Postcards in Quarantine

I write postcards from my home,
receive in return greetings from China,
Australia, Germany, the Netherlands,
California even, and Georgia, and Ohio.

I tell of the summer blooms in my garden –
purple iris and black-eyed Susan –
and the blue dragonfly at the bird bath.
I may share a fragment of a fresh poem,
sometimes add a small sketch
if there’s room. There’s always talk
about the weather, movies, or books.
Now and then I share the names
of my cats – Neruda and Collins.

I don’t talk of the sameness of days,
the absence of embraces, the longing
for a specialty cocktail and live bluegrass.
Voids like these are ordinary now,
a part of our common fabric,
wrapping around us, weaving
one vast blanket around the globe.

These postal exchanges are best kept out
from under the weight of weariness.
We bring pen to card to share
slim sweet wedges of our ordinary lives,
colorful stamps and plainspoken words
sprinkled across oceans.

And yet, many of us allude
to our collective grief,
in simple parting wishes –
Stay safe.
Take care.
Be well.

 

Portal

Prussian blue beckons
from another room,
and burnt umber.
And the irregular
texture of watercolor paper
begs to be touched.
The studio door
is a gateway to calm,
respite from more bad news.

Handling brushes, pushing bristles
or fingers through paint,
creating color, forming lines,
shapes, patterns – these things
are freeing in their gentle
governance, tuning the spirit
to embrace ambiguity,
while so much outside
is wholly
out of our realm.

The tranquil blues and passion
reds, even the green-gold —
especially the green-gold —
draw the mind inward
and away from all
that cannot be
illuminated.