Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021: The Park

I would like to go to the park so what is

stopping you can’t make it past the door but

get arrested by some mortal caveat or what if

I mutter in my mask or which is worse

I’m unmasked on a corner cyclists swerving

swearing at me like a moral hazard.


Or I’m ages by the soft drinks on hiatus

cos there isn’t the original just low-cal the

small one barely cheaper than the full-size

or tropical or own-brand which is shit so

I just get a water because otherwise

I’m leaving empty-handed without noticing


the line has moved the punters looking at me

saying maybe this out loud or sotto voce

& the store detective makes a bee-line for me

soaked in sweat & shivering & why wouldn’t he

square up like Mr Proper like they squeeze them

out of tubes & says could I get past you please.


Yes. I would like to go to the park & just

sit there sleeves rolled up & feel the chill frail

pinpricks drifting out of the huge air & hear

the pitter-patter in the leaves the sparrows’

chit-chat of other lives the same different

doesn’t matter I will be as right as rain.

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2021. Used by permission of author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

See the collection

Aidan Casey

Aidan was born in Dublin and studied English and Philosophy at UCD. Since then, he has worked as an English teacher (EFL) in Germany, Spain and Ireland and developed several mobile apps. He has recently returned to writing after a long break and has poems in many online reviews.


A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: "An idea that began as a response to the world shutting down has, joyfully, become a way to invite the whole world in. It has been exciting to see the entries come in from different countries, from marginalised voices, from people of all backgrounds who now know this space belongs to them. My fellow judges and I were struck by the immediacy of experience and commitment to language in the winning entries. It's also good to think that the rest of the entries will continue to be seen as an invaluable record of our times."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2021 playlist