Eve of Change

By Ed Davis

All falls down
now that it’s autumn:
leaves, acorns,
kings and kingdoms,
children of God.
Beneath aquamarine sky,
back against oak, over-
looking limestone cliff,
I’m enwombed here
in mid-December, 2020.
Covid autumn’s gone
and we await a new year
with fearful, hopeful heart.
While the planet spins,
we lift one foot,
place it with care,
then the other,
fortunate if we can find
unshifting ground.
Illusions of imminent
delivery from plague
make us more
susceptible to death.
Such fever dreams
need releasing like a child’s
fist clutching a poisoned sweet.
Letting go can be a holy,
necessary thing, healing
in the way of all that grows
in this forest, green remnants
mingling with sienna
where all falls down:
suns and moons,
kings and kingdoms,
children of God.

My work appears in The Poet’s new international Faith anthology (see https://www.thepoetmagazine.org/spring-2021—faith).
My full-length poetry collection, The Time of the Light, was published by Main Street Rag Press in 2014.

At first, I thought I’d keep a pandemic journal—and I did write about it nearly daily for a while; however, I suspect my ruminations would appear banal to me now. Eventually I realized that poetry would be superior to prose in helping me find and distill some essence by finding and focusing on one true thing, since “pandemic” was and is so huge. Though I don’t think I’ve written more than a dozen pandemic poems, I believe they function as proof of what it felt like right then to be living inside this historic phenomenon. Survival was a real unknown, making the writing of each poem feel a little like carving an epitaph on stone. While they detailed real fear, they always held a lot of life, too, even humor. I may look back and say these were some of the most alive poems I ever wrote. I’m sure all writers and artists were damn glad to have a practice to comfort themselves and perhaps others during this fraught period. I am.

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Germina Melius
Germina Melius
7 months ago


7 months ago

I really enjoyed this poem, Ed! I can definitely relate to the feelings of fear going through the pandemic, and then the feelings of hopefulness that we have come through on the other side.

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