Solstice, by Cork poet laureate William Wall 

In the latest of our monthly poems by William Wall, he reflects on the recent equinox in the context of the emergence of a new strain of Covid
Solstice, by Cork poet laureate William Wall 

William Wall, Cork poet laureate. Picture: Denis Minihane


On the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID19

we are drifting
toward the shortest day
down streets crowded
by nightmare
we hide our faces
wash our hands
crying unclean unclean
first light assembles
what we hold to be facts
and daylight sustains
but in the uncertainty
of what was rush hour
on the southern ring road
everything dissolves again

when will it end
in dust we draw the sine
of solstice and equinox
and time passes
after a certain definition
each day shorter than the last
the evening bill of mortality
marks the running out of light
if not for me or you
at least for faith and hope
over the city seagulls loiter
like disillusioned angels
caught in the last light
they believe
better days are coming
but not soon enough 

December 2021

  • William Wall is a poet from Cork, and is serving as the city's first Poet Laureate. An initiative of the Munster Literature Centre that is funded by Cork City Council, Wall's role involves writing a poem every month, giving a personal response to issues in the city and county. The Irish Examiner publishes these poems in the first week of every month, and the works will also be collected into a chapbook to be launched at Cork World Book Festival 2022.

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