Two for Joy – Isabella Rew

“‘Two For Joy’ is the best sort of political poem; one that is lyrical, aurally pleasing, full of vivid images and precise language, one that allows its allusions and use of the right word in the right place to conjure a mood that’s inextricably linked to the political moment we’re in. This is writing that doesn’t tell the reader what to think or feel but opens up their sense of perception…” – Naush Sabah

I’ve befriended the magpie who perches

On my next-door neighbour’s roof. I watch her

Test the sanitised air with her keen beak.

I feel her rest on my shadow’s shoulder


When I take my daily walk and we greet

The sky together like a long-lost friend.

The clouds swirl in mellowing pinks and blues

Sugared sunbeams that melt unseasonably


Frigid cold. I fear she’ll be petrified,

Turn to sulphurous stone. An omen against

The bubbling sky who sorely broils

With scabs and holes. The poison beneath an

Omnipresent mask we’d rather postpone.

We’ll be so lonely when the world is over.