Poems of Solitude
The crown virus is king today.
Its implications? Solitude and self-reflection.
Who will I be through this crisis?
Which “self” will control the uncontrollable?
Go to the center and ask the spirit’s nucleus — what shall I learn?
Clarity will always be paid for by regret and charity by chaos.
Shell as home, little turtle,
shelter from the drip of rain,
held down by toe grip in the green grass.
find precarious perch on slippery surface.
Pull in head, cover with cowl of reminiscence
where rain fell hard on unprotected self.
Then it didn’t matter if the overhead was leaky
underfoot, acres of sloppy slushy soil.
Aged shell is hard, toughened by use and intention
Hard-lined by hard knocks and misadventures
Whither thou goest, it comes along without complaint
knows someday, more than likely, it will stand alone.
The crown virus is winning, wildfire burning ungoverned, grinning madly.
Solitude is losing, an addict craving the comfort of another’s nearness.
Voracious numbers bend upward with relish and downward with relief.
Maps of misery, colored bright red or blue or orange, like flames licking flesh.
Suspended, in transit from familiar
past to barely conceivable future
Atlas of the current world holds no map,
currencies are chaotic, values upended
Travel coma blurs lines of then, now and when
dreams seem real and real seems delusive
Advice abounds, ungrounded by proof
meant to placate and allay
Allude to meaning
Grief floats around the ozone of my mind, looking for a flat surface to land
a reason for being there, a wound to feast upon, ways to grow and take over.
Grateful competes, buzzes like a bee poking its nose into blossoms of
Memories, their tastes and smells tantalizing the emotion, inviting.
#3 It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature
“Go to your room,” Mother Nature states,
“You have made my house a mess.
Don’t come out,
until my oceans no longer feel stress.
“A pox on you, you brats, who
think that plastic is the God.
And while you’re at it, be quiet
just walk by each other and nod.
“My fish can hear each other again
and my coyotes can walk free
along the streets you made your own
after you destroyed the trees.
“Stay there in your room until
I see that you have heard me loud
and clear. Until you feel the fear
deeply that keeps you from a crowd.
“The tsunamis and the earthquakes
have obviously not gotten through
to all you naughty children, so
not fires but a plague finally may do.
“Will you take care of each other
and share with nature’s wealth?
Or still keep your marbles to yourself
as my earth is destroyed with stealth?
“This can be a turning point in evolution
if you use it to think upon your mistakes.
Go to your rooms and ponder this while
I decide if you can do what it takes.”
metaphors about our metamorphosis
into the grab bag of life’s game I reach
a long river finds itself in my hold
small islands of rest offer their calm beach
windswept currents pull meek along with bold
a contest of sorts, this life I am in
a journey, a road, nay, a waterfall
with droplets cascading, bursting within
gravity pulling down water and all
an olive tree with gnarled grey branches
and roots five generations deep below
a home that longs to be a great mansion
metaphorisis, unique portmanteau
no matter the comparison, our play
must end, the next act a baffling buffet
Routine…bane and balm…god help us
#5 Coping with COVID
Eyes open, stiff knees wobble, coffee on, blinds pulled open.
Spider, Sudoku Wordscapes, Words, FreeCell, Facebook.
What is the sleep score on Fitbit and ResMed?
What is the bridge score on Trickster cards?
What is the time, the date, the daily weight?
Swish, rinse, repeat
Right leg, left leg, swimsuit raised
Grab hat, mask, googles and towel
One two three four breathe
Five six seven eight breathe
Over and over and over, repeat.
May heart be filled with loving kindness,
Be well, happy, peaceful and at ease
May all of you and you and you too.
Show up, suit up
Take one day at a time
Do the next right thing.
Rest, read, cook, clean
Routine and ritual
In and out follow the breath.
Numbers comfort, a chant
Flung in the face of fear
Can you count to infinity?
“He not busy being born is busy dying.” Bob Dylan
#6 Embrace Fragility
This eggshell, this butterfly wing, this snowflake
Fragile breakable finite life
This thin ice, this fine China teacup, this glass slipper
Delicate beautiful wondrous love
This spinning earth, this red star, this melting glacier
This ticking clock, today’s peach, a new bride’s bouquet
soap bubble hopes
come and go
Bird bones and spun sugar
fragile and delicate
Autumn leaf, dandelion fluff
hanging spiders web
Thinning skin and older bones
lost words, minor and momentous
This secret we try to keep from ourselves
Late to writing, Donna enjoys bouncing around in the pool and thinking of things to say in poetry and short fiction. Family, friends and food are her 3 top priorities.
Note: This essay is part of Writing Through Change, a series of posts and guest articles about life and writing in unsettled times.