Love in the Time of COVID

A Chronicle of a Pandemic


A Recital of Poems – Kirsten Le Harivel, Mary Cresswell, Keith Nunes, Darryl Price & Kirstie McKinnon

Silver darlings circle by Kirsten Le Harivel 

Sleek and slipping, a shimmer, unending.
At the aquarium, this flock
is a whole made of pieces
fish without faces, black-flecked sides
catching against the light.

We skirt around this donut
of perpetual motion. Our voices
animated, fingers pressed
against this cage
of well-buffed glass.


Love among the Dinosaurs by Mary Cresswell

Before I saw you
I felt you coming

Your footprints will last
a million years

To reconstruct you
is surely useless

The damage you did
is stomped in stone.


Perspectives of a pentagonal room by Keith Nunes

image by Keith Nunes

In a pentagonal room
On the cheap hotel’s second floor
Staring at the wall, staring hard,

I hear a sneeze thru the wall,
I imagine a young woman in yellow,
I see the spray, a fine rain, splash across her TV screen,

I run a hand over the embossed wallpaper,
Over my unshaved face,
Feeling the runny glue under the wallpaper,
Tasting it,
Pouring a pail of it over the floor of the pentagonal room,
Laying down wallpaper, floor to floor,
Feeling it with bare feet,

Sitting up in bed in the pentagonal room,
Listening to the toilet cistern tinkling into the pan,
Listening to the tinnitus in my ears,
Wondering about the classifications of torture and

How long before total emotional collapse, and
What that sounds like


Berries in the Kitchen by Darryl Price

I planted these flowers
for you, whoever you
are now, long time ago.
As letters. As signs. As
gracious food. If you need
them, I am you reading

them. If you see them, I
am you, so completely
unawares, figuring
out their more obvious
meaning. If you eat them,
I am you , ravenous,

humbled by wild mushrooms,
wondering which berries
are poisonous, trying
to believe in living.
I planted these flowers,
they are my favorites.

By color. By smell. And
presence. If you notice
them, brushed upon the tall
grasses or sky, I will
be you remembering
how thankful simple things

make you feel. If you breathe
them in, I’m you letting
yourself heal, being glad
to work in the kitchen,
everything you do. If
you feel them, that they are

alive, too, I am you
seeing my smile again.
Isn’t that what you asked
for? I planted flowers
for you, I wanted to
talk to you. To hold you.

Waiting for your ice to
melt. For wind, and letting
go. I’ve never felt old.
To give you words that give
you love. “Put your head on
my shoulder.” I am here.


Paint by Kirstie McKinnon

every day I paint
with water

in the night I dream
I’m a glass funnel
with wind
pouring through me

to the sky

where you are


Mary Cresswell is a poet and science editor. Born in Los Angeles, she moved to New Zealand in 1970. Her poetry has appeared in New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, US and UK literary journals. Recent poetry collections include Fish Notes (Canterbury University Press 2015), Field Notes (Mākaro Press 2017) and Body Politic (The Cuba Press 2020). 

Kirsten Le Harivel is a writer, curator and programmer of creative writing workshops, courses and retreats. Shelter, her debut poetry collection came out in 2021. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast with her family and came to Aotearoa as a teenager from Scotland.


Kirstie McKinnon lives, writes and surfs in East Coast Otago. Her poetry has appeared in Landfall, takahē, the Otago Daily Times and online at She has contributed poetry to, and coordinated the following exhibitions for the digital Cube Space in Dunedin Public Libraries City Library: The Fossils of Foulden Maar: creative responses; Antarctica Poetry; and CUMULUS: photography + poetry.

Keith Nunes (Aotearoa/New Zealand) has had poetry, fiction, haiku and visuals published around the globe. He creates ethereal manifestations because he’s inept at anything practical or useful. 




Darryl Price has published dozens of limited edition chapbooks of poetry, and his poems have appeared in many journals. He is the author of The Ferocious Silence and The Tiger Who Jumped Over the Moon



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