A dose of poetry this time

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2021

By Chris Quilpa

April was National Poetry Month. It’s but proper and fitting that a dose of poetry is probably needed at this time, while we’re still dealing with COVID-19 pandemic.

Like music, poetry can lift up our spirit, make us laugh or cry, stir our emotions to relax, be at peace with ourselves and our Creator. It can awaken and provoke our senses to act, to take action that benefits us, to help us be more human and humane.

With poetry, we can create and celebrate life, explore its many phases and dimensions. We can commiserate the sufferings of others. We can come together and share our faith, hope and dreams. We can forget our problems, even for a while, with poetry.

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to have met two well-known American poets at two different poetry venues: Robert Pinsky, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, at ODU in Norfolk; and Tim Seibles, a former Poet Laureate of Virginia, at a poetry reading festival in Chesapeake.

“Poetry is one key way in which people can relate to one another,” Seibles once said. “Poetry is about sex, death, love, war, anger, sweetness, nature, cities — it’s all about the things people are about.”

Last year, when the COVID-19 outbreak became a pandemic, I wrote my observations about it in a notebook. In fact, I’ve shared a couple of my poems to our Facebook friends since then.

I’m sure many of you have some thoughts and feelings about the ongoing pandemic. Like me and my family, I believe you have been taking necessary precautions and doing your part, too, in our collaborative efforts to eliminate this pandemic that has made all of us suffer globally. I bet some of you have written your thoughts, too, about our life, in general, during the pandemic.

To appreciate and celebrate National Poetry Month, I’d like to share with you this poem, “Coronavirus COVID-19,” which I wrote a year ago:

How cruel, brutal, fatal, lethal you are/ A novel virus that has spread like wildfire/ Claiming lives lost in the thousands/millions everywhere/ Damaging the economies here and there/ Turning the busy whole wide world upside down/ Imposing masking, distancing and lockdown./ What the heck and hell did you do/ Leaving us mortals in limbo/ Sowing fear and uncertainty/ Making us anxious and angry/ Creating so much pain and stress/ That many of us in distress?/ COVID-19 pandemic begone, begone,/ Don’t just stick with us and devastate our land/ Leave us alone and go back where you belong/ Begone, please, we’ve been tired of you for so long!/

Here’s another one for the sharing, “Missing”:

  1. Missing participating/ in Wednesday novenas and Sunday masses/ in churches with faith communities./ 2. Missing dining/ out with family and friends/ after church worship services./ 3. Missing walking/ Simba out in the open/ when the weather’s perfect./ 4. Missing driving/ with my consummate driver/ my doting teacher-wife forever./ 5. Missing appointments/ in person with my doctor and dentist/ because of COVID-19 pandemic./ 6. Missing shopping/ with my loving wife Freny/ at NEX and Commissary./ 7. Missing going/ out with family or friends/ to cinema and places of interests./  8. Missing celebrating/ out with family and friends/ birthdays, holidays, other events./ 9. Missing everything/ social, physical, intimate, due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic./ 10. Missing…/missing…/missing…/

My friends, let’s enjoy the day, the present moment with a dose of poetry. And, let’s thank our writers of poetry and poets who took time to share their thoughts and inner feelings. Thank God for our poets and writers who scribbled lines that heal, that gives hope and life and brings sunshine into our life.

 

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk and Portsmouth. He can be reached at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.