What good does a poem do?
The fragility of quiet work,
nature versus the nurture
of a few famous words
forgotten once this crisis passes.
My floating anxiety is a family
of spiders on the smooth surface
of a slippery lake. Too bad
I don’t like spiders.
~ Kelly Belmonte
We said we’d always do it then,
when life didn’t push so hard
and time was a friend we still called an enemy.
We told ourselves that responsibilities
came before play, that expectations
came before anticipation; that our many
roles of our many stations
asked too much for us to be so selfish
as to look, or smell, or breathe.
Now, blind, deaf, and lost
we’ve forgotten the smell of daylight.
Social distancing isn’t that tough
With a little Coltrane and Monk
On the turntable
Reading psalms and a little Franz Wright
The sound of brushes on the snare drum
The needle in a vinyl groove
Soft as morning rain on a rooftop<
And you can almost hear
The earth breathing in Coltrane’s saxophone
With Monk’s piano coming in like some crazy latent heartbeat
All of this reminding me how bad I need these Bepopitudes
Jazz. Solitude. And most important of all: El Shaddai.
~ Tom Darin
Image at Long Sands Beach in York, Maine by Kelly Belmonte, before the beaches were closed for public access.