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in pandemic time

commencement

(x = space)

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commencement

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the end of someone’s year

not the Jewish

or the Lunar

or the Islamic

the Christian year

began a month ago

there are those who only live by

seasons and experiences

maybe it’s Gregory’s

or the atomic clock’s

maybe it belongs

to Greenwich or to Zulu

the world says

it belongs to us

we celebrate

we cast lights off our bridges

launch them from our islands

we drop or raise

all sorts of things

to say

this is ours

we’ve grown

the new is ours

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C L Couch

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End of 2018

Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash

Sydney, Australia

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Advent 4

(x = space)

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Advent 4

(in pandemic time)

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The test was negative

An early Christmas present

So I’m sick with something else

A strain of flu the shot

Could not take cover of,

A cold that has

Gone deep

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A sliced-up immune system

Trauma, medication

Treatments, operations

But I’m here

And should be

For Christmas day

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And, yes, I’m thankful

I’d rather be

Knit together better

But I’m here

Have all appendages

Insides busted up, here and there

While finding aging

To be a cranky business

‘Tis the season

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‘Tis the season

The wreath is almost done

The Hanukkah lights

Have been done for days

The early miracle

The rituals continue

Lights and green and red and gold

And have I finished all the gathering

For the holiday?

You know, I think I could say

“Stop” and “ready”

Anytime

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I hope the world

Beyond sectarian

Has a fine Christmas time

The solstice will happen soon

With tiny increments toward

Spring

Cold weather

Hot toward the south

Until it chills again

But Christmastide all over

All kinds of holidays

With expectations

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Maybe we may take

Some freer, fuller breaths

Because much of the world

Is slowing down

And ceasing for a time

And, if not,

We can imagine

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Fill the time

With something good

With something stopped

With easy joy

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C L Couch

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Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

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The Outside Test

(x = space)

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The Outside Test

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Well, I took the test

I’m waiting

She was very nice

In the lot

Outside the hospital

Yesterday,

Telling me the unpleasantness

To come

With the probe (or whatever

it is) involved

She was right

She went back inside

With whatever part of me

To read

x

I had to call with symptoms

(a friend said so)

I was told to come

Then

I drove away

Got out of the car

Still ambulatory

(thankful)

Now I wait

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jusdevoyage on Unsplash

Japan

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The O in Omicron

(x = space)

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The O in Omicron

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Omicron

Is impressive

Like the o in omega,

I guess

Something surprising

Something final

The end is a beginning

First cases reported

How will we get sick?

How will our vaccines withstand?

The title shouldn’t be

A headline,

Something instead to tell us

It ain’t over

All of this

Be careful

And take care

Of each other

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C L Couch

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Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

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FOMO  LOL

(x = space)

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FOMO  LOL

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Well, the pandemic

Screwed it up

Reminded us that we don’t need

Everything right away

Or the same thing, either

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All the sequels stopped

Prevention, lockdown

Chain of supply

Forbidding the arrivals

That we’re used to

x

We’ve had

To improvise,

To deal with scotched plans

And ruined routines

Dealing with

The products we can find

While keeping calm

Keeping the calm that others

Might be losing

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All the while

The greater part is raging on

Those who catch the disease,

Suffer, and then die

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In the millions

Now

I know, it’s hard to keep perspective

But there it is

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C L Couch

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Coronavirus Cases:

252,967,467

view by country

Deaths:

5,099,784

Recovered:

228,800,363

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Last updated: November 12, 2021, 17:48 GMT

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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Downer Theatre “Temporarily Closed Due to Corona. Stay Safe.” This theatre is one of many in Milwaukee, Wi closed because of the pandemic.

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Milwaukee, WI, USA

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spooky times

(x = space)

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spooky times

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have a good hallowe’en

be safe

no razor blades

did that ever happen

not to invoke a retry

of insanity

nothing to do

with trick-or-treat magic

costumes for the veil

that entertain

the fun kind of fear

civil ghosts

good witches who

spell out

in autumn

south in spring

in chocolate letters

marshmallow punctuation

masks

ephemeral disguise

‘til it’s time to treat

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c l couch

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Four pumpkins, individually carved for Halloween 2020. One with a COVID mask.

(detail)

photo by the blowup on Unsplash

London, UK

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Fifth Day

(x = space)

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Fifth Day

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It’s Friday

And we face the weekend

An invention that started with

Reform laws

For factories

I hope you have a grand time:

Play

Find a moment in which

To be grateful

For reformers

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If you are having fall

I hope it is the right kind for you

Colors

A degree of chill,

Wind that speaks

And, when not speaking,

Sings;

If it is spring for you

I hope you find new life

The right intensities

Of green and blue

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If there is a sabbath service for you

I hope you find God at home

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C L Couch

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Photo by Oliver Hihn on Unsplash

Germany

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A Village Takes It

(x = space)

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A Village Takes It

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Schools in session

Offices are open

Stores

Factories are functioning

All in the time of cholera

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We have solutions

We blame the leadership,

So-called,

Whose message has been

Me first

Never you

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We can only hope

Diffusion brings

Immunity

Enough to keep a planet

Going

As after any plague

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And by the way

This is not

A Republican thing

Or a Democrat thing

Or any party

In the Italian assembly

And despots

Will be despots

Since it means

Healthcare for

Supposed elites

Never mind

The rest of us

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For the rest of us

There are risks

There were risks

When we swallowed

The polio vaccine

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In fact,

There are risks all

Around

More so for the rest of us

Who are the billions

Who inhabit Earth

And should inherit

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It’s a human thing,

You know,

Starting out microbial

Affecting animals

And now us (more)

There will be a cure

Enough

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Requiring

Behavior, practice

And that thing

You know,

Community

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C L Couch

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A woman sits with her pet in a village in Madhya Pradesh, India .

Photo by Srimathi Jayaprakash on Unsplash

Ranipur, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Loving Cup

(x = space)

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Loving Cup

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There is a couple

One has cancer

They bake cookies for

First-responders

Many, many cookies

For over a year

Notes of love accompany

But the real notes

Are in the discs of dough

With chocolate or

Peanut-butter chips

Or maybe raisins

Add staffs and they

Would be

Notes of love to make a song

Bless them

Bless you

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C L Couch

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This story was featured on the noon news today (17 August 2021), ABC-27, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA).

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Lovely Wall

Photo by mohammed alherz on Unsplash

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