The poetry in this slim collection tells of the strange days as "lockdown" — in response to the Covid-19 pandemic — took hold in South Africa. It was a time when the government imposed far-reaching restrictions on movement and economic activity.
Some of the poems are reflective while others look closely and empathetically at ways in which we are all affected.
Writing under the pressure of lockdown isn't easy and quite a few writers in South Africa were stricken with writers' block. But this author, fortunately, able to keep writing. In fact, writing became a means of self-care and for processing feelings, allowing Meintjies to confront the range of emotions: uncertainty, anxiety and fear coupled with empathy for the marginalised.
I committed to writing a poem every day for the initial 21-day lockdown period. The poems from that writing exercise are included here, complemented by poems writing in the period after. You can hear an interview with Meintjies on these remarkable poems here: https://iono.fm/e/977738.
"Every one of these poems touched me deeply, speaking the raw truth of being human during this time, trying to survive and comprehend," says radio host Renos Nicos Spanoudes about the poems in this volume.