Sa 'yong pagdating, 'di ka namin pansin Ika'y paratin, sa taong sakitin Naging ubuhin, at naging sipunin Ulo'y hiluhin, ika'y lalagnatin
Ba't ka nakaratin, sa bansa namin 'Di kayang harangin kahit pilitin Paano lulusawin, kung nasa hangin? Walang sasantuhin, kahit praning
Silang nasa frontline, ipag-pray natin Protected equipment, virus ay tambling Itong covid nineteen, ating hanapin Piliting palayasin, at puksain
Mabilis na tracing, at salikupin Naka quarantine, huwag gugutumin Kami'y arugain, inyong gamutin Sa 'yong piling, pamilya ko'y mahalin
Ating gawin, sa bahay mag-stay-in Ayuda'y makaratin, nang makain Social distancing, ating sundin Mga sasawayin, sila'y pipitikin
Tubig na inumin, huwag putulin Baka samain, aming mga tsikitin Aming titipidin, ang mga pagkain Upang sa paggising, may dudukutin
Isigaw natin, sa ating lupain Kayang-kaya natin, ating harapin Ating patatagin, ang buhay natin Pagsubok na dumatin, ipanalangin
Coronavirus: A Poem
Ibrahim Ibn Salma, S.B.
Embrace me if you can, My heart is getting thin, My skin is as yellow as A sprig of saffron, The bright days from my life Are fading away,
Embrace me if you can, My lover is trying to kill me, Not allowing me To die by nature I am mad, Why kill me? I am already at the point of death,
Embrace me if you will, Seek and seek, then, Be lost in the quest, With a deep and lasting wish To become what we ought to be, So we together cross This difficult ordeal, Not forgetting that We exist forever.
To be honest it was a great year (2020)
To be honest it was a great year (2020)
News of world war, All in panic and fear. All making tik toks and posting memes about it, But had no idea something else was near.
‘Ok so umm, China’s in an epidemic And its spreading to other countries’ With a rapid spread, this virus is familiar to all, With a new word they learned called Quarantine, They stayed home wishing for a Covid-19 vaccine.
Australia's on fire. Oil price drops a whole lot in history. The Europe is in complete quarantine, And then finally tik tok gets banned from all countries!
But although many people hate quarantine and the year 2020, I absolutely love it! Staying home with family, learning and trying something new with it, There is nothing I hate about it by a bit.
And yes, with this weird year, with crazy things happening, And many people out there have fun, and making others happy, With a whole lot of things happening, An Alien invasion soon won't bother me.
Now although we thought quarantine would last forever, Who knew it would be December anytime? Many things we got to experience which we thought would never happen, For example- how I am right now desperately trying to find a word to rhyme.
And yes, although you may have received something great but also got something lost, Most of the time, things come at a cost.
By Krishti Khandelwal
President Michael D. Higgins
In the journey to the light, the dark moments should not threaten. Belief requires that you hold steady. Bend, if you will, with the wind. The tree is your teacher, roots at once more firm from experience in the soil made fragile.
Your gentle dew will come and a stirring of power to go on towards the space of sharing.
In the misery of the I, in rage, it is easy to cry out against all others but to weaken is to die in the misery of knowing the journey abandoned towards the sharing of all human hope and cries is the loss of all we know of the divine reclaimed for our shared humanity. Hold firm. Take care. Come home together.
Untitled COVID-19 Poem
When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.
This virus has hit All over the globe The extremity of this pandemic Is starting to unfold.
It began in Wuhan on a market stall Where dead and live animals were sold together Disease spread from species to species No hygiene rules were in place, ever!
People are dying all over the world All nationalities, ages, it doesn't discriminate This is a massive disaster Getting the virus is our ultimate fate.
Social distancing is now in place And we are in lockdown. only going out to buy food supplies The government are giving daily updates But these are an abundance of lies.
They are not protecting our NHS workers They don't have the correct equipment and are not being tested to check if they need to self-isolate So, the majority don't know if they have the disease And due to incompetence, it will be too late.
Many people have lost their jobs The prospect of no money leaves them facing poverty Loosing their homes could be an eventuality That all of us can see.
The government have put grants and loans to help businesses Universal Credit has been increased by only a thousand pounds a year But getting access to these measures is virtually an impossibility People can't survive and live in fear.
Charities will drastically loose funding The vulnerable will suffer tenfold It's always the neediest in society that pay the price The disabled, the poor and the old.
It is a catastrophe that is already happening But we are only experiencing a fraction of the inevitability The widespread of this coronavirus Will leave us wondering if we will ever be free?
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down.
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love– for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live.
Senator Cory Booker
We can't touch but we still reach out
we hunker down but we still rise up
our bodies are attacked but our spirits fight back
the enemy is invisible but so many of our heroes are now seen
weeks and weeks of isolation but still infinite and invincible determination
we are distant but we stand together
and together we shall overcome
Dr Elizabeth Mitchell
This is the apocalypse A daffodil has poked its head up from the dirt and opened sunny arms to bluer skies yet I am filled with dark and anxious dread as theaters close as travel ends and grocery stores display their empty rows where toilet paper liquid bleach and bags of flour stood in upright ranks.
My stomach twists and fingers shake as I prepare to work the battleground the place I’ve always loved and felt at home is now a field of droplets sprayed across a room or lurking on a handle or a sink to find their way inside our trusting hands or mouths or eyes the ones that touch you when you’re sick speak soothing words and seek the answer to your pain.
This is the apocalypse as spring begins again and brightly colored flowers deploy in my back yard the neighbors walk their dogs and march along the quiet streets I stretch my purple gloves on steady hands I tie my yellow gown behind my back my hair inside a blue bouffant my mouth and nose and eyes are still and calm inside their waiting shields. This is the apocalypse.
Untitled - Prose Poem
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
The COVID OBIT.
Richard Cary Joel - Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel
Someone’s mother died from this virus, and then it was someone’s son, a brother, then a sister and yet there were none, who passed from this world, with a loved one by their side, to hear their last words, and share their last cry.
They all died alone, surrounded by strangers in masks, all behind plastic shields, performing their tasks, and though they were caring, they were not family, who were prevented from being there, due to COVID-19
This pandemic, this plague, this Corona insanity, disrupting our lives, impairing our humanity, even altering death, and how it’s observed, as morgues replace a ceremony, that each of them, deserved.
With not a soul at graveside, standing close, to say farewell, no mass gathering after burial, in this deadly viral Hell, where social distance not embrace, is the intimacy of the day, while a suffering human race expresses their dismay.
So, a mother of 83 and a daughter of 48, and the father of three small children, leave this world yet still await, the goodbyes, and mournful tears, of the people they so loved, who were all kept far away, by this scourge I’m speaking of…
And each with the same obit, where it is duly noted, that in the year, two-thousand twenty, they expired, due to COVID.
Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love. So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love. Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.
Richard Cary Joel - Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel
People walk down the street waving at each other with new found vigor, and desperation hoping for a response, craving any form of human interaction, yet remaining aloof, keeping their distance, acutely aware of the danger of proximity. Calculating how far from the other, is needed to ensure their self-preservation.
No one smiles any more, except with their eyes, as faces are now masked and covered by law and decree, by conformity and convention, by fear and tightly woven fabric.
We have become dangerous strangers to each other, more than we ever were, as anyone could be carrying this novel and catchy Death, this COVID-19, this New Corona Virus, lurking, with stealthiness, so invisibly in the air, seeking out its victims, without prejudice or discrimination.
In this Pandemic, it’s the luck of the draw, to get it, or not, a fool’s gamble, to play the odds, throwing caution to the wind, for these days, the wind carries a thing that kills!
So we don our masks and gauge the span between us, and listen to the so called experts, who alter their well-informed directives, daily.
Six or twelve, a hundred to infinity, how many cold and distant feet must separate us, from our fellow human beings?
How long will it be, till that vaccine is found? till that treatment is developed, till our herd immunity is finally heard of? till the curve is flattened, and the ICU’s are at long last, empty!
Who would have thought I’d miss a handshake so… a hug, a caress, a bottle of beer, at the bar, with a friend. As I must now avoid each and every human being, like the plague. maintaining my isolation, giving them a wide berth, exhibiting a well-rehearsed look of terror should they dare come close, my personal space, having mutated into something so impersonal.
“Too close for comfort” taking on a whole new meaning, in today’s COVID world, the only comfort found, at home, alone, behind a locked door.
Stay at home orders demanding, we shelter in place, and leave “only” for what’s deemed, “life sustaining”.
But how long can life be sustained in a world that looks like this? In this new COVID reality where a breath can mean death, and a gloveless touch is too much, where the enemy can’t be seen, and the “All Clear” is never sounded, where Distance, has become the new and novel substitute for what was once, our intimacy.
The Home Within My Head
Everyday feels as though we are Playing hide and seek with death Unsure of who he might wish to take Whose breath
So I make a home inside my head Plant flowers in the beds of my brain In the hopes that their bloom is beautiful enough To fight back against the angst of solitude
My head is now my home
That’s what I tell myself when death comes knocking At the door of another soul
I wonder how others tend to the homes within their heads How they choose to nourish their own flowers When they feel there is no space for them to grow
I’m grateful for the house within my head And my head inside my home
But when life feels like a head within a home, it’s hard to imagine A world with all those heads and all those homes And when death is out to play, we are not allowed to leave Our homes within our heads And those who must, I fear, face the greedy grasp of death
So I stay within the home inside my head I lock the door and back away From the homes in the heads of others Praying they don’t unlock the door to smell the flowers Within the home of another head As tempting as a sniff would be As warm as another head’s home could prove to be
Death stalks between each home and head Waiting To smother the flowers that try in earnest to bloom In the isolation of our own Heads, our newfound homes
Still Lives Shimmer
Still Lives Shimmer
I decided to become a writer in 2008 after watching Eudora Welty read a short story on public television about smoke rising 'gainst silhouetted trees as if from a ruined castle near a moonlit river
Now, during these strange days. Oddly, I find my grounding in myriad shades of frizzled onions as well as from the tingle of my bare feet over grass, the counter-orange of the chlorophyll scraped away for good. Forever.
Distanced time hovers like a buzz, a hum. neither frozen nor moving forward. The trees' pink flowers emerge in clusters reeking in the disembodied hypnotic voices of tribal leaders with empires to conquer.
J'understand what I'm sayin'?
All images seem replete with desolate seascapes. Then the tree's bronzes turn to green sans the comforting colors of butternut squash and curry. I look out through an angled trapezoid of a doorway, pale, emptied of those pink flowers emerging and emerging and spilling recklessly onto a cold landscape where lions laze by a bonfire. Landscapes shimmer as frogs slathered in echoes of ancient layered colors contemplate these strange days.
These strange and ever-haunting days.
--Austin Bayless, April 2020
Ansel Oommen, MLS(ASCP)
New York, New York
We are not immune as we once believed
We are not immune to business as usual When business has always been busy Prescribing profits over prudence With false prophecies of golden years
We are not immune to the viral strains Of rabid voices coughing up empty words Ever mutating sense into missense Each echo more feral than before
We are not immune to the dissemination of lies Aerosolized and transmitted as truth For even with repeat exposure We still react to what was never foreign
We are not immune to the poisons of privilege As we amputate left to save what is right As we amputate right to save what is left When instead, the diagnosis was truly systemic
We are not immune to being the greatest When we fill our graveyards to be the least
As we reach the end stage of life as we know it While we await a vaccine for all our ills Let us remember: The disease was always within ourselves
The pandemic was just a symptom.
4/30/2020, Heartwood for Eavan Boland 1944 - 2020
Diane Sahms (formerly Sahms-Guarnieri)
Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA
Yesterday, a poet emailed me about Eavan Boland’s death in Dublin (on April 27th the same day my German / Irish father died 23 years ago). At my open back door looking into Spring, in all its illumination, I stand upon this threshold, as death rubs against me like a black cat circling. He sent along her poem “Quarantine.” I wept for all— past, present, & future viral invasions that cast their evil spells throughout Time upon defenseless humans—& now Coronavirus looms. I realize ultimately that Time, too, is a virus we breathe-in during our first breath when heart’s clock starts ticking, until its last drumming beat; & perhaps, birth & death dates are kept in the inner most breast pocket of death’s disheveled, long black raincoat patterned with freezing stars. Maybe, our entire life only a “hyphen” chiseled into the center of a sleeping stone between birth - death dates. In the winter of 1847… a man and woman fell asleep: her feet were held against his breastbone. This first bloomless spring, since I planted a sapling, twenty-three years ago. I look into dead dogwood’s heartwood cut halfway down today. Two song sparrows alight— one feeding the other one crumbs.
Have You No Shame?
Anchorage, Alaska, US
Have You No Shame? Coronavirus 19 lament
Long after Harry Truman the buck keeps rolling fast downhill toward the abyss that may be our uncertain future.
Our winter’s snow is starting to fade to puddles at the margins. The berms at road edge where grit and sunlight hit the snow are rotting fast an ugly metaphor.
While Death, wearing a long red tie, careens out of our televisions in Joe McCarthy’s shiny Studebaker of lies.