I have so many poems I wrote several years ago in 2020, when things initially went into lockdown. I was living in a hotel in a studio, they rented out, and there were no ‘hotel guests’ for months. I remember looking out into the courtyard, where you could see the windows of the other room and there was always one other light in another room. I think many people moved out or went home to family. It just seemed like myself and this one other Tennent. At that time, it felt ‘risky’ to even go outside. It was April and there were all these images of the city I live in just sitting silent. It was like an apocalyptic movie where life just stopped. In some ways, it was a ‘frustrating,’ time to be writing because life provides us with so many gifts as writers. The muses visit us in overheard conversations, in things witnessed. The only thing being witnessed was this massive stop of all things. For me, at that time, it was looking out and seeing that one other light in a window. I have poems about how things operated in my apartment. I had to really look at this environment in a new way to find things to explore and write about. Paradoxically, it was silent and nothing was moving outside, and, at the same time, it was a historical time. Few people will live through something like that. In that sense, there was this ‘thing,’ that needed to be documented. I kind of never thought about posting poems from that time because they seem outdated. I reread some of them yesterday, which was one of the first ‘spring-like days’ where you could open your windows. People were out and about, like they are here on the first day the temperatures near 70. Things were moving. Something brought me back to that year and that month were the earth was still growing and moving about the seasons, but people were just forced to sort of stay inside and witness her. It inspired me to post this poem today. Again, I apologize, as I’m not that tech savvy, and this poem has some funky line breaks that don’t show up quite the way they do in the poem.
There is so much uncertainty if we will sit like this, peaceful in early morning thought.
A year ago in the early dark mornings, ideas about love, broadening,
Roses on a bedside table at a hospital, the sprawl of geese infiltrating the ponds.
That still is true.
Nature cycles on as of this hour. The window still serves as a moon box,
but the screen is a border. Two world have emerged out there and in here.
It’s not bombs threatening conifers. They’re happy as ever. Pandas at the zoo
Fuck. After 10 years of refusing. Ten years of intense programs to breed them
They were shy. I don’t blame them. Who would want to create your child in caged fences,
A broadcast for human consumption,
The very humans who destroyed your world, taking your home, brothers & sisters,
now investing money into ensuring they have not dissolved the species. How human.
There is no drone of traffic, no turning on and off of pipes busting through the walls
as the apartment wakes up, groggily stumbling to showers & shaves, and work clothes.
Right now, it’s myself and a lone bird, whose caw I cannot make out. Who is
rather shy with its good morning. Everything seems to be in pause. People say
“Things will go back to normal.”
I don’t think the world can just change her wig and move on. They underestimate her.
Miscalculate the magnitude of what has been done. We’ve gone there.
Somehow managed to stop civilization as we knew it. As a writer,
It’s hard to write after twas the night they turned off the lights
And everyone was mandated to go home, go inward. What of,
the guys who occupy bar stools from three to two each day
and sleep the mornings into mid afternoons? I wonder if they just lay in apartments
sleeping among empty beer cans? People used to worry about earthquakes,
volcanoes, astroids, that still exist. The earth’s plates still shift and slide,
magma builds up beneath surfaces, but we fear the nearest death.
We are vectors of disease. We do balletic moves in supermarkets
In our masks and gloves, eyeing everyone as patient zero to our own demise.
People say, “It’ll go back to normal.”
How can it when we have seen each other in this way. I find solace
typing this morning, carrying on about this new historical terrain,
never been mapped. Following the stream of my consciousness,
feels pleasantly familiar, as nothing in the forest of the past few weeks has.
I pick up my pen and I feel it urges me on like a strong walking stick,
into a terrain where humans have never quite ventured. Following
The voice of a stream
That sounds fresh, clear, up a a very steep mountain,
somewhere, where even the sky has never breathed.