Hello friends. Today is day 3. Except it’s close to midnight, which means it’s almost tomorrow. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was all about using a rhyme generator and playing around with sound, but I’m not a very rhyme oriented poet—maybe I should try to be more enthusiastic about rhyming? At any rate, I must admit I am totally not in the mood to attempt to generate a word bank right now, so I’m going rogue on this one.
Too Many Words
I don’t need to search for words. I have too many in my head right now.
Virus. Curve. Shelter. Pandemic. Isolation. Crisis. Collapse. Fear.
I attempted to keep myself busy with yard work today.
It’s what normal people do on a normal spring day.
I even got my kids involved.
(Part of me was thrilled to have them outside.
If it were a regular day they would have been in school).
I found myself in tears hours later,
after my kids went to their dad’s house for the weekend,
and I found myself alone, knowing I’d see no one else for days.
Quarantine. Ventilator. Masks. Intubation. Social Distancing. Death.
I call my sister in tears. I tell her that I’m not passing the yoga test,
that I’m not doing this as well as a yoga teacher should do a pandemic.
I’m hearing the inner critic, she said. More tears.
I distracted myself with rare vintage footage of Terrence McKenna,
me and 5000 people on Crowdcast…totally alone, watching together.
I guess that this is how I’ll get through this.
I’ll face my aloneness. Like everyone else in the world.*
*I feel a need to acknowledge those of you who are shut inside with people you don’t necessarily want to be with, my heart goes out to you. Maybe my situation (days of isolation) sounds like paradise. Well, I’ll breathe for you as you long for solitude, and I ask you to please breathe for me as I long for company. I’ll take in this peace and quiet, and I’ll radiate this feeling out into the whole world for you to feel. My friends who are with loved ones…please take in your feelings of warmth, being seen, being loved, and radiate this feeling out into the whole world for all of us who are lonely, that we might feeled loved even in our loneliness. Thank you. 🙏🏻❤️🌈🙏🏻
I loved today. The kids and I had a sweet hike in the woods. So much sunshine and wind! It’s also day 2 of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt got me because it invited us to write a poem about a place, including details to help portray a mood. I always want to write about natural places, so here we go…
Loch Raven Reservoir Hike, Take 1
We hadn’t been there in a while
and I was excited
Until we walked up to the signs
saying “NO TRESPASSING’.
another sign said “CORONAVIRUS.
This park closed to public,
One of my favorite trails, now forbidden.
Loch Raven Reservoir Hike, Take 2
We drove further down the road.
I followed my nose,
crossed a bridge,
parked the car just beyond.
There were no signs,
just an inviting trail,
going straight up.
I thought about the miracles that spring up
the possibilities that open up
when the routine is shaken up.
A Little Later
A blustery wind
made the still leafless trees
creak and groan
as their naked tops whipped around.
The water sparkled green.
Tiny pink flowers on the forest floor.
And more frequently than I want to say,
bits of trash,
Signs that humans have been this way.
First a young man
then twenty minutes later
an older man
passed us on the trail,
warmly keeping their distance.
My house is not spacious like the forest
but there is no wind chilling my bones
or signs telling me I am unwelcome.
Thank God for Home.
I’ve been keeping this blog for years now, and this is my 6th consecutive year of NaPoWriMo. Hey, a pandemic can’t stop poetry, good news, right? Today’s prompt on the NaPoWriMo site recommended trying out a metaphor generator. I had some fun with it, but it didn’t inspire any poetry. So, I’ll just be doing my thang today…which is simply showing up and allowing what wants to be said to come forth…
As I grope for some kind of sane rhythm
in the aftermath of our loss of normalcy
I am comforted by what doesn’t change.
I still grow tired at night.
I still eat, drink, use the bathroom.
I still breathe.
It’s good to know that some things don’t change.
Today I turn 43;
This body has made
43 trips around the sun,
and it seems significant
that I find myself alone
to send up rockets of appreciation
from my square foot of earth
to celebrate the occasion of my birth.
I like myself.
I like the company I keep
in the quiet moments
when there is no one else
to break the silence,
when I have the space to listen to
the deep music of what continues
without human effort,
when we finally slow down
and accept that
enough is enough.
Suddenly, normal was gone.
My First Response: YOGA!
I told everyone how to be yogic about this,
how to breathe, take it one day at a time, be grateful,
how to stay in the present moment,
how to be in one’s body, feeling,
loving the ones we’re at home with,
delighting in nature, the rhythms of the day.
Then my kids went back to their dad
and I found myself alone.
My Second Response: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
I wish I hadn’t watched all those episodes of The Walking Dead.
I wish I had known a Pandemic was coming.
I wish I had decluttered my house first.
I wish I had met my soulmate before the Pandemic,
so that we could be inside, together,
sitting by a sweet fire, enjoying a Quaran-tini.
I wish I had been well-established in my dreamhouse
and my dream work and my dream life
before the Pandemic,
I wish I had been so busy being successful
that I would actually need a vacation
and all this social distancing now.
Alas, all I can do is look back and say
Lorien, you were barely scraping by.
You were tired all the time.
You didn’t have time to do anything except work and mother.
Maybe it’s ok to be alone on my birthday during a pandemic.
Maybe I’ll celebrate this breath. This life.
This being here regardless of what anyone else thinks.
The ground is shifting constantly,
never the same,
so how can I build anything right now?
Maybe it’s time to let things fall apart,
and see what’s left
after the winds of change blow through.
I’d like to have some kind of plan,
a goal, a vision,
something that helps me feel like there’s a future
and I have some control over the outcome…
But this is a war humans have been fighting
since they knew they could fight
and where has it gotten us?
Maybe I’m better off simply breathing
and allowing myself to be right here, right now.
Breathing and being.
Yeah. That has a nice ring to it.
Don’t worry about getting it right
because you can’t get it wrong…
Just make it through this.
You don’t have to try to be good,
because you can’t be bad,
you are a human being…
Just make it through this.
Throw out all goals except this one:
To breathe slowly and deeply
as many times as I can remember,
through all the days of my life.
The outcome is assured.
You’ll make it through this.