May is trying.
Change of subject: I prefer justice. You too?
And a country with a rule of law.
“Making me wear a mask infringes on my individual liberty.” These yahoos can still fire a semi-automatic with a tiny piece of cloth covering their noses and foul mouths.
And while I’m ranting, what’s with this “I hate ZOOM and Marco Polo, and FaceTime” grousing? Okay, let’s spend this interminable time without being able to see our grandkids, friends, loved ones.
And the alternative is?
The other day I emailed a friend asking how he and his wife were doing. I love his response. The first thing he said was, “It’s a good thing we like each other.” I thought about how important that is. Does one’s love include like? He went on to say that they have set up a pattern to their day and instead of that being boring, it keeps them from every morning groaning, “What are we ever going to do today?” They first watch mass on TV, then read, do the crossword. They take a morning and an afternoon walk usually downtown where there is a chance of meeting someone they know and having a conversation from six feet away. They watch a British mystery, Midsommer Murders. And they ZOOM with Kathleen and Mary (daughters) and sometimes with nieces and Maura’s (spouse) brother.
A “pattern.” I was struck by his choice of that word. All that it implies. And how after mass, each activity undermines repetition.
Wishing you great new patterns and the great good luck to have the means to reach out to loved ones and friends and coworkers…
We have settled here.
The wind is moving across the dunes,
and the sun-alert afternoon glows.
This is where we stay.
There are friends,
few enough to be friends.
What we know whispers
beneath the bed’s crocheted
canopy, hanging above us
as if to bring us closer.
During the day we walk
around the house, see
out the window: money plant,
beeches clawing the dunes,
the hole under the neighbor’s porch
where the cats hide, the firewood
stacked by the back door, one
chipmunk sitting on top, the car rusting.
We are alone.
That keeps most everything never
ours, helps us keep a kindly distance,
preserves our only chance.
First Published in Paintbrush, a journal of Poetry, Translations, and Letters
Subsequently published in The Same Ghost (Dawn Vally Press)
Where are the books? Visit Reader’s World or Hope-Geneva Bookstore in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.
Innisfree Journal edited by Greg McBride twice each year features a poet felt to be overlooked. This issue features work from each of Jack’s books and his contributions to poetry through his teaching.
Don’t miss subscribing to this podcast. And Then Suddenly is the brainchild of the kind and brilliant Angela Santillo, whose path I’ve crossed once before while working with CavanKerry Press. Her podcast has a brilliant premise… Describe a moment in your life that changed… everything. She’s had that moment, and from it she has made this podcast. Here’s the conversation we had recently. I hope you explore many of the episodes. Because they will change you. In a good way.
Jack’s Homily, “The Devil Went Down to Douglas” is here for those of you interested in marking the occasion.
Sadly, the Writers Conference in Midland in July has been canceled.
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Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.