Sunday, January 10, 2021

in the time of stillness

A tiny virus did all these. It was a strange time of empty streets during the lockdown, mandatory face masks and social distancing when outside...

photo by dsnake1

in the time of stillness

the city is standing still
it is learning a new language

the grass and weeds are allowed to grow
buttons, sages and mimosa poke heads out of concrete

butterflies show off their orange wings again
the stacked-up chairs at the cafe are lonely

the tower cranes have stop turning
the jackhammers retire to their sheds

you do not have a guy breathing down your neck
while you are placing a lottery bet

we have been the magpies
gleefully bathing in a puddle on a hot day
we have been the pigeons,
always hungry, pecking for food on asphalt

the language is new and strange
we gripe but are quietly learning.


A Perfect Circle - Imagine (cover of Lennon's song)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Anonymous Ron. Lavalette said...

You capture these awful times and our dreary (yet hopeful?) place amid them very well here. The bird imagery in the closing stanzas works well. Salute.

10 January, 2021 22:10  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Ron, thank you!
yes, hopefully, those dreary times are going to pass. over here, the infection rates in the community are very low (many days no infections reported), and the vaccines are here.

10 January, 2021 22:43  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

"quietly learning" such an apt way of describing our new normal lifestyle

Thanks for dropping by my blog today Cheong Lee san


10 January, 2021 22:51  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Gillena!
until safe distancing is almost automatic. :D

10 January, 2021 23:17  
Blogger colleen said...

Yes the natural world still congregates. We're not so much the dominant ones now. You really captured mood and feeling.

10 January, 2021 23:32  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Colleen.
yes, while we are holed up in our homes, the birds are flying free, the weeds are growing unmolested.

10 January, 2021 23:43  
Blogger C. Sandlin said...

This is...helpful. It's been hard to imagine what "normal" will come to be, but this reminds me that learning takes time.

11 January, 2021 01:44  
Blogger indybev said...

Yes! If we cease our incessant complaining, there are lessons learned and lessons to be learned from this last strange year. A thoughtful write!

11 January, 2021 02:20  
Blogger Helen said...

This is utterly sobering ... and beautifully uplifting in one lovely poem.

11 January, 2021 02:43  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

As you might suspect, I love the second stanza best. Goodness knows that this time has been a horror, but I really appreciate what it has done for nature--plants, butterflies, squirrels, the air, humans who enjoy the wild...

11 January, 2021 05:09  
Blogger Rommy said...

We feel the slow down in the suburbs too, even though the pace was never so busy here.

11 January, 2021 05:18  
Blogger Marja said...

Great poem which expresses the atmosphere of a city under the spell of the Corona virus

11 January, 2021 05:52  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

How beautifully you've described the stilled and empty cities.

11 January, 2021 06:27  
Blogger Old Egg said...

The saddest thing about the virus is facing up to it and suffering the consequences. Ifopnly we would realise we are not in control so avoid everyone!

11 January, 2021 18:19  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
certainly. learning takes time. especially if the subject is something new.


yes, lessons to be learned from this last year.
Thank you!


Thank you, you are so kind.

11 January, 2021 20:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, you would love the 2nd stanza.
after the lockdown, when we were allowed to go out, what strikes me in the streets is how fast and well the plants and grasses grow. and the butterflies!


yeah, it was 'rush hour' time and there was hardly anyone on the streets.


yes, under the spell of a tiny virus.
someone coughs and it was like, hey, get away.

11 January, 2021 20:45  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you! :)


i think if we observe the safety protocols we can try to lead a lifestyle as 'normally' as possible. A mask may not prevent us from catching the virus, but will lessen the odds. because of a very strict government regime, and most of the people observing the rules, the infection rate here is very low now, with some days zero reports.

11 January, 2021 22:16  
Blogger rallentanda said...

A very evocative description of a city under siege Wearing masks and people observing rules is crucial. It is hard to believe one could argue with that. Happy Chinese New Year ! Take care !

12 January, 2021 11:43  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rallentanda.
You take care too, and be safe.

12 January, 2021 21:25  

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