A World Defined by Covid

Rain gushed from heavens
thunder, lightning
pandemic hell turned purgatory.
Boxed in by walls. Boxed in by zoom boxes.

Snows came, windows frosted shut.
Our spirits glazed as seasons passed
seen from shuttered window panes.
Cities crawled. Inequities laid bare.

Sparse masked figures hurried to tasks,
six feet apart. A grave distance indeed.
Hope impossible to grasp by stifled hands.
Optimists whispered. Hang on, hang on . . .

. . .after all, tomorrow is another day.
But optimists were far and few between.
Tomorrow is another day wore thin
because it never was.

Addendum. Recovery.
Release for those us who survived.
Smiles visible but leery. Freedom, sort of,
for far too many to openly grieve.

Freedom for the privileged
while far too many across the globe
still parched, still weary
still covid devastated . . .

. . . another day . . .
still impossibly too far away.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Mish asks us to consider lines made famous by movies. She provides many for us and asks us to include one of them in a poem.
I’ve chosen “After all, tomorrow is another day.” from Gone with the Wind, 1932.

39 thoughts on “A World Defined by Covid

  1. kim881 May 25, 2021 / 3:37 pm

    I wondered who would choose the ‘Gone with the Wind’ quote, Lill, and it was you! Let’s hope Covid will soon be gone that way. The line ‘pandemic hell turned purgatory’ sums it up well. I know that feeling of being boxed in by walls, with glazed spirits, and yes, tomorrow is another day did wear thin.
    I feel the sentiment in your poem, especially as my son-in-law has been in hospital since Sunday with a collapsed lung. They’ve tried re-inflating but there is a leak they can’t fix, and he may need surgery. I’m waiting to hear from Ellen, but she can’t visit due to Covid, so she is also waiting to hear from the hospital. She is so worried, as when she last called him, he was in so much pain he couldn’t speak. He is nowhere near the Covid ward, but she’s worried it will get him – he’s only recently had his first jab.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian May 25, 2021 / 3:54 pm

      Oh Kim…..I am so sorry to hear about your son-in-law….how absolutely frightening for your daughter and your entire family. I know you were planning to visit them….I hope you can still do that as you would provide emotional support for Ellen for sure. Being in any ward or section of a hospital these days is frightening. I shall add you all to my prayers this evening – and if you don’t necessarily believe in prayers, think of it as sending positive vibes across the pone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 May 26, 2021 / 2:01 am

        Thank you so much, Lill. It’s 6.30 am over here and your prayers have lifted my heart. I should hear from Ellen at about 8.15, before she takes Lucas to nursery. Yesterday evening, she still had no idea of what was happening, just that he had a needle through his chest because they couldn’t stop the leak in his lung. It’s so hard for her to get her head around as she can’t speak to the nurses or doctors, she can only hear back what they’ve told Steve, and most of the time he’s so breathless and in so much pain, he can’t speak, She doesn’t even know why it has happened. Depending on when he gets out, I may go earlier or a ,little later than planned.

        Like

    • msjadeli May 25, 2021 / 5:44 pm

      Oh Kim, my heart goes out to your son-in-law the pain of a collapsed lung 😦 Please keep us posted on how he’s doing will you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 May 26, 2021 / 1:51 am

        Thank you so much, Lisa. He hasn’t been allowed home yet so there is still a chance of surgery, which may affect when I visit. I’ll be speaking to Ellen around 8.15 am our time, when I hope she will have more news. Luckily, Ellen’s friend is registrar at the hospital and she has been looking in on him and taking him food and drink he likes. But he has been in a lot of pain, with a needle through his chest.
        Btw I’ve been nominated, along with about twelve other poets, for Publication (poem) of the Month. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli May 26, 2021 / 11:48 am

        Kim, the “needle” in his chest sounds like a source of constant suffering. Healing to him to have it removed with no surgery needed. It’s so good Ellen knows a friend there that can watch over him ❤

        Congratulations on the nomination, Kim! Is Spillwords a place to post poetry? I thought it was a book selling site?

        Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli May 26, 2021 / 11:54 am

        OK I just went there and I see the voting. I tried to link with WP but it ended up locking me out. I will create an account and vote for you when they let me back in. Big doings, Kim. Congratulations!

        Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 May 26, 2021 / 1:21 pm

        Thank you, Lisa. I had a similar problem and I have an account with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli May 26, 2021 / 4:36 pm

        I just created an account (Jade Li) with Li as my handle — and voted!

        Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 May 27, 2021 / 1:54 am

        Thank you so much, Lisa! I still can’t get in. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli May 27, 2021 / 11:47 am

        You’re welcome. You already have an account and can’t get in? That is a big problem for you and for the site when its account holders can’t access the site.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 May 27, 2021 / 1:06 pm

        I finally managed to get in via WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sanaarizvi May 25, 2021 / 3:42 pm

    This is absolutely stellar writing, Lillian. I had a feeling you would choose this quote 💝 and you have done it more than justice here. The phrase; “pandemic hell turned purgatory,” sums up the feeling perfectly.. it has been nothing short of a nightmare.. so many lives lost..but l too hope that we will soon be rid of Covid.. and the world will return to normalcy again. *Hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian May 25, 2021 / 3:57 pm

      Dearest Sanaa…..I’ve been in touch with two colleagues from India. One was put in hospital and had to fight to get in. At that point he wrote to me “it’s in God’s hands.” I was so relieved to hear from him again last week that he is now home with medication and resting and is doing much better…and that his wife and children who also had Covid, had much milder cases and are recovering. My other colleague in India is healthy as are his wife and twin daughters….but he lost his mother-in-law and father-in-law within 20 days of each other to Covid. I pray for things to improve in India and other countries. Stay healthy my friend!

      Like

  3. Ingrid May 25, 2021 / 3:46 pm

    You really tell it like it is here Lillian ‘Freedom, sort of’ – we’ve gone from red to green to amber and back again. But we are the lucky ones who can piece our lives together. Too many have been left behind and I think we’ll be wearing the scars for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2021 / 4:00 pm

      I absolutely agree. This insidious pandemic has scarred so many: children who’ve lost a year of in-person school, socialization, and perhaps parents, uncles and grandparents; those who’ve lost a loved one to Covid and in many cases, could only say goodbye over FaceTime. People who’ve lost jobs, incomes, homes. The scope of the ripple from this pandemic was and is still vast. Stay healthy, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ingrid May 25, 2021 / 4:01 pm

        Saying goodbye over FaceTime must be heartbreaking. Stay well yourself Lillian 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beverly Crawford May 25, 2021 / 4:27 pm

    While we seem to be conquering Covid, there are those who are still suffering dreadfully. Healing thoughts going to India, specifically.

    Like

  5. Mish May 25, 2021 / 5:16 pm

    An accurate summary of the pain, the isolation and devastating loss that Covid has created. I especially was drawn to these lines…..
    “Our spirits glazed as seasons passed
    seen from shuttered window panes.
    Cities crawled. Inequities laid bare.’

    As we have navigated through this with different approaches and opinions worldwide, I’m thankful that you have taken the right approach for your safety, Lil. Some things have been very hard to watch from where I sit here in Canada. We are tapping our foot for more vaccines to shorten the gap between our first dose and the next, while at the same time, vaccines are being thrown out in the U.S. Thankfully the light is growing brighter and this virus will no longer define our lives.

    Like

  6. msjadeli May 25, 2021 / 5:46 pm

    This is where America needs to step up an help neighbors in need. I’ve read so many reports of unused vaccines here when people are dying to get them elsewhere. I hope at some point covid poems can be gathered into an anthology. This is one I’d like to see in it.

    Like

  7. revivedwriter May 25, 2021 / 5:51 pm

    I like this a lot, especially the line about 6 feet being “a grave distance.” Clever and apt.

    Like

  8. Ron. May 25, 2021 / 6:10 pm

    Lillian the Truth Teller, the Accurate One. And you’re right: It does seem impossibly too far away still.

    well writ, Lillian.

    Like

  9. Glenn A. Buttkus May 25, 2021 / 6:33 pm

    I wonder when Covid is reduced to a nuance, and the light fills the chinks and gaps in our lives, how many of us will have “survivor’s guilt”. When death runs amuck, and millions perish, it numbs empathy, overwhelming our perceptual apparatus. My fears have been stiff-armed but the media fills my mind with persons suffering and dying elsewhere, Covid is the moveable beast.

    Like

  10. Sunra Rainz May 25, 2021 / 7:18 pm

    A very apt social commentary beautifully dressed in poetry! I particularly enjoyed the second and third stanza 🙂

    Like

  11. Grace May 25, 2021 / 7:37 pm

    So sad to read and hear about the devastating effects of the pandemic. Another day another time to survive.

    Like

  12. Tricia Sankey May 25, 2021 / 9:01 pm

    I feel like we are on the edge of normalcy here in the US, and praying for India and all those who have suffered the permanent loss of friends and family. Tomorrow is another day, to pray! 🙏

    Like

  13. Darius the Mate May 25, 2021 / 9:11 pm

    Practically an anthem for our times.

    Powerful set up at the end of the first stanza; “Boxed in by walls. Boxed in by zoom boxes”

    Boxed in – pretty much it in a nut shell (or a box, for that matter!).

    Like

  14. areadingwriter May 26, 2021 / 6:04 am

    Captured the hearts of billions, Lillian. Definitely hell and purgatory and back, i am not sure now. Have been living in a box away from my family and homeland because of this pandemic and I want to say I have my hopes up but I don’t, most of the times. Your lines captured how i feel:

    But optimists were far and few between.
    Tomorrow is another day wore thin
    because it never was.

    … so well… so very well.

    Like

  15. Helen Dehner May 26, 2021 / 3:26 pm

    Yes, too far away ……… like on an ocean, no birds in sight.

    Like

  16. rothpoetry May 26, 2021 / 3:37 pm

    An excellent poem Lillian. You have brought us from hell to limbo, feeling like Punxsutawney Phi coming out to see if the sun is still shinning, then running back inside. Your images are very vivid and unsettling and as you remind us, it is not over for many.

    Like

  17. sean@bogie May 27, 2021 / 11:42 am

    You convey the uncertainty of covid well. We hadn’t had a case for 3 straight months. Now we are in lockdown again. At least it seems to work well for getting us back to zero again here in Australia.

    Like

  18. purplepeninportland May 27, 2021 / 8:17 pm

    “Sparse masked figures hurried to tasks,
    six feet apart. A grave distance indeed.”

    What an insightful piece of writing, Lillian. We need many more “another days”.

    Like

  19. adda May 29, 2021 / 9:41 am

    Powerful words Lill. ❤

    Like

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