Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A Poem For Our Times

A Poem That Shakespeare Couldn’t Have Written
In the long and sordid history of the entire human race,
There has never been a time when all have sheltered in their place.
Never have we all been so conjoined in our disgrace.
Never have we all been so confined to our home base.

Yet here in April 2020, this precisely is our case
The small pleasures we now appreciate, the challenges we face.
All reduced to smaller steps and a slower, saner pace.
The bloom on the rose bush, the flowers in the vase,
More important than ambition, the wealth that once we chased.

The world starkly unsheltered, but sheltered all of us.
Stores with lines, schools are closed, the restaurants gathering rust.
Uncertainty round every corner, a future we can’t trust.
The same in Timbuktu, Helsinki, Perth, Paris. 
Our lives turned upside-down, our ways we must adjust,
The weighty matters of birth and death we finally must discuss.

Who will we be, how will we live, when the dark cloud lifts?
What ways of thinking, ways of doing, finally will shift?
Will all our wasteful ways now begin to lean toward thrift?
Will we finally see our human birth as a priceless, precious gift?

When can we shake hands again, when a stranger hug?
When will we stop sweeping facts under each and every rug?
When stop shirking duties and dismiss them with a shrug?
Now! For our once high and mighty race has been brought down by a bug.

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