This too Shall Ebb.

By Kimutai Allan.


Fear abounds,
In crowded cities,
And in the little hamlets,
The world, is scared stiff,
Hopelessness is all we feel.
It’s here,
A rogue affliction,
Ravaging us like a fire.
We want to escape,
But, whereto?
It’s all upon the world,
Can we win against it?
Well, it might serve us,
To relook at our past.
We,
The intelligent human species,
Have been bedeviled before,
By disasters so detrimental,
But haven’t we risen up?
And lived better than before?
Take heart,
Be of good cheer,
This insidious tide too will ebb.
Keep on acting,
Upon all that our medics tell,
For a day is coming,
When normalcy will again grace,
These our beautiful shores!

Poet Bio:

Kimutai Allan is a Kenyan writer whose works have been published in numerous publications like the Kalahari review and others.

A Letter to the Future.

By Guttabingi Mary Prisca.

Dear 2050,

How are you? How are the daily struggles of life
-breathing, smiling, living-?
Do not grin till your charred lips
Crack from the repetitive exercise
You like calling survival.
Do not force it
Because right in our cemetery
a mould of humor rots
rolls relentlessly.
We even have potential jokes like the cabinet
And a now-powerless-covid-bully.
It’s not all about pandemics and worms
Like they all claim.

By the way,
You are cordially invited to our land
Where we finally absconded
with a new “no social distance” rule.
Here, we are family;
Constantly rubbing shoulders like Siamese twins,
We are inseparable like that!
So why stick to your grief-stricken generation?
A sad era with happy selfies?
We used to be genuinely sad.
We can’t tolerate your sarcasm
from our lockdown graves.

Also, here,
There’s no hate to give,
But rather love that’s threatening
To burst out of us like water through a dam,
But you are in self-denial,
Feeling appalled.

Since absence makes the heart grow fonder,
We shall wait for you
Like Christians wait for judgement day!
And when we finally meet
It will be more of an explosion
Than the kiss of death;
A bomb erupting between the moment
Our lips will make contact,
Fusing us together
Like two atoms in a nuclear reactor.

This sort of perfection
Deserves to be immortalized.
Who says no to a dark paradise?
Whichever vehicles takes you there,
Pandemic or not

Your patient lover,

2020.

Poet Bio:

Guttabingi Mary Prisca is a young writer passionate about writing poetry and mechanical engineering. She is a student at Kyambogo University in Uganda.

Listening to Frank at Work during the Corona Virus Lockdown.

By Jack Bowman.

The trumpet flares out, steamy notes, well felt ones,

Frank sits at his desk during a break,

glasses lost, he does his best to shuffle through.

Outside, the world is filled with viruses

and billions are confined to their homes.

Bands of morons,

defy this and will surely cause another wave

of the pandemic to spread.

So Frank writes, does his best to focus and balance

let’s the jazz in

it calms him –

reduces his typos

and reminds him about ‘the moment’

how it feels to be ‘moved’ about all you do

then does it.

Poet Bio:

Jack Bowman is the author of over ten books including poetry collections and novels.

We Live by the Hands of Others.

By David Mellor.

We live by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

They pass the parcel

Stand at the till

Nurse the wounded

Or keep order

We live  by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

Our hands scrubbed clean and safe

But…

We  live by others. We are grateful to them,

Who have to live with that fear, day by day.

So that a whole humanity can be preserved.

Poet Bio:

David R Mellor is from Liverpool, England. He is a writer and performer.

The Heroes (for Eryk Hanut).

By Carolyn Gregory.

The heroes fill my heart with joy.
They open community kitchens
and shut down restaurants.
They reach an ancient birthday
after living a good life.

They offer face masks
to help the poor survive.
They write articles to help
readers know
what looms before them.

The heroes are both invisible
and also in our lives,
carrying good jokes and prayers
in equal measure.

We are lucky to have them among us,
offering peace and much better days
if we are alert
to all their good works.

 

 

Night and Day.

By Jan Tromp.

At home during our first lockdown
it’s as if the end has come
the whole world quieted by the plague
businesses closed, people sent home,
in some countries hospitals overrun
and death at the corner…
us, confined in the house
musing what’s to be done,
doves calling at sunset,
and there was evening
with its glinting star
and morning —the first day.

***

Futilely searching for the manual to all of this,
cut-off, we attempt
to connect by zoom, tik tok and whatsapp
seeking the safe centre,
the how, what and why in countless
burning digiscreens, one-world windows,
We open them to love and hate,
falsity, truth, we can’t resist them now:
chipped with the apple, scared of the doctor
and the dark laboratory churning under,
even as the antelope roam savannahs free,
we’re the planet’s freaks now
shivering…broken/hopeful in the lonely wind,
and there was evening
with shattered neon cloud
and morning —the sixth day.

 

Poet Bio:

 

 

Rim Canyon Road.

By Jack Bowman. 

It’s May, Frank’s eyes continue to blur,

he loses things, forgets, gets frustrated easily

some pressure;

a new found irritant,

an itchy wound where none was before

 

he gets his youngest, gives him the easy Canon, he uses his phone

takes off toward Tujunga, after 3 attempts to get through, they find it,

Mt Gleeson Rd., which leads up and over,

the road behind the mountains,

it seems, others have found it too,

many cars, hard to see the people, a few doing social distancing

the rocks are there, the cliffs, drying creeks, sand, bridges,

a kite

and then the view,

they stop exit the car and take it in, a few photos, but the expanse is wide;

a valley with high mountains on each side, green of spring, a misty fog makes him wonder if it’s all real,

but he takes it in anyway

shows his son how to work the camera,

 

it works, irritation suspended,

mountain driving, beauty and secrets

hidden in the travertine and limestone, 

it feels

just fine.

Poet Bio:

Jack G. Bowman is a poet, composer, performer and psychotherapist based in Southern California. His poems have been widely published in small presses across the US, UK, India, Mexico and on the internet since 1991. He has written reviews for Poetix and Poetic Diversity, he was a member of the poetry groups; Third Person Singular, Duotribe and The Furniture Guild Poets, in recent years, he has been published in Altadena Poetry Quarterly, Spectrum Anthologies and Fevers of the Mind, He was nominated for a Push-Cart Prize in 2016.

BREAKING FREE

   By Agatha Malunda.

 

The slavery of free men has began.

A ruthless Queen has risen from the east and 

She, unlike the sun, is harmful to man.

Each day she exhorts the power of death,

many are struggling to survive;

 all living under the fear of losing their lives.

The world is under attack

And lockdown has become Noah’s ark

to protect us from this fiery flood.

We cover our nose and mouth with a mask

and  we’ve become accustomed to this task.

Large gatherings are restricted

our feeling of togetherness is afflicted.

Handshakes have become illegal 

They say hugs and kisses

contribute to the further spread of the illness.

 

The sun shines but we admire its beauty

through our curtain windows.

We can no longer feel its rays on our skin. 

We spend all day listening to news

hearing how the masters of science

are struggling to find an antidote.

But this pain won’t last forever

we will fight it together.

The reign of Corona will be gone

a new era will be born.

in the meantime let us practice safety

by washing our hands regularly and staying indoors as part of the remedy.

In so doing will defeat this enemy

and convict it for its felony.

Life is sweet and we will not let Corona

still the honey in our bodies.

Masks

By Mniko Chacha.

 

“Wear the masks,” the prominent governor announced,

Soon after Covid-19 emerged,

Despite the increase in price everyone demanded masks at any price,

So, I bought two masks to cover my face,

 

At home, the wise passerby uttered,

“Wear masks everywhere you go, otherwise, you will cease to exist.”

I resisted it for a while and tried to disbelieve my mind,

Then, I recalled what the Television broadcasted. “Those who will wear masks will defeat this pandemic beast.”

 

I thought a little bit and took the face mask,

And covered my face,

I looked on the mirror and saw that my face was becoming the dusk,

The confusion disturbed my eyes, so, I broke the mirror with my fist,

 

Afterwards, I moved towards the sitting room where my wife drank a beer,

“Woo the ghost is coming to kill me right here.”

She shouted and struck me with the whisk broom,

And fled from my sight like a ripe plum,

 

I threw down the mask thinking that it brought the pandemic ghost in my home,

“Take care, nowadays, the face masks are rare to find,

Like the dust of gold.”

The fading mouth roared to me,

 

Later, I shook my head to grasp the reality,

And restore into me the sincerity,

To the best of my own ability,

I wore another mask and got back to my sanity,

GRAVITY UNGRATEFUL

By Mark Blickley.

 

Yes, I am dressed in mourning

Dark clothes for a dark time

Yet I yearn to escape

Pandemic imprisonment

With the germ of an idea

That will allow me to soar

Above my confinement

In an airborne threat

Against complacency and boredom

As I reach up to a blue heaven

That promises social distancing

On a cosmic scale,

But that old bitch gravity

Bears down on me,

Slapping me down

Like a petulant child

Crying out

For what she cannot have,

Slammed back

To a blanketed earth

Of red white and blue.

 

Poet Bio:

Mark Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. His latest book is “Dream Streams”, is a text-based art collaboration with Amy Bassin.