For all we have in common
not all that can divide
For all of Nature’s Bounty
not what we hide inside

It’s called
the Coronavirus
or COVID-19
Like how ISIS
became Daesh
as the West got initiated
in the new form
of terror
When I first heard
I thought typewriter
The Typewriter Virus
My dad was a reporter
always banging out the news
on an old
Smith Corona
He used to say
after his editor butchered
a story he sent over
on the paper plane to
New Bedford
“You can only believe half
of what you read
trouble is
you don’t know which half”

He’s gone
So’s mom
They saw the end of Smallpox
Hundreds of millions got
sucked down
that hole
Till the fifties
another vaccine in that miracle
parade of magic needles
Bubonic Plague
those God damned locusts
We are a resilient lot
us humans
arrogant too
I read Gus describe
in his indomitable way
how a Bald Eagle
symbol of these
United States
usurped an Osprey nest
It had the nerve
to lay a clutch
this spring
Big event
yet in her fierce defense
she crushed the young eggs
and flew off
oblivious to Corona

Looking out from my
New Shelter in Place
called home
I don’t see the Corona
I do see spring swelling
up the grass
I’ve been pruning
the grape vines on the
garden fence
might produce this year
I’ve put them off before
Saving something
to do
when work cuts back
a bit
I am getting older
The chickens don’t seem
bothered by Corona
They are back to
laying well
Our friends in the city
are scared
I can tell because they’re
acting stranger than usual
We all are
I suppose
Social Distance
Jumbo Shrimp
I looked up the word
Greek of course
Sharp and
Dull at once
Juxtaposed it works and
Makes you think

We’ve been busy this winter
into early spring
up till now
building piers
painting buoys
gearing up for the
big rush
50 years this June
1970 till 2020
Right out of high school
when we’d scramble
hiding under desks
head down
we’d steal peeks
our little village
prone and waiting
for the bomb  
Edgartown grade school drills
“The Russians Are Coming”
That movie broke the tension
Made us laugh and release
vacate our fear
Vietnam made it all real again
nothing funny when Billy died
He brought the big world home
in a box

The guys say
don’t come in the shop
you’re in that age group
They’re right I guess
I have been meaning
to slow down
a bit
My hands have never
been so clean
Claudia’s harping at me
don’t touch your face
I feel like a kid again
Why are the Senators arguing
Haven’t we seen
this movie
Groundhog Day
like an endless maze
I’m not religious but
as the
Native People say
God is what we don’t
I do pray
my form of centered focus
and believe
In hope
and gratitude
and love
another form of God
There is no real
good reason
for division
for such divisiveness

This Corona scares us
changes us all
changes the world
Nature does this daily
the beach comes
and goes
until the storm event
takes it all away
Beaches have always been
like that
We have always been shaken by
big storms
We have always
come to terms
often on the same
vulnerable low plain
In harm’s way
We are slow to learn
to accept
the new way
this natural lesson
softly blowing in the wind
big weather leaves behind
This is big weather
Corona brings big wind
big waves
The old beach has washed
it will never be the same

I pray we learn
from this great wave
and pray
those out there in front
where the waves
are breaking noisy
on the sandy beach
hold fast
The doctors and
the grocery checkout folks
the garbage guys
prescription fillers
cops and firefighters
the gas attendants
package store clerks    
all the essentials
The human torch has
we here now
hold it
guard the flame
glowing in our hands
As with all the storms
in all the days before
Our fathers
mothers on and on
stood fast
This is our test
This is our time
and in this test of time
I do see
great hope
for all of humankind

For all we have in common
not all that could divide
For all of nature’s bounty
not what we hide inside

For peace that passes knowledge
where reason fears to tread
For love that clears our vision
with humbleness instead

Where jealousy and envy
are cast back where they came
Together we can salvage
the wide world will surely gain

Where friendship trounces bigotry
deep rivalries dissolve
Together on one planet
animosity is solved

There is no earthly reason
we can’t all get along
Religion preaches selflessness  
helping makes us strong

This virus is another shot
to bind up all as one
Together we will ride this wave
alone we’re likely done

For all we have in common
not all that can divide
For all of nature’s bounty
and all the good we hold inside


Comments (1)

Ed L
Naples now but heading North in June
Thanks Steve. Made my Day! “The life we are living, timorous or bold, will have been our life”. We are all Ambassadors of Conscience, and no Ambassador will ever be relieved. ( Heaney). . Ed
May 18, 2020 - 4:05pm