Friday night and the lights are low. Tinseltown dimmed, marquees dark, Broadway shut down. Performers encased at home, mouths agape. No words. No melodies. No sound escapes their parched lips. Feet stilled, faces bare. They sit, not in the wings, but on couches and chairs. No audience. Just the cat curled up on their feet, surprised to find this comfort in these hours. The night the music died and the curtain fell, subways ground to a halt. This, the night Covid came to town.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics and delving into Sweden’s musical archives. I’m asking folks to include one line, and one line only, from the lyrics of ABBA’s Dancing Queen. The line must be used word for word within the body of the poem. You can find the lyrics to Dancing Queen, as well as some fun information about ABBA, in my prompt at dVerse. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time and full prompt will appear then.Image from Pixabay.com
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.
My school days, saddle shoes, skirt and top. Their school daze, slippers, top and “cozy” pants. My school days, chalkboard in big classroom. Their school daze, computer screen and clicking keys. My school days, penmanship lessons with nun in long habit. Their school daze, zoom math with talking head, mute button and breakout rooms. My school days, long walk there in rain or snow. Their school daze, bed to desk with bathroom stop. My school days, so long ago. Their school daze, one big blur in one lost year.
Written for NaPoWRiMo, Day 10‘s prompt which asked us to recall lyrics to a song we know, then look in a junk drawer in our house and see what’s in it…and then come up with a poem that somehow weds the two. For whatever reason, I thought of the old song School Days which my mother used to sing to me when I was young; and which I sang to my grandchildren when they were young. The drawer yielded a ruler and I won’t tell you what else! I started thinking about this past Covid year and what it’s done to children in terms of their school days….and voila, here’s the result.
This human being is . . . stabilized. Once frisky, galloping, romping o’er fields afar. Ran the mighty race too, round the curve, thrilled by the chase. Set out to pasture in 2012 – slowed down, but still free to roam. 2020 came and all hell broke loose. Who knew I’d be corralled? Merry-go-round bound. Same path up and down, days blurred, round and round, going nowhere fast. Even old nags need to be free. Grease this damn pole! Shoot me up and uncarousel me! Little did I know out to pasture or not, the grass was always greener wherever my hooves did trot.
For those of you not familiar with the title, it refers to the tv show Mr. Ed. It aired from 1961 to 1966. As inane as it sounds, Mr. Ed was a talking horse. I never could understand how the show ran for five years!
Kim is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She asks us to begin a poem with the line “This human being is…” Have no idea why this concept popped into my head….other than the fact that for this past Covid year, we have mainly been corralled into our homes. Probably the most useless item we bought for the year 2020 was a Day Planner! And yes, I did rejuvenate (never say retire) in 2012. Photo from Pixabay.comSo I guess you could say, Mr. Ed had nothing on me….considering my life as a horse!
James was an over-achieving gregarious intellect. Last to leave the office party, pleasantly tipsy, never offensively drunk. Top salesman for too many quarters to count. Then Covid hit and the world cocooned itself.
Confined to his efficiency apartment months on end, ambition disappeared into vodka bottles. He wore the same sweats day and night. Sat slumped in a second-hand folding chair, computer on his lap. When called by HR for his end- of-year report, he slurred “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being and in due time I will send you a profitable report.” To which the HR Director replied, “What???”
He slammed the phone down; slammed the computer screen shut and stood up swaying. Eyes bloodshot, James reached for a sixteen-ounce tumbler and the vodka bottle. Just another day in this godforsaken Covid world.
Pure fiction…..but I fear isolation has affected far too many in negative ways.
Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Merril asks us to include the line “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” from the poem Possilibities by Wislawa Szymborska. In Prosery, we are given a line from a poem and must insert it within the body of our prose, word for word (although the punctuation my be altered), and the prose can be a maximum of 144 words, sans title. Most writers consider this a flash fiction prompt that includes a specific line of poetry. Photo from Pixabay.co
Sun strengthens, pries loose snow mask from mountain caps. Water trickles, begins to overflow, swiftly runs downstream. ~ Gregarious tendencies stifled too long. Confined by lockdowns, hidden by masks from view.
Vaccinations bloom, propagate in spring. Sun strengthens as do we, spilling out to streets.
It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Sarah asks us to include the word “swift” or a form of the word (not a synonym) in our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com I fervently believe we are emerging from the season of Covid. Stay safe everyone and let’s insure this happens.
Swirl me. Topple me through this rabbit hole. Emerge me under a lemon sun squeezed dry beyond sour memories, yet lifegiving.
Twirl me in tuille skirt. Pirouette my toes until . . . I tour jeté into the light. Abbracadabra these Covid spikes. Disappear them to reappear nowhere.
Vamp up the timpani as brass blares. Let me wave my arms conductress supreme. Through the finale of all finales, with oxymoronic cadenza.
Cadenza me into a new world opus. Melodious, and most importantly, pandemicless, fomentless, argumentless, povertyless, violentless, hatredless, bLESSed be this world.
Cadenza, (Italian: “cadence”), unaccompanied bravura passage introduced at or near the close of a movement of a composition and serving as a brilliant climax, particularly in solo concerti of a virtuoso character. Cadenza | music | Britannicawww.britannica.com I take poetic license with the word. Here, the cadenza continues the piece, leading into a new world: thus an oxymoronic finale.
Sometimes, this time of year, we struggle to stay in the present. Memories intrude ever so gently or sometimes harshly, like a kick in the gut. We may gasp. We may wail. Loved ones lost. No. Wrong word. Loved ones gone. Gone from our sight, our touch, our living space.
Tears they say, are cleansing. A release. Well . . . perhaps. But must we be staid while others carol? Granules of being have disappeared, theirs and thus some of ours. So we reminisce. Sometimes ache as waves of emotion flow through us. Whisper aloud I love you, though the room is empty, save for us.
This Christmas season shall pass and we shall live on. Beyond the celebratory gifts, beyond that sweet gospel of an infant born one miraculous morn. Our treasured memories still intact, just shelved, perhaps a bit farther back. But still there. Always there. Always with us. Available for the taking out, the reexamining, at any time we wish.
Today, we shall step into the sun, feel its rays and warmth. We shall smile through gentle tears. Our tongue shall linger on our lips, taste sweet saltiness, a gift of remembrance. We shall walk another day but we shall always know one truth. The empty space beside us is not indicative of an empty heart.
I am about to celebrate Christmas with our home warmly decorated, and my spouse of fifty years by my side. I am however, cognizant of the many who have lost loved ones in the past year or two…whether to Covid, addiction, cancer, accident, any myriad of other reasons. Many people have difficulty during this season as they face the starkness of their loss. My poem is dedicated to all of you. May you all be blessed with gentle memories, serenity, and a new year that brings hope and health to all.