I wrote my poems about my everyday thoughts while in quarantine.
Some of them are about me imagining how others feel during this time, while some are the daydreams I’ve had put into words. I think recording our day to day thoughts and musings is extremely important, because they become an overlooked yet very insightful piece of history. When I look back on these poems one day who knows how I’ll feel? Maybe I’ll think about what a strange and isolating time this was, and how my writing reflected that. Maybe I’ll reflect on how different my thoughts were after quarantine. Or maybe I’ll notice how even though a lot of things have changed, a lot of things haven’t. Regardless of what I’ll think when I reflect back on these poems they are a part of history now, musings of a time that will never again be.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
I hear and sense the vibrations,
Starting at the ground like lightning
Reaching, branching up through my legs
And into my ribcage, rattling past the four chambers,
Up, Up, Up to my ears and into my brain.
I am lightning.
Thud! Thud! Pit! Pat! Pit! Pat!
Cement changes to gravel,
fluid as river to ocean; flowing, flowing,
Over my earbuds I hear song transition to song;
River waters swirling into ocean currents
Who would have thought, who would have known
How seamless music can make jogging feel.
Minutes ripple by, marked only by currents of rhythm and tempo.
Up ahead. People? No. Yes! People. Masks.
A couple. Their dog beside them, sniffing grass;
A barrier that blocks off the sidewalk,
Promising an awkward acknowledgement, a shuffling of feet
In order for me to pass.
But wait! There is another way. The bike lane.
I swerve into position, blurring past the barrier,
The world unspooling before me.
Bike lanes and masks.
At home, never alone; here, quit,
Only tempo and vibrations break the calm,
Like the stone that ripples the ponds surface.
The world has stopped, but I have not; forward,
Onward I travel, feet flowing, knowing,
Soon, the flowing, it must end, must stop,
For lightning flashes once, and then: darkness.
Yet the song keeps flowing.
Three sprouts sit on my desk,
Each one reaching for the light.
Pristine and green, effortlessly
Stretching with all their might.
They began when all this began,
They turned on when everything else shut off.
Their growth, like a timer, keeps track
Will they still be here growing
When we go back?
They started out that first day
not sage but grey,
Back when we thought we’d be gone just a little while,
They began their stay.
As time has passed so have they flourished,
They are great for studying, for analyzing;
A green garnish to my room.
To the keenest eye entertainment,
When bored on Zoom.
Outside spring leaps, blissfully unaware,
while humans stay indoors all day, sheltered away,
though not for the wrong reasons; despite this,
Some still admire the verdant day.
And so as spring has sprung so have you,
tiny, slender bean plants; who knew, who thought
that as the days grew short and blurred,
as quarantine became one week, turned into one month, turned into the rest of the year,
you would reach toward the sky, undeterred.
I applaud you, I sing your praise,
I have watched your peaceful, sun-soaked days.
Your persistence, a motif,
through this isolated haze.
And so with heavy heart, with slurry eyes I accept
That I must soon bid you farewell.
For now your leaves are turning rust;
Though you gave my desk a purpose other than
Simply collecting dust.
Someone Told a Lie
Someone told a lie, a simple one,
They said they weren’t sick, and maybe they weren’t,
But they made the mistake of going “Achoo!”
So their lesson they should have learnt,
Cuz now everyone’s going bonkers, and the office is shutting down
And I’m just over here, aware that my WiFi is trash,
Wondering if I should head into town,
And grab some extra toilet paper for my stash.
Ode to the School Counselors
Oh Bellarmine counselors, you are like a warm summer’s day,
Warm and comforting in this time of toil.
Your insightful musings and playful banter,
Captured forever by the watchful gaze of your video cameras,
An archive of inspiration and determination, a repast,
A cool drink of water to quench the flames of fear.
Oh Bellarmine counselors, your smiles are wide and toothy,
Enduring as the rest of the world embraces the grimace,
Your eyes dance with laughter and light, watching,
Observing the toil and strife of those around you,
And even as others build barriers and divides to shield themselves,
You open up your hearts; You are transparent.
Oh Bellarmine counselors, how sage are your words,
They are the single shaft of sunlight,
As the rest of the world howls and churns, a wild tempest,
Your ideals and advice break through, ussuring in calm,
Those who shelter from the wind hear your call; sense your presence,
They flock to your compassion, like sheep to a shepard.
Oh Bellarmine counselors, thank you for constant presence,
You stand beside us even as the chasm between us looms.
There are few constants governing these times; separation, quiet,
The permanence of location, hardly fluctuating,
Yet your sweet callings also mark these days; joyful, silly, calming.
Oh Bellarmine counselors, you are immortalized in my heart.
The night is quiet, pierced here and there with distant calls,
Silence lays afoot, a blanket of snow covering a mountain meadow,
For months the streets have held their breath, the eaves were mute,
The worlds artery’s devoid of their lifeblood; commuters, pedestrians,
Only homes shine with an inner life, a comic glimmer,
For they are now wardens of solitude, beacons of welcome no more.
I look out at these homes, stare at these wardens, analyzing;
Their shutters open and close, a dance neverending,
I watch their chimneys spew steam and smoke like a fat cigar,
Lungs destined to forever exhale.
Vehicles enter and exit driveways, rhythmic as ocean tides,
Controlled not by the moons velvety gaze, but by people,
People who dance with the shutters, exhale with the chimneys,
People who cram rooms full of Knick-knacks and memories.
Gardens burst with flora, teem with fauna; overflow, overgrow,
A plot of lands equivalent to a wide grin,
A grin that is sometimes dusty, sometimes rusty,
When freshly sprinkled by a sun shower, becomes musty.
Tamed oaks and birches anchor the yards, the megastructures of ants,
Twisting and stretching and streaming, lifting their arms up to the sky,
A sky that clutches dark, heavy clouds with azure hands,
A heavenly visage that howls, transforming into a gale.
As I watch the storm begins, howling louder still,
Heaven’s tears, falling down, crying out at our folly,
Rainwater streams and rivulets down rooftops, coming down from on high,
I suppose even the stratosphere experiences melancholy.
The Rhythm of Quarantine
The days are longer now, yet feel so brief,
The sun dances overhead, day in and day out,
And I sit at this desk, working away,
This rhyme is unchanging, day after day,
Wake-up, work, relax, play,
Such is the constant of this new type of day.
Today I learned a new word, (tee hee hee),
Today I learned a new word, (how intuitive of me!)
I was browsing around, having a romp (stomp!),
When suddenly my mind went chomp!
For I learned a new word, that I did today,
A crawling, jumping, rambunctious word that invited me to play!
For this new word was bright as day, fluffy, airy, frilly,
This new word was all that, (plus silly!)
Somehow, someway, this shining, golden flower of a word,
Made me feel like the chirpiest songbird!
Now I’m exhausted (sigh!), don’t think I can lift my feet one-inch high,
I’m tired, expired, anchored to the ground, not making a sound,
I’m thoroughly wore out (Yes sireee, there is no doubt!),
This new babble has me wanting to pout.
For today I learned a new word, isn’t that swell!
Today I learned a new word, which, I suppose, is just as well,
I learned a new word today; light, airy, frilly,
I learned a new word today (Oh, how willy!)
I learned a new word today! (Isn’t that silly!)
I learned a new word today: daffadowndilly!
People-watching at the Airport
Look at all these people!
I’d forgotten there are so many faces,
Heading to so many new places.
I’d begun to think I imagined the world outside,
Since all we do these days is hide.
Since I’m sitting here, nothing to do,
I may as well attempt to understand you.
Hello, mother and toddler!
Why are you flying today?
Do you feel safe and sound?
(Will the toddler frighten, when leaving the ground?)
I see you there, Ms Barista,
Standing at the teeny cafe.
Are you satisfied with your pay?
Do you like standing there all day?
Do you even like coffee?
Hey Mr policeman, standing at the stair.
You have the most unusual hair!
But the strangest thing about you
Is your dazzling, brilliant smile.
Could you stay for a while?
Greetings, TSA officer.
Do I look suspicious to you?
Does each day bring something new?
Do you like to people-watch to?
Am I a nuisance to you?
Excuse me, man not wearing a mask,
Why didn’t you perform this simple task?
Do you hate being told what to do?
(I get it, sometimes I do too.)
Are you a rebel? A troublemaker?
Do you live under a rock?
They’re watching you like a hawk.
Hey there, woman with rose hair.
What’s that? Oh, hello Blair.
Are you from here? New here?
You work at a skating rink!
Well, tell me, is that the reason
Your hair is pink?
Hi guy! You seem nervous to fly!
What’s the matter? First time!
Let me sooth you with this rhyme;
“Flying is fun,
Flying is easy!
Flyings no trouble
(Unless you get queasy!)”
There, feeling better yet? No!
You’re afraid we’ll encounter snow?!
Well, these pilots are trained, you know.
Hello, military Vet.
Is that your service pet?
Do you ever feel regret?
Do you feel all your needs are met?
Oh Mr pilot, I wish you were someone new.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to fly,
And you seem like a nice guy.
But just once, when I hear your flight announcements
I wish I heard a woman’s voice.
Oh my, an hour has passed? Good Lord,
It will soon be time to bored!
I must grab my things, quickly!
But I wonder…
What do these people think of me?