Covid-19, The Unveiler

Welcome to the After Awards,
bracelet signifiers distributed
and assigned.
Hero. Survivor. Privileged.

Before the Age of Corona
we lived unaware.
Blithely took much for granted.
We thought nothing of what we had
when so many others had nothing.

A home, savings, vacations
books and toys for our kids.
Safe neighborhoods
cupboards chockfull
and mobility.

In donning masks
our eyes began to see.
Privileged were we.
We watched numbers
numbly, then fearfully.

Even the privileged succumbed.

And then came the New Dawn.
BC took on a second meaning,
Before Corona.
And we understood,
after being assigned
our Privileged bracelet.
It was a jewelry of shame.
And yet,
now we actually were,
because we lived.

And we would shed that arrogant air,
and we would share
and we would care
and we would love.

corona-4962578_1920
Day 7 of national poetry month where the challenge is to write a poem every day.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where Bjorn asks us to write a poem about the pandemic, for example, how it might look on the other side. At Toads, we are asked to somehow write about bracelets. Image from Pixabay.com

To all my readers, stay safe. Stay healthy.

Here versus There

Outside my window
another space
another sense of time.

Here, I am nesting
cocooning
mundaning.

I walk slowly
share quiet space,
my spouse smiles at me.

There in that place,
life and death rush through
like katabatic winds.

Patients arrive
fever burned eyes,
gasping, fearful, alone.

Nurses, doctors, attend.
Frenetic patient care,
selfless dedication.

Here. There.
Identical clocks,
hands moving in sync.

But sense of time?
There versus here?
High gear to the extreme.

I live across the street from Massachusetts General Hospital, a major care giver for Covid-19 patients in Boston. Photos taken from our windows. God bless all who are working on the front lines in these challenging times. And may all my readers stay safe and healthy.

Written for day 5, national poetry month. Prompt is given from Imaginary Garden with Toads. We are to write about the intersection of time and space.

Haibun in the midst of these troubling times

It was to be a celebratory long weekend in Washington DC. We would all gather in a large rental house to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary. Our children. Their children. The Circle of Love as we call ourselves. Dinner reservations made. Photographer arranged. So long in the planning. Fifty years in the making.

And then the unthinkable took hold across the globe. It became clear we would not be “eleven total in raucus revelry.” Instead we are sheltering in place in our individual homes. Venturing out for groceries. Taking our own walks on separate unbeaten paths in three different cities, in two different states. We do connect with phone calls and Facetime to insure all are well. We share tales of in-house projects, board games, and home schooling. Love is always heard in our eleven voices  – no matter the distance. And for this we are grateful.

spring time daffodils
untouched by Covid-19
dance closely in sun

IMG_4554Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Kim asks us to use a previous poem we’ve written about ourselves, and from its core, create a haibun: 2 paragraphs of tight prose followed by a haiku with a seasonal mention.
My haibun today is based on my previous poem Solitude and quotes one line from it.

Photo taken on our walk yesterday — keeping “social distance” from others but enjoying the hope spring brings. So many daffodils planted along the banks of the river Charles…so close together. Would that we can all soon embrace our loved ones and walk arm-in-arm again.
To all my readers:  stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive.

Prayer for the times . . .

Moonbeams, sunbeams
smile and kindness beams,
prayer beams too.
May we collect and disperse them.
May they touch our hearts
and warm our souls,
as we tiptoe and sometimes hurdle
through these challenging times.

5

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  In this crazy world today, where the earth seems to have tipped on its axis and thrown us all into a time of “social distancing” and “shelter in place” orders; closed restaurants and pubs and churches and concert venues; challenged hospitals by surges and a lack of protective wear and ventilators, I offer this small prayer today.

And I am thankful for all health care workers, grocery clerks and pharmacists, truck drivers who are the backbone of our supply chain but cannot find a restaurant open on the highways they are traveling.  I am thankful for dVerse, one of the few pubs in the world staying open through all of this. Hugs are encouraged in this pub…..so to all my readers and dVerse friends, consider yourself hugged today!

Haibun True

The car pulled up. I couldn’t tell the make of it. Smooth and curved. Nothing harsh, angular or metallic. It was parked and waiting for something. One long oval window stretched from end to end. There was no driver; just passengers with smiling faces. Hands waved at me, saying hello. Or motioning me to join them? Then I saw. These were beloved faces. My two aunts and uncles. My mother, father and brother. All wanting me to join them. So happy. So inviting.

I woke up groggy, sitting up in bed;  in the middle of the night. Then I remembered the car. The waving. Who they were. Wanting me to join them. But they’d been dead for many years. I whispered aloud, “Not now. I can’t. Not yet.”

Next thing I knew, the alarm was ringing. Time to rise and shine and get on with my day. It wasn’t until lunch at work that I remembered it all. Exactly as I wrote it here.

frost glazes window
dog sleeps nearby, legs twitching
runs from what in dream

I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today I’m asking folks to write a poem somehow related to a dream or dreaming….they can take us inside a dream, create a dream, write about the process of dreaming — be it a nightmare, a daydream, a hallucination, or  a suspended state. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Sweet Dreams

Dream suite décor.
Rest upon cumulus pillows
as moonbeam lullaby lulls.
Sprinkled star dust
spreads drowsiness
as deep sleep seeps in.
Spirits soar into everland,
ethereal land of smiles.
Compassion and love live,
bloom in forever springs.
Until we jolt awake,
plopped . . .
into another mundane day.

clouds-4215608_1920
I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. The topic to consider is dreams / dreaming. Go to the site and listen to some wonderful songs about dreaming (Youtube links) sung by the Everly Brothers, Bobby Darrin, Bing Crosby, and the Mama and Papas. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Winter Glistens

“As I left China farther and farther behind, I looked out of the window and saw a great universe beyond the plane’s silver wing. I took one more glance over my past life, then turned to the future. I was eager to embrace the world.”
Wild Swans, Jung Chang

Youth and middle age.
I am far past those lanes,
beyond that curve in the road.

Photos framed on shelves.
Who I was and who I loved
all along the way.

Mirrored image returns my gaze.
Silver haired and wizened,
in this, my final season.

No turning back.
Winter’s snow always glistens
even in the setting sun.

I shall embrace this scene.
This my new world forever,
as ever I shall be.

Mish is hosting Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to choose a book near us (or from a link she provides) and look to the last lines at the end of the book….and then let those be our poetic muse for our post today! Thus the last lines to Wild Swans, included before my poem.
Photo from our trip to Norway a few years ago.

Darkness and Light: Beginning Anew

October 19, 2013. We walked across the street from Mass. General Hospital into a new life. My question: Is there always darkness before light? Night skies before the dawn. In utero before light at the end of the birth canal. Sleep before the alarm sounds. Death before new life.

Six minutes minus a heart beat. Thirty-six hours of induced comatose state. You suspended somewhere; eyes shut, machines whirring. Me existing in light which felt like the darkest of times.

You returned to us and the morning sun. Five days later, we walked home. Six years later, we are together still. Thankful for every day.

dark in chrysalis
strength builds, body renewing
life’s splendor springs forth

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Bjorn is hosting Haibun Monday and asks us to write about new beginnings. Haibun: 2 to 3 tight paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a haiku. The condominium building we live in is actually located directly across from the main campus of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Wishing

If I could choose, let us be a kaleidoscope.
Created by One with artistic eye,
teacher of Truth who understands,
together, we all shine best.

You, me, everyone as glass shards.
Infinite hues, shapes and sizes,
knowing we are at our finest
melding into one design.

Sun and moon do shift their paths,
causing solar temperaments to flare.
Tempted to mirror that discord,
reflections may tip, slightly askew.

Then quietly, with kindly understanding,
One gives but a gentle twist.
We realign, nudged ever so slightly,
even more beautiful than before.

None of us misshapen.
No color better than another.
We mirror each other’s good will,
design so glorious to behold.

Would that we could truly be
one magnificent kaleidoscope,
birthed within the cosmos.
Each bit valued,
an intricate part of the whole.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Mish is hosting and asks us, “Do you ever wish you could just wave a magic wand, eliminate everything that creates havoc, unrest, uncertainty, injustice? I do. Today I am asking you to do the same. Dream with me. . . create and describe a ‘new world’ as you envision it.” 
Photo from Pixabay.com