Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A Room of My Own: Coronavirus Poetry Diary: Laughing in the Face of Adversity

written on the day of the WHO announcement: Covid-19 outbreak is a pandemic

If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day.  -- Jim Valvano

First Entry:

coronavirus alert
this urge to touch the face
of  my shadow

Second Entry:

rush-hour panic
at the subway station
Chinese Canadians
dressed in hazmat suits
singing stop the spread of racism

Third Entry: written in response to the anti-racist message (" I am not a virus, I am a human being") conveyed in a viral youtube video posted by Massimiliano Martigli Jiang

Bridge of Sighs
Chinese boy and Italian girl

Fourth Entry: for my favorite Italian novelist, Italo Calvino, author of If on a winter's night a traveler

the world smaller
but more distant and colder ...
my gondola glides
through the Grand Canal
in a virus-free dream

Fifth Entry:

It is what it is

"When you believe in God, he will not give you more than you can handle; when infected with doubt during a time of crisis, you should respond by seeking the right answer to your question," the pastor said in a firm, yet affectionate tone as he accompanied me to the parking lot. In the corner of my mind, God's words lingered, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The following day, in the shadow of this one-hundred-year-old church, I pause to wonder, “Am I as strong in the eyes of God and his mighty power as a true believer?" The path to the church entrance seems long ... and narrow. The pastor starts preaching at this much-anticipated Sunday Service.

spiritual nearing
versus social distancing ...

sitting alone
on a long wooden bench
further away from myself

Sixth Entry:

shelves wiped clean
of hand sanitizers --
I have a footshake
with my new neighbor
behind his mask

Seventh Entry:

Reality Show Host

just like the flu ...
all eyes on the last pack
of toilet paper

social distancing ...
further and further away
from the President

Relax, it all will pass ...
this infectious silence
of the American Dream Mall 

we're doing great ...
in my virus-free dream
the White House locked down

Note: American Dream is a retail and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford,New Jersey, United States, that has over 450 stores and 33ooo parking spaces.

Eighth Entry: 

Chinese virus ... 
darkness descends on the White House
raven by raven

PoemHunter, March 19 2020

Ninth Entry: for Rick Grimes who cries out in a storm, "Rest in peace. Now get up. and go to war," The Walking Dead, Season 5.

Chinese virus ...
in my infectious dream
the White House
toppled by the army
of the walking dead

PoemHunter, March 20 2020   

Tenth Entry (Oshawa, ON, Canada):

nursing home silhouette
I air high-five my old friend
at the window

PoemHunter, March 21 2020 

Eleventh Entry (Bergamo,  Lombardy, Italy):

the cathedral
silhouetted against gray sky
an old man
reads through ten full pages
of obituaries 

Twelfth Entry (Venice, Italy):

floods empty alleys ...
one Italian
singing to another
on Juliet balconies

Thirteenth Entry:

this endless gray
seen from my attic window
shelter in place

PoemHunter, March 25 2020

Fourteenth Entry: written in response to "No Canadian" Trending on Twitter

CovidiotInChief: plan to send troops along the US— ——— —— .... Canada border

Fifteenth Entry: a profile of Covidiots with guns

100 more
coronavirus deaths --

the lineup curls
around the parking lot
of a gun megastore
                                                                                                   .... to be continued


  1. Here are my another two "coronavirus poems," one tanka and one tanka prose:

    dark emptiness
    of tree-lined Wuhan streets
    my life and dreams
    shrink to the size
    of a laptop screen

    NeverEnding Story, February 26, 2020

    "Not Again"

    Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto in anticipation of colder weather conditions within the next 24 hours or longer.

    behind my back
    a group of teens yell
    coronavirus coming...
    in a world of one color
    the weight of the wind

    NeverEnding Story, February 8, 2020

  2. I've been writing poetry about COVID-19 as well. As in time of stress and sorrow, writing always helps me to cope.

    nature on her timeline
    slowly bringing warmth
    not fast enough
    to overtake the chill
    of sickness and fear


  3. social distancing
    one hand washed
    of the other