By Jasmine Clarke
Staring through the window pain
the howling rage of relentless rain
makes me wonder:
Is it so bad in the safe and warm
when outside is a virus,
an invisible storm?
Then familiar walls become restrictive
safety bores and time’s vindictive
These confined days are a potent mix
of ebbs and flows and intense drift
Not falling, not flying
not drowning, not swimming
not starting, not stopping
I wrote this attempt of a poem at a time I believed to be somewhere near the end of lockdown, but in reality this desperation for an outlet was penned only a few months into our collective, and yet entirely singular isolation.
I was drowning in the all too familiar feelings of anxiety, loneliness and the early imprint of a lengthening sadness that everyone I knew was complaining about online.
My own complaints were voiced through various iterations of writing. They were private: starting out as abstract thoughts and feelings which I took from my head to the page in an attempt to understand what was happening.
In this particular poem, for example, I found myself questioning my own distress and the inconsequential stagnation of my personal life. Every time the weather turned torrential I was reminded of that barrier to the outside world, of my removal from it and thus from the danger of being caught in the rain.
But rain can hurl itself at the window and seep through the cracks in the wall and drip down onto the kitchen floor. Whatever degrees of separation there may be between the individual and the storm, when it rains outside it always rains inside too.