Nearly a month ago I thought I was getting back to “normal-ish.” How Pollyanna of me. I give up on the concept of things returning to anything I recognize. The best I can hope for is to move forward. Or try to move forward.
I’ve never had writer’s block or lacked for ideas until recently. The past few months have had me stunned and unable to write much beyond a few poems. Through May, I didn’t even produce poetry.
Yesterday I finally forced myself to produce something on cue and submitted a poem for the annual HWA Showcase. That seems to have broken the inertia because then I wrote this poem for PoetryNook… and then this blog post. And I am touching my computer again. Before this May I’d managed to hold a 46-week streak with PoetryNook. With this poem, I begin again.
But that’s really where we all are right now. Everything is in turmoil. Things we have taken for granted like StokerCon, meat in the store and logical people… just throw that crap out the window. None of that matters now. We have new rules. It is a new beginning.
Where have I been? Gardening, raising chickens, and sewing. None of these things were part of my pre-pandemic life. In my pre-pandemic life I just wrote. I watched Little House on the Prairie as a child and read all the books on repeat but I never expected to be an urban farmer. But here I am… when I ran out of yardspace for planting I started building a passive hydroponics system inside. I raise mealworms. I build stuff.
Am I insane? Yep. We all are. The entire world seems to have gone mad. As I write this there are rioters in my city protesting the death of George Floyd. I support the protests, but how is destroying an unrelated someone’s property justice? Businesses have been struggling to re-open and now many of them have to contend with violence, property loss… now even life lost. What did they have to do with the situation in Minnesota?
Nothing. Anger and injustice is more contagious than any virus. Fear and panic have spread across the world and everyone has been touched to some extent. Last night, instead of making a story deadline, I was glued to the live feed of protesters downtown Kansas City wondering if things would turn violent like elsewhere. They didn’t for the most part. A few months ago we were there, also in record numbers, but to celebrate the SuperBowl win of the Cheifs.
This is the normal I wish we could return to, but I’m afraid I’ll have to make do with this: a tremor of uncertainty, a shadow over tomorrow and the screaming song of wolves at war… which segues into my poem this week for PoetryNook.
Am I back? Your guess is as good as mine. I will take things a poem at a time for now and be grateful when I have words. Stay safe!
Wolves at War
My words are all gone
dried up somewhere between hates
and tossed Molotovs
shaken and well stirred
by a well-chilled media
looking to give thrills
like a bad boyfriend
entertained by my sorrow—
relishing my tears.
Here my words are lodged
like a stone lump in my throat…
too big to swallow…
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