All through the long dark day the gray clouds swept over
the cresting waters of the bay, the news as relentless as the rain
with its coronavirus and its dire death toll rising, its stock markets
plunging, its global oil war pouring fuel on the flames of our
collective economic and emotional meltdown – and, yes, it felt
as if all hell was being unleashed and hope was nowhere
to be seen, and the collapse into dystopia was, at last, complete.
How, I wondered, do we keep our spirits up when the cup itself
carries the poison, never mind the contents of the chalice
or the malice of some brazen bad-ass operating in the flesh
as opposed to that which is invisible and passes unseen.
What befalls us in the raw cut of time, binds us to a series
of events which we call history, which we call fate, which we
call the way of the world with its parade of births and deaths,
its good and evil, its endless weave of change and charge, fact
and fiction, knowns and unknowns, paradox and contradiction.
Suddenly, the danger zone is everywhere: a war at the front
in every home, every school, in every shop, factory and office.
“It’s as if we are playing Russian Roulette now
with an invisible pistol.”
This shall pass, at last, however, as all pandemics must,
though our cynicism will haunt us for years, and we shall
worry from time to time as we rush along to the next enticement,
the next excitement, the next crisis, proffering our prayers,
sharing our hopes and chasing our dreams, while our reeling
planet spins on, revolving upon its great seamless axis
of eternal renewal, bending gravity, space-time
and humanity itself to a life so mysterious and infinite
in scope that only poetry can hint
at its full magnitude and total magnificence.