One Word by Stephen House

Carpe Diem Series

I cannot think of a more elegant piece of work to end the Carpe Diem Series than this inspirational poem by Stephen House! What better way to seize the day than to put our attention towards love!

My Favorite Line, “ocean wander shares deep thought
hold all said in one word read
appreciate the gift to grasp
know well the word arrived by wind”


one word

stop my walk on empty beach
sit to rest on flat rock seat
breathe in fresh morning air
sun and waves give calm relax
gaze out horizon blue green frame
white cloud sky on glimmer sea
screwed up ball of paper blowing
stops soft against my foot

pick up the paper not sure why
maybe drawn to colour lemon
unscrew scrap dry faded torn
smooth out straight on naked knee
first notice image tight embossed
a flower i think a rose
top left corner slightly ripped
words hand-written underneath

can’t make out smeared ink scribble
only one word clear remains
love it says unmistaken
then blurs into greying swirl
the spelt out single message
reminds of love in my life near
the special ones friends and family
that without my life hang barren

paddle slowly in icy shallows
ocean wander shares deep thought
hold all said in one word read
appreciate the gift to grasp
know well the word arrived by wind
but also sure was meant for me
for in the weeks preceding here
a struggle in my days sat heavy

and just the chance to reflect upon
those ones dearly close to me
brings a smile and warm of heart
at how fortunate i am
the crumpled paper piece i hold
feel it gently in clasp fingers
fold it twice a treasure now to keep
slip it in my pocket cherished


Artist:

Stephen House is an award winning Australian playwright, poet and actor. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild) , Adelaide Fringe Award, Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, Goolwa Poetry Cup, Feast Short Story Prize and more. He’s been shortlisted for Lane Cove Literary Award, Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, Greenroom best actor Award and more. He’s received Australia Council literature residencies to Ireland and Canada, and an India Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia. He is published often and performs his work widely.

Destination Unknown & Other Poetry by Ann Christine Tabaka

Carpe Diem Series

Wander through the mystical and exciting words of Ann Christine Tabaka! When I read her work I feel a strong sense of freedom and intrigue that eagerly pulls me into the next phrase.

My Favorite Line, ” Fantasies that never were
are now forevermore.”


Destination Unknown

Turnstile gate swings open
commuter trains rush by.

World weary travelers face another week,
never knowing one day from the next.

She stands on the platform,
watching and waiting for her train.

Dreams of far-off destinations,
holding a crumpled ticket in hand,

imagining all the places
she would like to go.

Visiting exotic worlds,
timeless visions fill her mind.

Eyes closed to wonderment,
she looks inside herself.

Golden cites rise above clouds.
Purple meadows stretch on forever.

Sparkling diamond seas,
white ibis soar overhead.

Suddenly the ticket becomes her escape,
as she boards a train to everywhere.

A whistle blows and she is gone,
riding into the unknown.


The Heart of Winter

December shed her wings and flew away
giving room for January to grow anew
sunlight shimmers in frosty air
crystals sparkle from every branch
ice laced winter morn
pristine snow covers all
time is frozen – in a whisper
enchanting beauty of a harsh season
slowly waiting for spring thaw


Lost Afternoon

Pinwheel afternoon
spinning on a breeze.

Sun smiling down
on a lazy day.

Woven dreams
spun of gold.

Grand escapades of imagination
floating on a whisper.

Fantasies that never were
are now forevermore.

I never put that much into life,
life just seemed to happen.

Standing here too long
I lose my way.


We Live for the Night

Nocturnal sky,
starlit filled.
You took my hand in yours.

Path well worn
beneath our feet.
We’ve walked this way before.

Legends live within us.
Heaven opens its vault.
Blackness cloaks us in its sheltering arms.

A whip-poor-will calls our names.
We vanish into
a star-studded night.

We dance among the galaxies
never looking back.

The night goes on forever.
We live for this.


I Want to Hide Away

I want to hide away inside the warmth of your smile,
the softness of your touch.
I want to crawl inside your skin to be one with you.
to fly into your arms – safe and sheltered in your love.

your comforting voice cooing from the nest,
inviting me to enter in.
climbing ever higher – we reach the clear blue sky,
to soar above peril and atrocity.

I want to hide away to become lost upon the breeze,
carried within the storm.
a whirlwind of desire,
never letting go of what I found in you.

as time distills imagination into being,
we become the sanctum that we seek,
shutting out all that is not fair and true.
hiding forever in each other’s love.


Artist:

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020,” published by Sweetycat Press. Chris has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. Her work has been translated into Sequoyah-Cherokee Syllabics, into French, and into Spanish. She is the author of 13 poetry books. She has been published micro-fiction anthologies and short story publications.  Christine lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: The American Writers Review, The Scribe Magazine, The Phoenix, Burningword Literary Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Silver Blade, Silver Birch Press, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Foliate Oak Review, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

Follow:

Website: https://annchristinetabaka.com

Spooning Time by Dr. Christine M. Du Bois

Carpe Diem Series

Sway to the rhythm of this delightful poem by Dr. Christine M. Du Bois! Let her words bring excitement to you on this happy monday!

My Favoirte Line: “I play with
gravity, the way cool metal
pressing lightly on my flesh”


Spooning Time

This spoon balances between
my two fingers better
than all the other spoons.
The weight of it, the slow dance
the spoon and I play with
gravity, the way cool metal
pressing lightly on my flesh
tells secrets to my nerve
endings, or beginnings –
this spoon, emissary
of the heavens,
epistle of yes,
answers simple, birthright questions
I’d forgotten to ask.


Artist:

Dr. Christine M. Du Bois has published three non-fiction books, Images of West Indian Immigrants in Mass Media (LFB Scholarly, 2004), The World of Soy (University of IL Press, 2008), and The Story of Soy (Reaktion Press, 2018). She is a new poet, having published three poems at BourgeonOnline.com, and one on the blog of Prospectus magazine (April 2021).  She is an anthropologist of immigration, race relations, and food cultures, and also a precinct Judge of Elections near Philadelphia—where apparently bad things happen.

Minimum Credula Postero by Kate Meyer-Currey

Carpe Diem Series

Seizing the day is not always a simple task. I love the way that Kate Meyer-Currey describes it as a fight and a battle, because often times that’s what it feels like. She highlights the determination and fire of spirit that is required to get through life.

My Favorite Line, ” He pulls no punches and
I take those, too. Desire
Cheers me on when I
Hit the ropes, so I get
Back up on my feet before
The bell. “


Minimum credula postero

I must seize the day before
It grabs me in its strangle-
Hold, wrestle its hands
From my windpipe before
It blocks my airways and
I suffocate as duty kills
The breath of desire. It
Is a constant struggle as
We are well-matched in
Our weight of experience:
Neither wins as we slug
It out in the ring together.
Duty keeps my feet on
The ground and stops me
From being a lightweight
With my head in the clouds.
He pulls no punches and
I take those, too. Desire
Cheers me on when I
Hit the ropes, so I get
Back up on my feet before
The bell. It’s a fair contest
And every day brings a
Fresh bout. I live for those
Moments in the ring, as
They might be my last:
There are no guarantees
In the game of life; so I’ll
Ensure I go down, fighting,
Not regretting tomorrow.


Artist:

Kate Meyer-Currey was born in 1969 and moved to Devon in 1973. A varied career in frontline settings has fuelled her interest in gritty urbanism, contrasted with a rural upbringing. Her ADHD also instils a sense of ‘other’ in her life and writing, whether folklore feminism, urban myth or social justice. 

Publications 

Chapbook County Lines (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2021) 

Other poems include Family Landscape: Colchester 1957 (Not Very Quiet, September 2020), Invocation (Whimsical Poet, February 2021), Dulle Griet, Scold’s Bridle, Recconnaissance, (RavenCageZine, February 2021), Fear the reaper, (Red Wolf Journal, February, 2021), Stream: Timberscombe (A River of Poems, March 2021), Not so starry night (SheSpeaks, March 2021), Dimpsey (Snapdragon, March 2021), Mask (Disquiet Arts, March 2021)

Cailleach (SageWoman, forthcoming) Dregs (Seinundwerden,forthcoming), Gloves (MacroMicroCosm, forthcoming), Phases of the Moon (Hags on Fire, forthcoming), Anthem for the Contaminated (TrainRiver, forthcoming), Hilly Fields (Pure Slush, forthcoming), Scorpio rising (Noctivagant Press, forthcoming), Maman Brigitte (Albany Poets, forthcoming), Challenge (Poetry and Covid, forthcoming), To the manse (Dunbar, 2019) (Young Ravens, forthcoming), Scrapheap Challenge (Handyuncappedpen, forthcoming), New perspective (Planisphere HQ, forthcoming), Daffs (Blue Heron Review, forthcoming), Kintsugi (Aurora, Kira Kira, forthcoming), Supplication to the Morrigan, Wolf Ridge, (Quail Bell, forthcoming), Tessellation (Quillkeeper’s Press, forthcoming), Magnolia Stellata (Constellations, Literary North, forthcoming) 

A Client Who Originates in Outer Space by Ndaba Sibanda

Carpe Diem Series

Come read about a fascinating scene inside a bookstore in Ndaba Sibanda’s poetry! He creates spectacular imagery and quickly brings you into the space with him.

My Favorite Line: ” I want a book that will soar and swing with me to its sky
one that captures, coaxes and coerces one`s mind’s eye”


A Client Who Originates In Outer Space

she was on the verge of spewing out something
raw like shut the hell up, hence her heart was burning
however, she had been taught that a client is always right
the potential buyer in the shop was like a creepy meteorite
the bookshop clerk`s look was a film of utter astonishment
the lanky lady, the comet in the shop was odd & insistent

I want a book that will soar and swing with me to its sky
one that captures, coaxes and coerces one`s mind’s eye
one whose pages will drive me to make an unrest
of a yell like hell as I freeze & freefall into its crest
one that will daze me with its turns and chases
one whose words are warm & crazy cuddles
one so touching that tears will be a torrent
a book whose word choice is an absorbent
a breeze that will brush away all my tears
and make me laugh out loud on its stairs

Ndaba Sibanda


Artist:

Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

Forever For Now & Other Poetry by Judy DeCroce & Antoni Ooto

Carpe Diem Series

A beautiful wife/husband duo have teamed up to make exquisite poetry for us to delight ourselves with this morning! Come read the dancing rhythm of Judy DeCroce & Antoni Ooto!

My Favorite Line: “I’m glad…but, I don’t really want to know
Everything.”


Forever For Now

I had a rope for climbing, true…

tied to a soul and times to come

I was looking at the fading side of day,
memories –all friendships stitched

making my way impatient
across this dream

that day,

on this island, from this tower—

thoughts climbed two different worlds,
far away coming in,

finally, a pull toward a finish line
right to my right, and for now,

a thank you
forever.


An Invitation with Conditions

Nothing says you don’t belong.

But please…please keep something back.

I still love you—
even those unshared parts;

invite you into my life
but there are some secrets to keep.

Yes, you are here, and

I’m glad…but,

I don’t really want to know
Everything.


Now Gone

that dream of light or dark
is all there is and all there isn’t

stories breaking away on clean pages
fragments sliding in with a chill

cold as southbound rain—
sounding the way a heart beats out

and there you are,
the best part of it

leaving again
when no one was watching


Artist:

Internationally published writers, storyteller and educator Judy DeCroce, and poet/artist Antoni Ooto are based in Upstate New York.
Married and sharing a love of poetry, they spend their mornings studying established poets, as well as, work on revising, critiquing, editing and listening to their own pieces. 

Judy DeCroce, has been  published in The Poet Magazine, Red Eft Review, Amethyst Review, The BeZine, Front Porch Review, and many others.

Antoni Ooto has been published in The Poet Magazine, North of Oxford, The Wild Word, The Active Muse, Amethyst Review, The BeZine, and both have been published in numerous journals and anthologies.

Carpe Diem by Gerald E. Greene

Carpe Diem Series

Some days “Seizing the day” comes easy, while other days it is not all it’s cracked up to be. Gerald E. Greene shares with us today an incredibly relatable poem!

My Favorite Line, “So “carpe” isn’t what I’m meant to be.”


Carpe Diem

“Seize the day!” she said in hurried tones,
As if I didn’t want to carpe diem.
I wasn’t sure how to respond to the
call to cherish moments, or how to use them.

One cannot argue with the pristine thought
of going after what you want, achiev-
ing best results with what you have to give.
It is a fact I know and do believe.

While others work all day and stay up late,
I fall asleep while watching my TV,
and go to bed by nine, five nights a week.
So “carpe” isn’t what I’m meant to be.

Go seize, if that is what you want to do,
and use each second to its full extent.
Take control of all that comes your way
and measure with precision how each minute’s spent.

But I am lazy, have no energy
to tackle projects in a zealous way,
and so I amble, nap and take my time,
unwilling to rise up and “Seize the Day!”


Artist:

Gerald E. Greene

Author of “Kaleidoscope” poetry collection Published by CreateSpace, 2017 and “Turning Losing Forex Trades Into Winners” Published by John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

His blog is “Short Stories Rated G” on Facebook

His short stories or poems have been published in Guide Magazine, Insight Magazine, Compass Magazine, The Flash Fiction Press, Deronda Review, A Story in 100 Words, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Glide, Not Far From Me, and Jordan Journal Collective.

When You Smile & Other Poetry by Walid Abdallah

Carpe Diem Series

Prepare to be moved by the tender words of Walid Abdallah! In a world that is filled with heaviness, his poetry brings a much needed light and romance.

My Favorite Line, “Because of her, I forget every pain
Her love flows smoothly in every vein”


When you smile 

When you smile to me
I drown into your see

A smile wipes away the world ugliness
It settles down my heart’s mess

It gives my life a meaning
It stops my heart’s bleeding

It makes me alive again
It gives the desert rain

It makes me forget anything bad
It makes me happy after being sad

It lightens the darkness of my night
It gives the sun much more light

It stops wars and hurricanes
It eliminates all people’s pains

It creates a unique state
It brings the best fate

It makes the sky in joy fly
It makes the rock in joy cry

Your smile is the secret of my happiness
Keep smiling, it is truly priceless


Palm tree

I am a palm tree in the vast space
The desert is my home, my place

The Arabs are my folks everywhere
They water me with love and care

I am the symbol of their glory and wealth
I am the source of their dignity and health

In the middle of the desert standing upright
Witnessing every moment of joy and fight

My roots go down to the deepest earth
I protect Arabs from famine and dearth

I feed everyone passing by and every astray
Every animal feeds on my leaves and hay

I am the first food Arabs ever know
I stand still whenever storms blow

I have saved people of desert through the ages
Read history books and tour religious pages

I have been the shelter of the different prophets
I have been the wealth of Arabs and their profits

I am the beauty of desert, I am the palm tree
I am the absolute beauty man’s eyes can see


Soulmate 

All my life,  looking for my soulmate
Sent straight from my good fate

Carrying eternal happiness in her eyes
Having a tender heart that never lies

Her smile lightens the whole earth
Her eyes are the world’s wealth

On seeing her, I forget my name
My breathing stops and can’t blame

Because of her, I forget every pain
Her love flows smoothly in every vein

With every beat, my heart calls her
Saying her name, longing for her care

When she shows up, birds swing
My heartbeats dance and sing

Opening my eyes, seeing no one
Her beauty exceeds the warm sun

In a very cold lonely night
Her eyes hold me so tight

She is the love I always wait for
She is the love I never tasted before


Artist:

Walid Abdallah is an Egyptian poet and author. He is a visiting professor of English language and literature in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA, his poetry includes “Go Ye Moon”, “If you were here”, ” Dream” and “My heart still beats”. His books include Shout of Silence, Escape to the Realm of Imagination, My Heart Oasis and Man Domination and Woman Emancipation, and his co-translations with Andy Fogle of Farouk Goweda’s poetry have previously appeared in Image, RHINO, Reunion: Dallas Review, and Los Angeles Review. These translations won prestigious prizes in the USA like “Cause”, “Egypt’s Grief”, and “Strangers’ Cross”. 

State of Arcane Art? & Other Poetry by Gerard Sarnat

Carpe Diem Series

Gerard Sarnat reminds us of the preciousness of life and how fragile it can be. Take a moment to read his remarkable work and let it encourage you to make the most of today and everyday!

My Favorite Line: “But in the looking, you may find freedom to ask,

Thusly, what is truly happening here now?”


State of Arcane Art?

Puff…puffed
up poobah…
here I am, a doctor
who practiced
in two meccas,
Stanford/ Harvard
med schools,
back during
relative Dark Ages,
today read
in JAMA
enlightened treatment
for COPD
unchanged,
with supplemental 𝑂2
& “handheld
fans” (!!!!)
still fundamental
non-drug
Rx before
resort to opioids for
shortness
of breath.


TIME HAS COME TODAY MY FRIEND THIS IS SEASON’S END

i. Post Traumatic Growth Doomsday

Almost 75 years, sequestered, counting her/our fears, separated
from only companion she could touch —
last shelter dog left in kennel after run on that gloomy market

–with a very long history of insulin-requiring diabetes mellitus,
cardiovascular disease, Guillan-Barré,
intubated, dialyzed with pneumonia + incurable acute leukemia

Bonnie Doon’s got nada timeouts, only exit moves so she spends
precious hours not too near loving family,
doesn’t waste remaining I.C.U. time warp rending sterile garments.

ii. Diamond Birthday Party

— R.I.P. B.T. (1944- 15Oct20)

There we were,
perhaps 50 of us Stanford community squares
Zoom-celebrating
the gem which you are for making it to year 76.

After ICU bout
of about two weeks intubated well as dialyzed
with underlying
insulin-requiring diabetes/cardiovascular disease

on top of morsel
sized modest Guillain-Barré residuals plus more
recent incurable
acute myelogenous leukemia, new pneumonia etc.

somehow now
hero-spouse’s steely-eyed determined perseverance
diplomatically
managed young house staff and keep patient aroused

so that morning
of lunch event, just an hour until our festivities’ launch,
all those tubes
got removed right in time for loved one properly fêted

then says Thanks!
along with few of her signature ripping razor-sharp barbs
indicating truly
“with it” before minutes after virtual get-together ends, she

passed peaceably happily hypoxic.


Impermanence Embraced

— thanks to David Cohn

We think time’s linear, that past becomes present and present becomes our future.

Though if look at experiences more closely — there are no present moments.

Each seems empty of any solid existence. Cannot be found.

But in the looking, you may find freedom to ask,

Thusly, what is truly happening here now?

Strong call to return home to wildwoods?

To sit under bodhi tree with primordial

natural awareness, unconditioned,

deathless, unborn. Commit to sky,

allegiant to allow clouds to pass.

So sages have taught us…


Artist:

Gerard Sarnat won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Chicago and Columbia presses. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.gerardsarnat.com

Gâteau & Other Poetry by Joan Mazza

Carpe Diem Series

Joan Mazza’s poetry brings such delight in the way she addresses the pandemic and life within it, while also acknowledging the hardships. Her first poem might even make you a bit hungry! Check out her incredible work!

My Favorite Line, “Give me a break—cake to numb my heartache, baked until
the sugars brown, sliced pineapples turned upside
down.”


Gâteau
for Susan, in pandemic solidarity

Even in French, it has too many calories—
those lovely éclairs and croissants I wake
craving— tarts, tortes, and turnovers with figs,
apricots, and dates. I pine for pound cake,
chase chiffon and angel food, cheesecake with
chocolate swirled, cupcakes, muffins. Even

date-nut bread with pecans is sweet enough.
I’m jonesing for an all-day buffet of desserts
only, with layer cakes on pedestals, frosting
dripping down the sides, roses created
from butter cream and tinted pink and peach.
Large spoons summon me to tubs of vanilla

and chocolate pudding, rice pudding, Jell-o,
and custards. I salivate for a hunk of apple pie
with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a fudge
sundae with sprinkles and nuts, a banana split
and crisp sugar cookies on the side. I’ll take
a cake sandwich, cake pizza, penne baked

with chocolate chips, brownies, and cream puffs.
A year of no parties, gatherings, or restaurants
gives me the shakes and makes me want to eat
all things sweet before I graduate to Pringles,
Fritos, salted peanuts, cashews, and pistachios.
Awake since 3 AM, I’m still fasting, but must

wait to eat until ten. Forget those healthy meals
of greens and beans, a four-ounce steak. Toss
out those salads that should be eaten with a goddamn
rake. Monday I’ll turn on the brakes. Give me

a break—cake to numb my heartache, baked until
the sugars brown, sliced pineapples turned upside
down. Today, cake. For God’s sake, more cake!


Unbutton My Soul

How much courage is needed
to play forever,
as the ravines play,
as the river plays.

– From Boris Pasternak’s, “Bacchanalia”

A buttonhole is a portal to subterranean channels,
buried by commandments. It’s a secret doorway
to unfasten the strictures of the Catholic Church
with all its shalt-nots and guilt-ridden rules to inhibit
pleasure. Not only self-pleasure and the sensual
pleasures of skin with a partner, but simple thrills

attached to reading mysteries and the awe at changing
seasons. Where is the guidance for finding thrills
and joy, like leaping into cold water or a hot tub?
Or a bed? What guidance does the liturgy provide
for tenderness toward children, refugees, disabled?
Where are the rituals to cultivate compassion

for the distressed and poor? I’m unbuttoning,
taking off my refugee mentality with my fear
of the new, taking off layers of heavy fleece,
hats that squeeze my brain. I’m taking off
for the woods with my shirt open and flapping
in the breeze my body makes with my stride,

open to the snares of emotional memories,
happy to be tripped by unexpected playfulness,
blissed out to see the tangled vines of greenbrier
as beautiful, its berries gathered for jam. I’m
tripping and jamming to the music of finches
and titmice, music of the spheres I hear when

I hold still and halt my breath to accept
my sphere of influence right here, right now.
Let creative affluence assail me and hold me
in its tattooed arms to whisper, You will
create dreamy gestures to enter unknown
kingdoms. No art is dumb or wasted.


One Year In

Not surprised by having to quarantine,
not shocked by empty shelves at groceries,
I’d expected to see a pandemic during my
lifetime, anticipated staying home alone
for three months, maybe four. It’s one year

since I stocked up, locked down. Vaccines
are here and working. I’m registered, await
my turn, will take any brand available, thrill
at my immune response. This year I did
what I always do: I cooked and baked bread,

labeled everything I froze with contents, date,
and rotated my stock of homemade soup
and canned goods. My friends have blossomed
into artists, turned to watercolors and markers
to draw portraits and animals I recognize.

I’m still writing daily poems about my old
obsessions, waiting for a shift, a clever plot
twist in my life. I don’t need a rescue, know
any prince meant for me won’t ignore the signs
on my driveway that say, Private. No Trespassing.

For those who’ve turned again to alcohol, weed,
and overeating, you have my deep compassion.
These are the hard times, unprecedented times
we’ll talk about for decades, as my parents
spoke of war and The Great Depression,

as I once recounted memories of the day JFK
was shot in Dallas, and the other assassinations
in that decade when the world seemed off
its axis. We’ll talk about January 6 with awe
at the mobs who swallowed conspiracies

about implants, 5G, child trafficking, and slave
colonies on Mars. We won’t forget the claims
that liberals drank baby blood for longer lives.
One year in, we ask, will I emerge whole?
What have I learned about my humanity?


Artist:

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self, and her poetry has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a poem every day. 

Follow:

www.JoanMazza.com