Photo by Matthew Walsh

‘Poetry For Staying Home’ is a collection of poems by local writers that will be updated regularly as we continue adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of the lock down. These poems will capture the feelings and experiences of those who are at home much more than usual. If you are a poet who would like to submit to this collection send an e-mail to

Poetry For Staying Home

House no. 11

By Lauren Kerr

I stay at home, in my 11th house,
and I think I’ve never made so much coffee.
Is it to feel awake?
It reminds me of a wake and
when Dettol rules the air it is
time I no longer want
and it fumbles me,
into a distant thought and as I stir coffee
into a chipped ‘best auntie’ mug, 
I remember how for three years,
I made my coffee
the way you taught me –
boiling milk instead of water.

After you were gone
I slept in our tent in my room
for I don’t know how long,
until mummy realised what I was doing.
She didn’t know
that on a sunny afternoon we’d
set up our tent, and sleep.
You taught me that when I get into the sea
I should keep my socks on, that way
the sand will not stick to your feet
and if you sleep upside down –
nightmares are obsolete.

I boil water now, instead of milk,
and the tent has since been left
behind at another home.
I will think about this, later, while lying
in my 18th bed, trying to get comfortable.
But I will keep having that recurring nightmare –
that when I get into the sea,
my sock catches a rock and I fall and I drown.
Even when I sleep upside down.

Showering to fend off a panic attack

By H.R. Gibs

Silence the speaker, turn that music off. 

The great metallic dial gleams silver and I can see my face.

In the warm dark, the white noise of my thoughts

Spark static and bend indoor raindrops sideways

I stopped looking at you a while ago, but please

Embrace me now, Great King of Slime.

Quick! Pelt your tiny arrows at my milken body 

Till I tingle in new mottled red.

Hold my anchor hand. Let me grow gills and fins.

Hide my last legs or lather me up till I froth

And maybe I’ll grow new ones.

I’ll still slip on the bathroom tiles on my way out.


By Dáire Carson

it’s stuffy.

the dust hands in heavenly sunbeams

and the heat radiates out of my head.

do you remember that time at the beach?

time is ticking too slowly or too fast,

there is no in-between.

is creativity dead or heightened?

or both.


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