Saturday, April 11, 2020

Special Feature: Coronavirus Poetry Diary, First Month

Diary Entry Zero (of "killing the poet softly" on paper), written in response to Yehuda Amichai's claim:

I've often said that all poetry is political. This is because real poems deal with a human response to reality and politics is part of reality, history in the making.

di-vi-si-ve ...

the Siren sings
to my shadow in a mirror
made of covid19 poetry

Added: Twenty-Seventh Entry, Easter Sunday Service

through stained glass windows ...
will worry about itself
echoing in an empty church

FYI: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Twenty-Eighth Entry, Easter Monday

the priest recites
Therefore do not worry
about tomorrow...
photos of the congregation
attached to wooden benches

My Dear Friends:

Today marks the end of the first  month of the WHO pandemic announcement. Share with you a set of selected poems published during the first month of this coronavirus pandemic:

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

100 more
coronavirus deaths --

the lineup curls
around the parking lot
of a gun megastore

refrigerated trucks
outside a hospital
an old man
under the shadowy gaze
of the Empire State Building

balcony workout
a side-glance at the ring of bruises
on my neighbor's neck 

Good Friday night
punctuated by sirens --
in my dream
a man on the road to Damascus 
wears the crown of thorns

morning chill
the sound of an empty
St. Peter's Square

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