Living Room?

What’s happened? How can I be a Russian Nesting Doll? Shrinking. Shrinking.  
Travelers were we. Recently returned from China, South Korea and Japan.
Walked the Great Wall. Reveled in Mt Fuji and cherry blossoms.
Sailed the seas. Viewed sunsets and sunrises across waves.
Escaped Boston’s winter in San Diego sun. Two months
walking Balboa Park, La Jolla coast. Seafood galore.
Joyfully we planned for our 50th anniversary
to meet our children and their children.
Long weekend in Washington DC.
Laughter, love, and more love.
Then Covid-19 raced across
our land. And yours too.
Told to stay at home
we are minimized.
I exist on a much
smaller plane.
Just me here
in these few
rooms. But
at least
I am
with
you.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Laura asks us to “conjure a room or rooms in the literal, functional, metaphorical, imaginary, or fantastical sense.” I am struck by how the Covid-19 has shrunk our world and decreased our living space….our “living rooms” so to speak. And thus this post. Image from Pixabay.com

Sarcophagus . . . how has it come to this?

PROMPT FROM TOADS FOR April 30: The final day of National Poetry Month 2020
“A few minutes from now, you will lose all means of communication with humanity.  You will not die, but will no longer be able to interact with the world. Whats the last thing you say?”

Entombed in silence,
solitudinously cocooned
in diaphanous gauze,
but nothing to see.
Nor can I hear.
Senses extraneous
when it is only me.
No exit,
only an aperture to my mind.
And so I choose to hum
not aloud, but in my mind.
Hesitantly, quietly,
internally.
Until my head is screaming
screaming that song.
What the world needs now
is love, sweet love.

But alas.
It is too late.

And shared with dVerse, the virtual put for poets, where it’s OLN Thursday.

Take a moment – the newcaster is on for just a moment…then comes the video at about 26 or 28 seconds in…..it is incredibly uplifting!  I PROMISE you will love it! A wonderful piece to listen to as we end NAPOWRIMO 2020!

I See Now

It must be the masks.
Most people wear one now.
Not to avoid recognition
while performing some illegal act
like robbery or kidnapping.
Rather to avoid being robbed
or being kidnapped
by Covid-19.

I used to walk down streets
see people but not see them,
hear sounds but not listen to them.
Intent on getting to work
or the store
or the whatever.
I plowed on, looking straight ahead.
No mask. No gloves.

I could have stopped to listen,
hear the blue jay in a nearby tree.
Cracked a smile at passersby.
But I didn’t.
I just plowed ahead
to get to that place,
to that thing I was scheduled to do.
No mask. Just oblivious.

Today I walked to feel fresh air.
Gloved, masked, gasping a bit.
Breathing through a piece of cloth
rubber-banded behind my ears,
only my eyes exposed.
I have nowhere special to go
but I crave being outside.
I need to see people. . .

. . . but not coming too close to me.
In their masks. Worse yet, without them.
I gesture SINGLE FILE
as they come toward me.
I listen for footsteps from behind.
Could be someone coming too close.
Round-trip walk from home,
I decide to stop on the bridge.

Leaning over I take a long look.
See a scene I’ve seen so many times
but not really seen.
Trees along the Charles River.
Water rippling from geese swimming.
And then I see her.
Mama goose upon her nest
staring warily at me.

She moves a bit and hisses.
I see new meaning to an old phrase,
one overused today. Shelter in place.
Cracked eggs beside her,
feathers in her beak,
she shifts her body and just for a moment
I see tiny wriggling masses of yellow
trying to escape from beneath her .

Does my mask make me the interloper?
And still I stare and listen and watch.
It must be these masks affecting me.
Seeing what has always been there,
season after season.
People and nature along my way.
I notice the mundane more
and finally I understand.

It never really was mundane.

April 28 in National Poetry Writing Month where the challenge is to write at least one poem per day. This is my second for today.

This one is written for Toads where we are to choose a quotation or an impression from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as the motivation for our poem. I’ve chosen the quotation “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

Video is from our walk this morning. 

You may want to see my other poem, written for dVerse today. It will take you to the Norwegian fjords!

…and who are we, if not similar to

. . . those hands, those fingers, that face.
Those eyes,
seeing me as I see you.

Genetic relatives
mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda
lowland gorillas in western Africa

and me. Visiting you.
Those hands, those fingers, that face.
We are so alike. Akin.

And in this new Corona world
I feel more akin,
stumbling in my own shrinking habitat.

Have we plundered too far?
Been too sure of our advanced selves?
Has our arrogance been revealed

by a novel virus
that recognizes humans
only as we truly are?

Too smug beings
who caged others
and now it’s payback time.

Photos taken in Washington DC, May 2019: my husband’s hands (in black and white); and the hands and face of a gorilla at the National Zoo.

Poem written for day 24 in National Poetry Writing Month. Toads  asks us to write about “nature’s wonders . . . how everything is connected.” 

Lest someone be offended by this post, please know I do not take this virus lightly. It is a horrific disease that is affecting so many people globally. My heart goes out to all those affected, including those who work so others might live a daily life. Stay safe everyone. I pray daily for a vaccine that this scourge may never happen again.

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.