March 31, 2020 6 min read

April is National Letter Writing + Poetry Month, it is also the first full month of the 2020 pandemic. We have put together a few poems to inspire and delight you at this surreal time in our lives. The first two are from friends of the studio, the last two have been circulating and are beautiful. We hope you enjoy them. Be well my friends!

paper seahorse sunflower

Two poems by Tina Lanciotti - Middle School Teacher in New Jersey:

SUNFLOWER SENTRY

Sunflower sentry

Wild dandelion

A bramble hedge of berries

Or a twisted, tangled 

purple dotted 

grape growing 

vine

Peering down below the hedges 

Where snowdrops grow and huddle 

Poppy flowers and zinnias 

are never very subtle

Lavender springs in fragrant bunches 

Forsythia in yellows

Mushrooms grow lucky fairy rings

their colors are so mellow

Mosses spread beneath our feet

and dewdrops hang and huddle

trees spread wide 

their great big arms

and cattails grow in puddles

but 

sunny flowers grow

in great big towers

and 

keep watch over us.

Copyright  2019 by T. Lanciotti

 

Excerpt of "Mind Full Walking"

Oh beautiful tree

An island of sea foam lichen moss

And I, that young child, 

feel your strength as I nestle

against your scratchy bark

When I transform again into an old man

I feel the coolness of your leaves

The canopy shield overhead

Limbs strong enough

to have supported the tire swing

Of my youth

In the next moment

I am a refugee in search of knowing

The name of this unusual tree

Of the bark that I do not recognize

And I find myself remembering something like this 

From my distant past

Perhaps a fig tree from Papi’s garden, 

or a lemon tree from 

Jida’s courtyard, 

Or the sacred Banyan 

which started as a seed in Uma’s flowerpot

and grew to be the size of the sea

 by Tina Lanciotti

 

Four poems by Clay Contouris - Student at University of South Florida:

Poem 1:

Shining faces all around

Light pouring from their eyes,

“I Love You” they say to me

And I am Home.

 

Forgetfulness; distractedness

Try pulling me away.

 

But riding on this train

Means to abandon thoughts.

To stop worshipping the brain

And learn to trust the Heart

 

May not know where tomorrow leads

But I sure know where I Am.

I Am Here, Loving, Now

Writing poems with my hand.

 

Poem 2:

Stop projecting outwards

and reflections come to play

show me where the mind’s attached

and where the senses crave

 

Longing for experience dwindles

As it comes to a standstill

And from this cave of internal dwelling

Shines a light, love radiates within

 

Sharing blessings with the world

Shouting loud and free

Singing along to the silent song

That unites You and Me

 

I forget my history

And my opinions

To put on the role you gave to me

Because I trust that where I am

Is right where I’m meant-to-Be.

 

Poem 3:

Though uncertain,

I step forwards.

Though cold,

The flame burns bright within.

Though shocked with fear,

Faith leads the way.

Each step of the Dance

In harmony with the whole.

The panorama of senses,

Like a carousel of light.

Bring awareness to each moment,

Struggle fades without a fight.

This is the Dream,

Awaken to your height.

 

The Tunnel, The Dance

“How deep does the tunnel go?”

He asks, probing with a toe.

“Much deeper than that!”

Jokes his friend Pat

As if live on a game show.

 

And he carefully takes a step

Not sure whether to trust himself

Or to turn and go straight back home

 

“Oh come on, man!” Pat urges him on,

While dancing in the cave

“The ground don’t bite!

Keep walking and fight!”

 

The echoing walls of the cave

Remind of its large size

And he shrinks back inside

Ready to cry

To give up and live in a lie

 

If you don’t walk now, that’s fine by me

Take your time! Or two, or three!

The Truth will wait ‘till you decide to Be Free.

 

I Am

Birds fly

Two waves crashing

A mirror that reflects nothing

The calm air

Cicadas buzzing

Green leaves rustling with the wind

Racoon with tire marks through its back

Flies buzzing around dog poop, left there an hour before

Seeing eye dog walking with a blind person, panting with its tongue out

Artist scared to share his creation

Young boy trapped in his room, scared of his parent’s expectation

Disappointment

Aspiration

A blossoming love killed by fungicide

An alcoholic with an urge to sweat

A monk who abuses his power because its all he has left

A dog looking out the window

A dead man rotting alone in his house, filling the walls with the stench

A gargoyle, ashamed of his wings, unable to fly

A student who loves his teacher and can’t focus on anything but

An elephant statue on the corner of a desk

A car with the front bumper smashed and the windshield shattered

And once again, Here I Am

Last Poem:

Sitting by the riverside

Soaking in the breeze

As the grass scratches my legs

An ant crawls up my knee

 sunset by tona bell

Next up is a timely and poignant poem by Lynn Unger:

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath —
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down. 

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love — 
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

- Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Learn more about Lynn Ungar here: http://www.lynnungar.com/

 santorini view by tona bell

Lastly, a profound and needed musing from Gutpreet Gill:

“There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.

And, what if...

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work...

That all is interconnected.

What if...

the virus is here to help us?

To reset.
To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards -- a deep meditation -- rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.

To reconnect with self -- what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?

And, washing our hands -- how did that become a "new" thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society -- what if it is one that is favorable for us?

What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/ more kind to our environment.

An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was time for a change, we all knew that.

And, change has arrived.

What if...

- Gutpreet Gill

 

 clearwater clouds by tona bell

 

 


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.