Waiting for the Plague to Pass Over, by Jane Newberry

Waiting for the Plague to Pass Over
by Jane Newberry

Do not let fear seep beneath the door.
Swaddled by the golden warmth of love
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more

or kneel to kiss the earth upon the floor,
protection paid for with a pair of doves,
do not let fear seep beneath the door.

Ancient rituals steeped in visceral gore
have all been superseded from above,
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more,

yet creeping plague infects both rich and poor –
new rituals, priests with visors, gowns and gloves;
do not let fear seep beneath the door,

and no escape to distant hill or moor
to sanctuaries where tortured souls seek salve;
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more.

Fearful waiting for the jug to pour
blest unction making us immune and tough,
do not let fear seep beneath the door –
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more.

Jane Newberry is a children’s writer yearning to be a grown-up poet. Retirement three years ago brought more time for trying new literary genres. When not restricted by cancer treatment and Lockdown she enjoys a wide range of musical and arts activities and shares her husband’s passion for historic buildings and Celtic Cornwall.

Publications to date:
2008 – A Sackful of Songs (Cramer Music);
2012 – A Sackful of Christmas (Cramer Music);
2018 – poem in anthology, The Possibility of Living – (Poetryspace)
poem shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize;
2019 – Poem in anthology, Dragons of the Prime (The Emma Press);
2019 – Mi-shan shortlisted for Mslexia Novella Prize;
March 2020 – Big Green Crocodile (Otter-Barry Books).

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