Writers’ Bloc member Zarah is a third-year English and Creative Writing student. This poem was written in response to the loneliness and boredom experienced during lockdown

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Zarah A – ‘The Summer of Sitting Ducks’


Go fly a paper plane across the streakless sky –

It’s gone over the bloody fence again!

Drift back to the living room,

Lonely as a cloud.


Go teach your little fish that even without a school,

It remains multiple, the plural of itself,

No, it’s definitely not ‘fishes.’

Yes, I’m sure.


Go recreate the Battle of Amiens in a bowl of beans,

Wonder why they compare this with war –

But, of course,

Nothing happens.


Go lick the iPad screen just to taste nearness,

The sweet saltiness of long-distance longing –

I wish you wouldn’t lie and say you were alright –

The bye-bye bitter aftertaste of the hang up.


Go read Angelou to your latest pigeon friend,

Statue-still on the fence, in need of a wordsmith wonder woman

To break the spell – like that – watch her

Rise and rise and rise.


Go write a poem about your day,

Fill it with little fish, baked beans, loved ones,

Fleeting flickers when you feel most alive.

In your newfound homebound existence, you look around and ask:


What next? What about tomorrow?


But tomorrow comes as it always does, a snail crawl

Towards ‘it’s finally over,’ and you, that ever-persistent fly

Flinging against an invisible force field,

Will find yourself


Suddenly free.


Check out the first of the series here:

Redbrick x Writers’ Bloc: Andromeda

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