The Literary Cat image by Reva
At This Time by Reva Nelson
I know that
Some of you have
Cleaned the stove, tidied your closets, painted your bathroom, emptied your cupboards
Washed the floors, cleansed your cushions, vacuumed your cars
Written three novels, painted five pictures
And accomplished countless other achievements.
Talked on the phone
Read ten novels
And have been in shock.
This author of ‘Bounce Back’, Creating Resilience from Adversity
Has not felt resilient, has not felt new energy, has not felt creative.
I do rejoice
That Nature said, “Enough”
Too many pollutants, too many emissions
Too much waste
And has started to stitch up the ozone layer
Put fish back in the waters
Allowed bees to flourish
And has set us straight
In spite of ourselves.
LOVE IN A TIME OF DISTANCING by ANTONY DI NARDO
Love is but a syllable in a book
two other words are you and me
together we determine how bright
the last light leaves the day
you talk in terms of candles
I quote variations on a simple word
we agree to flatten the curve with a kiss
the cello plays Billie Holiday
the clouds a chorus from Hallelujah
April snaps and out we flutter like birds
from mountain to mountain
a moment’s breath to reach the peak
our breath combines the words we speak
FADING STARS by CHRISTOPHER BLACK
While robins woke to fading stars,
That drew fat worms to morning doom,
And tired hands sought coffee jars,
Still half in dream and nightly tomb,
While prostitutes and presidents,
Walked secret streets, or secret rooms,
And madmen claimed it all made sense,
But nightly danced in drunken fear,
While others stared in innocence,
But couldn’t help a sudden tear,
Rising from their aching hearts,
For those they lost they once held dear,
A message came from foreign parts,
Of something strange passed through the air;
As if a fusillade of poisoned darts,
That pierced the old and young, the sad and fair,
In silence, swift, and thus, unseen,
As Satan climbing Heaven’s stair,
His strength renewed and body lean,
To reclaim his old authority,
And sit the chair where God had been,
Sans remorse, regret, sans pity,
First one succumbed and then the many,
From east to west, in town, in city,
The working poor lost every penny,
And sat alone, apart, in wonder,
For them escape there was not any,
As the world around them broke asunder,
For existence cares not what your name,
Or what day they put you under,
And while many played the ancient game,
Of searching entrails for some secret reason,
A bleating scapegoat they could blame,
Others knew we’d had our time, our run, our season,
Had squandered all, destroyed the world,
Against Life itself had plotted treason,
So down the great abyss were hurled.
MAKING SOUP by KATE MACDONALD
What’s in the cupboard?
What’s in the fridge?
She peeks here and there.
Veggies? Broth? Seasonings?
Abundance and scarcity.
Peel. Chop. Substitute.
Sauté. Simmer. Taste.
Beyond the window
sun shines beckoning.
Her bike’s in winter storage.
Narcissus surely bloom
Robins and worms
Bunnies under spring Hosta leaves
A solitary swan on the river
But an ingredient’s lacking?
Don your cowboy bandana.
Substitute two feet for two wheels.
GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW HAIKUS by KIM AUBREY
Reality too harsh?
Retreat under meringue peaks
to bake a Daquoise
What could be more real
than sugar, egg whites, and cream
beaten, then eaten?
To frost sweet pastry
amidst news of plague and grief
pipes rosettes of hope.
Kim’s cakes, K. Aubrey
Thanks to the hard-working volunteers — K. Aubrey and Felicity Sidnell, among them — and poets.
For more about SOTH’s pandemic project: Spirit of the Hills