Summer nights when the air is perfumed with
barbecue and peppered with a gamut of
sounds blasting from windows and speeding cars.
The chatter of get togethers with the
occasional scandalous uproar of laughter.
Summer nights that sizzles with heat
even after the sun sets, mosquitoes mark us in
our sluttish outfits. We cool off while smelling
like the sweltering outside which dreams and
longs for a breeze to soothe the thickness of
the atmosphere. We use to gather with our
homemade delicacies given as an offering, a
ritual of the time welcoming a blaze of
fireflies saying good evening.
On Saturday, I participated in a virtual writing Salon, and it was very enlightening and inspiring. It definitely was thoughtful food for the soul, and I can’t wait for next month’s Salon. We were given writing prompts, and one of them was to write a Haibun, a prose/haiku poem. Here, I make my attempt, as I write about social distancing, and the mental toll it has on us.
Alone in my room, there I am sitting on the unmade bed. With my phone in hand, I scroll through what seems to be the universe of information. Like satellites, thoughts scattered across social caves. I watch cat videos, even as I observe my own. Each thing she does is more spectacular, so I document and label it. I watch the latest dance craze, that makes me young enough in my heart to want to share in the spirit of a challenge. I just watch, and watch, lurching in between rooms where you collect your loneliness and project it through the screen. A quiet longing, a hunger for connection, for touch, for community, for communal sharing. Because, we are social beings. Alone is it’s own force of meditation. You become use to listening to your river of thoughts. You time travel and revisit moments only to reflect them back as what you should of, could of. Alone becomes a sequenced pattern you follow. But this “alone” is different, as I wake up every day worrying about, well, will I make it to the other side? The other side everyone is dreaming, desiring? As the first thing you’d do when it’s over? Many say they’ll flock to shows, swarming them to capacity. To never again take for granted this freedom. In the meantime, you hang on by hanging out through a screen of online get togethers. Let’s meet again a week from today, even as we can’t tell how long this will last. Who knows for sure? Tomorrow you might be stricken.
Set apart on this
journey to the other side
where we laugh and dance
This was a hard one. It took days to realize what I wanted to say, and in the form of a sonnet. I still didn’t follow the rules, but I’m slowly getting there.
As gentle as an embrace, tender as in the
tenor of a song. Delicate as the eagerness of
blooming flowers. We can reciprocate care
especially in times of extreme social isolation.
We always had it in us to express comfort in
this place where living has made you tough
and reject the gift of closeness. As so much
separates us, there are offerings of solicitude.
As mutual aid is the buoy for our times.
Leveling a compassion we seek. As wanting to
trust while staring back an abyss becomes a
meandering of the past where you can no
longer live. Tomorrow it maybe will be different,
but today I dance with songs of embrace, with all the flowers.