By R. G. Jodah
Australia Going Viral
You can hear the rumpus rumbling all the way from aisle four
where some heavyweight contenders are arguing the score.
The champ has got a trolley-full, her challenger sod all.
They’re going at it toe-to-toe. The writing’s on the wall
in these End of Days where shopping has become a contact sport
like the footie or the rugger, fisticuffs a first resort.
You wanna buy from Woolies? You best go packing heat
it’s feeding time for Salties in-store, loo rolls are fresh meat.
Still, you gotta love the irony, restricting tissue sales
when on the news there’s bloody reams of sphincter loos’ning tales.
But every ‘death toll rises’; coughs up a comic turn
as the great unwashed all demonstrate how little we have learned.
The temperature’s been spiking, like a fever, getting high,
so who here was surprised to see the lemmings at Bondi?
Or just how quick ScoMo flipped on Saturday’s big game?
First he’s going, then he’s not. It’s different, but the same.
And I don’t mind admitting to be baffled, at a loss,
confused by social distances, and if it’s sneeze then … toss?
… Then … wash?
Am I self-isolated when I lock the dunny door?
3-ply won’t wipe this shit away and Coles ain’t selling 4-.
And yes, I know, I really do, this nut ain’t hard to crack:
do what medics tell you: stay at home, sit down, kick back.
But this year’s been a gut punch, and today they shut the pub.
To drink alone, or not to drink: ay, now there’s the rub.
(An early version first appeared in The Poetry Kit: Poetry in a Plague Year, June 2020)
Bonnie & Clyde (2020)
Captured here by video surveillance
appear in their trademark red hats
in less than an hour
the only ones going unmasked to the bank.
I can hear my neighbours’
breathing. How fast
sound travels. How thin
are the walls of our cells.
(First appeared in Snakeskin 284: May 2021)
R.G. Jodah lives in London and has recently appeared in: PORT (Dunlin Press), Dawntreader, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Alien, Issue Two (Fly on the Wall Press).