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Last Orders


This morning I wake to the crocus

of birds in their ancient choir.

The breeze speaking to

the swing of leaves,

a sky that is dappled

blue white waltzing.

The old earth steps

into new beginnings

in the face of shutters

pulled down on all

that we have known.

The pubs, the restaurants,

the clubs where we danced

late into the night

never suspecting the clocks

would be ordered to stop

ticking. Time itself suspended.

Deep in the soil,

the roots stretch into

their concertos of twelve bar blues.

Music mixed in the disco

of petals. The daffodils

open their mouths

to sing of a summer

that is still coming.



© Aoife Mannix

Picture 10580510, photograph by H Abernathy, 20th century,  image copyright Mary Evans / Classicstock



Aoife Mannix is the author of four collections of poetry and a novel. She has been poet in residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company and BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live. She has toured internationally with the British Council including most recently Mexico, Vietnam and Nigeria. She has previously been commissioned to write for National Poetry Day, the BBC World Service, Portsmouth Museum, Brontë Parsonage, Wellcome Collection, National Gallery of Ireland, City of London Sinfonia, and the National Gallery amongst others. She has a PhD in creative writing from Goldsmiths College, University of London.