim Monaghan

We would be drinking sweet hot drinks in the tearooms of the Central Mosque in Paris, birds flittering and whispering above.
I would be stirring while staring at my cup as you breathlessly relate the catalogue of calamities that got you from home to here.

We would be watching rain running down a window in a room at The Portpatrick Hotel, we would have run out of things to say.
I would suggest that we go to the hotel bar. You would reluctantly agree, you would know it wasn’t a good idea, but it’ll get us through the night.

We would be looking at antiques with no intention of buying, in a shabby shop at Fells Point in Baltimore.
The shop owner and I would be laughing as you burst into a spontaneous pogo when Sheena Is A Punk Rocker came on the radio.

You would be telling one of your stories, audience enthralled, while I eyed the buffet with trepidation on a tourist boat off Capetown.
I would be thinking of how much you love stories and wishing that you realised how good you were at telling them.

We would be dancing at the Leadmill in Sheffield to a song by a posh English girl singing about the kids in America.
I would be laughing because you were laughing, later we would watch some band that you like and I pretend to like because you like them.

I would be watching silverback surfers slide on water as the sun rose over the Med and lit what used to be the harbour at Barceloneta.
You would be waking soon, so I would get coffees and pastries to take back to the draughty tiled apartment.

We would be right here, in this tenement flat, looking on to another tenement flat. I would be making soup, and singing.
You would be writing something important, which would be much much easier if I would just stop singing. But for the lockdown – We would be happy.



Jim Monaghan is a performance poet and activist based in Govanhill in Glasgow’s Southside. A veteran of the Scottish spoken words scene, Jim’s book “Cumnock and Other Places” is set to be re-published in the summer with additional poems.

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  1. Morag Williams says:

    Great poem.

    I’m so sorry that you and so many of us are facing these dire times.

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