Sonnet Challenge #38

I decided to spent some of my new free time to call people I haven’t seen in a while, or have stopped seeing in the course of life because of the social distancing.  I also decided to use the time for some more poetry.  On Sunday afternoon I sat down to write a poem but didn’t find any inspiration, so I decided to call someone.  I got voicemail.  So I called someone else.  Ditto.  Eight voicemails later, I had my inspiration.


A quiet day with little going on,
in Covid times the schedule is quite bare.
I miss my friends, hope they have not become
statistics with what’s going on out there.
I guess they also won’t have much to do
so thought I’d be the one that would reach out,
pick up the phone and say “Hey, how are you?”
not leave our friendship’s worth to me in doubt.
But all I got was voicemails! Every one!
Had I missed out on something? Checked the news…
there’s really nothing different going on!
I guess just me that’s sat here with the blues.
They’ll all call back at once, that’s what they’ll do
And get my outgoing voicemail message too!


See what happens when I put my brain in neutral….a whole bunch of inspirations fell out of the end of the pen this morning; driving home during a storm, my neighbor George’s 3 day journey to his summer cabin in Montana, watching paranormal shows on tv, Covid’s emptying of the streets and prevention of public funerals and the color in a dream.

Text me.

Text me when you get home safe
you never know what regrets
lie in the ditches that pass for un-dug graves,
what nymphs lurk under the surfaces
of the lakes and rivers of the rain-swept streets.

Text me when you get home safe
let me know whether the rabid pictures
on the bathroom walls of closed cafes
beckoned with royal blue absences
or vanished when you turned your tears to them.

Text me when you get home safe
the storm and silences out there
where there used to be a world
hide a lot of opportunities
that could echo off the empty mountains.

Text me when you get home safe
the music of the tires, the rhythm of the blades
hide the footfalls of the shadow people
peering at your approach
around the corner of blank expectations.

Text me when you get home safe
or even when you’re getting close,
there’s no one else to hit texting while driving, but
text me when you get home safe
or if you get lost on the way.

Sonnet challenge #36

It was inevitable.  At some point someone was going to challenge me to write a sonnet about Covid-19.  Despite my science background, I was mostly inspired by the roadwork at the corner of Highway 86 and State route 22.

Behind the cones

Workers dismissed, how long for, they don’t know.
Equipment lying folded by the street’s
half torn-up surface; they’ve been here for weeks –
the crane, the gravel truck, the red back-hoe,
all wondering if they’re going to start again.
It’s been a month now since the workers left –
something is wrong – the world’s been set adrift
and they are out here rusting in the rain
that’s also started to erode the work
they’ve done so far. Nature takes back the earth
freed from the blacktopl strange kind of rebirth
spawned from the fear of one small viral quirk.
One day when covid-19’s finally gone
the work behind the cones will carry on.