Local poets and authors on social distancing – “Going the Distance” (001)

Going the Distance

Local writers offer strength, hope, and solidarity in a time of social distancing

Appearing in the print edition of the Benicia Herald, April 1, 2020


halo of death—
a crown
no one wants to wear.

We isolate ourselves in fear—
give up trains and planes—
the touch of a hand,
the embrace of a friend.

We hide under blankets
in unmarked tents,
in the last room
that has a view of the sunset.

The natural world continues—
a hummingbird quivers in the air,
a tree blossoms into luscious green,
a warm breeze rustles the butterflies awake.

Standing 6 feet away
from someone else,
I watch the sun
disappear behind the trees—
each of us crowned
with its light.

Johanna Ely

Two Weeks Ago

my windows were pass-throughs,
outside inviting play in faithful
light of freedom

undistracted frolic
splendor in little fragments
costs nothing to sing in this space
now each day comes with a price
virus unfolding like a crumbled map
roads to new paths uncertain

powerful     pivotal     ploughs

drops into the unknown
stops any hope.

Stay in             social distance
masks to conceal     gloves to ensure
eyes reveal hesitation to look
beyond the fear

my mind wants to block
locked like my windows are now
grief begins to cover
as I huddle underneath a fleece blanket.

Two weeks ago
my world now memorized by my heart
must remember          must not forget
this is where faith begins.

Suzanne Bruce

Send your poems or short prose to Mary Susan Gast for possible inclusion in this column as we support one another during the coronavirus pandemic.  Email to msgast45 at gmail dot com.