Easter Day: a silent city in lockdown

Drawing of a small city shrouded in silence

Easter Day: a city in lockdown

Our dear little city at 7 am on Easter Day was almost silent. It has  been almost silent all through lockdown so far, but at that moment I could hear nothing. Even the birds were silent.

Soon, the occasional gust of wind. Now, the wind is singing solo.

I’m thinking about Dinah Hawkens’  beautiful poem, “Today.” Poet Dinah Hawken is a voice of calm and wisdom for New Zealand and beyond. This poem offers guidance for a city in lockdown.


It’s a calm day on earth, almost silent.
Only the birds are singing.

Why don’t people go down to the harbour,
stand at the earth’s long breath
and listen?

Dinah Hawken

photo of musical score for NZ poem "Today", music by Felicia Edgecombe. In Shaky Places.

Today: a poem by Dinah Hawken, music by Felicia Edgecombe in Shaky Places: a song cycle of New Zealand voices

7 thoughts on “Easter Day: a silent city in lockdown

  1. Robyn Haynes says:

    I love this poem Rachel. More than any other time is the time to listen to earth’s long breath. If we are allowed out.:)

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m not surprised the poem pleased you: I think Dinah is on your wavelength. We are allowed out for walks within two k. of home, 2meters apart and not in a crowd.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I am glad we aren’t having our walks measured like that. But we are making spaces between us. Happy Easter to your side of the globe from covid-19 central here.

    1. Su Leslie says:

      Lovely poem. We walked a track through the reserve at the end of our street yesterday and found ourselves in largely native bush, with mangroves on one side as we neared the upper Waitemata. We could see the tops of neighbours’ houses, but all we heard was bird-song and cicadas. Absolute bliss.

      1. Rachel McAlpine says:

        And so close to home

      2. Su Leslie says:

        Yes. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I’ve lived here for twenty years and am finding new walks every day now.

      3. Elizabeth says:


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