Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29: The Future, In My Face, Poem from "Kyrie"

Right now, I try not to think too much about the future.  The furthest I allow myself to think of the future is this:  what is for dinner tonight?

I am not being an ostrich, sticking my head in the sand.  I am fully engaged in what is going on in the world.  Don't have a choice about it.  I'm a teacher and healthcare worker and church musician, professions that have been impacted greatly by this pandemic.  Reality is in my face all day, every day.

Being a poet, I also grapple with the truth of this crisis.  That's what poets have been doing since the beginning of time.  Homer dealt with the Trojan War and its aftermath.  Thomas Nashe wrote about the Black Plague, that killed 30% to 50% of the world's population.  (Chaucer grew up during the time of the Black Plague.)  Walt Whitman dealt with the Civil War in the United States  So did Emily Dickinson, although she did it slant.  Poets stare truth directly in the face.

So, that is what I am doing.  I'm dealing with the daily truths I encounter.  I write about them.  Wrestle with them.  Kick them out of my head.  Invite them back inside.  

But Saint Marty is thinking about dinner right now.

A poem from Kyrie about war and pandemic and thinking about the future . . . 

from Kyrie

by:  Ellen Bryant Voigt

Dear Mattie, Pug says even a year of camp
would not help most of us so why not now.
Tomorrow we take a train to New York City,
board a freighter there.  You know how the logs
are flushed through the long flume at Hodnett's Mill,
the stream flooding the sluice, the cut pines
crowding and pushing and rushing, and then
the narrow chute opens onto the pond?
I'll feel like that, once we're out to sea
and seeing the world.  I need to say
I've saved a bit, and you should also have
my Grandpa's watch--tell Fan that I said so.
Keep busy, pray for me, go on with Life,
and put your mind to a wedding in the yard--

Thanks to my sister-in-law for my new mask

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