Modern Day Plague.
Here I lie in my hospital bed
Nurses PPE’d from foot to head
Cannot breathe the breath of life
It’s Covid 19 running rife
I hear a voice muffled by a mask
How are you feeling I hear them ask
Unable to speak I shake my head
No air, no strength, I’ll soon be dead
Darkness engulfs it spreads all around
I first lose sight and then all sound..................................
I open my eyes now I can breathe
Ventilator extracted, cancel the wreaths
Ten days unconscious yet I’m still so tired
I lie here with Covid but haven’t expired
Four weeks in hospital before I’m released
A round of applause the doctors are pleased
I’m told to rest and continue to shield
Breathe in fresh air as outside I’m wheeled
Into an ambulance secured and ready
I’m back in my home although a little unsteady
Life can be shortened and taken away
Beware of Covid 19, you may rue the day!
©Julian Race 24/07/2020
I want a vacation from this extended non-existence
It isn't fun,
When you're holed up,
Crammed in your nook..
It isn't fun,
When all the days are same,
When all the looks
Make you feel more tired...
The blinking phone,
The drowsy lanes,
The coffee gone cold,
The silent rains.
Day melts into night,
And bleeds into day.
No difference between
The different days...
Tired of being
You really want some air,
To fill your lungs to the brim.
We want to put an end
To this nightmarish dream..
The lake feels vital, now, even more than before Covid. I’ve paddled Keuka’s waters, swum in them, and on its shores I’ve picnicked, sipped wine, gotten married. For 15 years we’ve lived a short drive away, and to go somewhere in April and May we’d pick up ice cream at a drive thru and take it to a park just below the north tip so we’d remember it was there. As I type I hear Keuka through the window of this rented house, waves rushing in and wind blowing its moisture undetectably onto my skin. It’s beneath the skin, too: a lake is personal, just as a lake is infinite. Yesterday I crested waves around the bluff just after dawn, but this morning it was placid, and I laid the paddle across the kayak to join the stillness. Drifting in the wideness, the world felt large again.
it comes out
but i mean,
so why the heck
are they even
out of control,
It's been over four months now since either of us has gone to a barber/salon
It's been over two months since I raided the hair care section at the grocery store
It's been over a month since my partner switched to wearing
It's been every day that I struggle to wake up, only to realize -
This is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.
Love in a Time of Coronavirus
Death dons a new face
and the whole world hides behind a mask,
has quarantined itself indoors;
yet, each morning brings new mourning
as statistics continue to worsen.
The odds are in our favor
but every day I still read story
of those lost to this virus,
those whose odds were not favorable.
Sure, my chance of survival is high but what if
I’ve made a mistake,
my preventative measures not cautious enough?
Any day now, it could be my name in the paper,
just another number lost in the statistics.
I obsessively look out the window
keeping watch for an enemy impossible to see.
Like this old house, my body groans and creaks;
every new noise has me panicked
about an unwanted visitor.
There is always a thermometer in my mouth now,
the constant smell of bleach on every surface.
I have not felt my lover’s touch in months.
We promised to let nothing come between us—
all it’s taken is 125 nanometers.
There is a killer on the loose
600 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair,
her hair that used to be everywhere.
Her smell in my clothes, in my sheets,
the subtle reminders of her frequent presence
washed away with disinfectant.
We must stand apart now
to improve the odds we can live a long life
together when this is all over.
This is the happiest love I’ve ever known
and I stay awake at night worried
that I won’t make it long enough to hold her again,
that I’ll wake up in a lonely hospital room,
machines keeping me alive.
I stay awake at night worried
that all the bleach, all the Lysol,
all the masks the in world, all the distance
won’t make a difference.
I stay awake at night worried
that I will be prematurely plucked from this life
and never get the chance to love her
for as long or as much as she deserves.
my struggle with hand sanitizer, masks, quarantine.
coating my hands with this alcoholic based liquid
breathing into the quietness
when what I smell is miasma, the stench
trying to undo and wash away my sins
humans didn’t care,
appreciate the bliss,
now it’s a nightmare
this alcohol-based sanitizer,
went beyond the skin
to clear away those sins
now we cherish those days
when we had the freedom
now we appreciate that
when we’re stuck in a cage.
distances bought us closer
the mask is worn to filter the air,
prevention is better than cure,
so why do we commit a crime and undo it?
before I wore a mask to conceal my emotions
now its shown as an act of love
quarantine makes me realize
is shutting ourselves in four walls so difficult?
when we are pacing in our lives
forgetting about the world
we have shut our minds in quarantine
but now I have finished the isolation of my mind
when I think of the past
it makes me realize how inhumans- humans are
tangled in this mess of life
forgetting about others.
Wear the mask, too much to ask?
it came in from the air
made reality seem surreal
mingled with wonder
to assuage those apprehensions,
i didn’t bother to check the past
seems most didn’t,
the idea did not dawn,
social media seemed unawares,
wanna be news networks,
didn’t seem to,
explicitly enough to,
“hey, this has happened before like this
we live in a world with knowledge replete,
bursting with information
the thing just moved with the flow,
making its demands,
like in losing our freedoms,
as skepticism abounded,
wear the mask
such are minds devoid of history,
though it lies at the door,
so the mind,
as if on crutches,
carried by speculation,
via unabated theories manifoldedly,
whether this or that,
blah and blah again, . . .
were or would be,
could be true,
until the page is turned
in full view,
for the masses to see
is the rosetta stone,
the missing link
to understanding’s release . . .
and so it was for me,
perhaps by providence,
the spanish plague account
replete with images
black and white,
of the world,
of america’s cops,
the public at large,
it wasn’t a governmental conspiracy,
it was two and three real rebounds
during the afore cited
youtube link of the thing,
complete pandemic pandemonia
millions upon millions,
really did die,
along with all the drama,
like a script,
for posterity’s rehearsal
classic case of the proverbial adage:
. . . those who ignore . . . blah
blah, ignore history . . . blah
are destined . . . to
the historical footage is real
to make me feel foolish,
to acquiece to the knowledge of error,
the failure to see
the stupid mask,
is not so stupid now
its impingement of our blah,
the freedom to dine in restaurants,
to hit the beach, . . .
is for me,
to see that its happened before,
a catalyst to surmise,
it brings to mind,
the likes of louis pasteur, et al,
our biggest offense,
is to be ignorantly in league with ignorance
the reactions were the same of yesterday,
to live or,
to wear or not to wear,
that is the question that i ask of thee
to concede defeat of conceit,
of vain inconvenience,
in the midst of controversy,
caught in the milieu of history and science
of me i speak
learn from the past,
shrug off the pride,
bathed in sheepishness,
i wear the mask,
is it really too much to ask
’til this thing be overpast?
wear the mask,
if nothing else,
that none of us,
It started out fine. Just a break that’s all.
I didn’t know it would last up til fall.
Sent home from work and school alike.
Thats not bad. I‘ll take a ride on my bike.
What? I can’t even leave my own little yard?
That’s going to be tough to try to regard.
I’m stuck at home and can’t go out.
I don’t have a reason to be up and about.
I’ll sit here, recline,
drink a small glass of wine.
Five months of that,
I’ll be totally fat!
I need to get up, do the chores
wash the floors, windows, and doors.
I start my spring cleaning spree.
I clean til I’ve got every last bit of debris.
Now what to do? I’ve been put to the test.
At this point should I even get dressed?
I’m going crazy day by day.
No friends, no fun, just stay, stay, stay.
I picked up a hobby here and there,
so I wouldn’t risk pulling out all of my hair.
Badminton, breakdancing, beading, baking,
I even at one point tried candlestick making.
I pinned and I sewed ten pairs of shorts.
Now it’s time I learned some new sports.
I’m good at tennis, and my sister can play.
But the shipment of balls has a minor delay.
Basketball? No. I don’t have a hoop.
Basketball also requires a sizable group.
Football? Mmm, no. Soccer? Takes room.
Quidditch it is! Run and get us a broom.
I’ll get out my costume and paint on a scar.
The snitch will be a remote controlled car.
The quaffle a soccer ball.
The bludger a baseball.
Get the family out! We’ll have us a game.
Wait, they said that quidditch is lame?
I sulk back indoors and cannot decide.
What can I do that I haven’t already tried?
I’m hungry, I think. I go get a snack.
Twenty minutes later, I’m already back.
All I have is family home with me here.
They make me so crazy at times that I fear
my sanity has been stolen
and my brain has been swollen
from thinking too much
about my clogs being Dutch.
And sometimes I have fears
that this could go on for years.
But for now I just hope for the best
and try not to be stressed.
This will all be gone by the time I die...
Psych! That was a big lie.
I’ll probably catch it and end up in bed,
have to stay in a hospital until I am dead.
Quarentine sucks, but it is for the best.
We get to stay home and get to have rest.
Pandemic fling or the real thing?
I met Ned at a neighborhood gathering in Spring of 2019 with no physical attraction or even a second thought. In November I saw him at another party on the street and again he did not stir any emotions or curiosity. My disinterest could be attributed to the fact that I was in a relationship with Elmer and conversations of living together had become serious. Elmer and I had been dating for 18 years and I could never commit to marriage due to my PTSD from my failed marriage to my childrens’ father. Mark’s abusive nature ruined my hope for ever trusting another man to be my partner for life. Elmer and I had zero in common but we enjoyed each others company. He had never voted until 2016 when he was all about Trump and I held my tongue more often than not as I was not a fan. Along came 2020 with Covid 19, civil unrest, and an emergency shutdown of the country which led to a heated discussion turned argument that ended the relationship. Grateful that this revelation happened before I moved in with him made the transition easier but definitely added to my level of anxiety.
The stay at home orders in April had me spending the majority of time outdoors in a hammock and walking my dog every four hours. Front porch time led to an increase in conversations with neighbors and another run in with Ned. At this time with Elmer out of the picture I looked at Ned the neighbor differently. I found him amusing and he made it clear that he liked my company as well. We loved the same music and would dance until way past my bedtime. The chemistry was undeniable and for him to be so conveniently located two doors down was a bonus. I had hit the Pandemic Jackpot of stay at home orders. We played dominoes, pickled peppers and okra from his garden, watched The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, and naturally made each other laugh out loud.
We quickly became neighborfriends with benefits but it seemed to be so much more.
For the first time ever I was comfortable in my own skin. Could Ned by my person?
I didn’t want this fairytale to end but now he is socially distancing himself leading me to believe this was just a pandemic fling. At 54 years old the feelings of rejection sting and have me questioning if I did something wrong, said something inappropriate, have halitosis or like Jimmy Buffet music - not to be enjoyed every single day. Agonizing over the reasons why he lost interest overnight have me feeling like a silly teenager. Perhaps it has nothing to do with me and he is just moody or has multiple personalities. Regardless of the reason, I am working hard to focus on the refreshing fun times we had together rather than dwell on the absence of my pandemic fling neighborfriend. It was entertaining to daydream about actually falling in love again but I will chalk it up to my silver lining to 2020.