Corona Chronicles Poetry: September 10, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.


May you go Gentle
Barbara Klie

Over ten years ago I took a Senior College poetry course with Ellie O’Leary, meant for students who wanted to learn to better appreciate poetry. It was one of the courses I’ve taken at Senior College to stretch myself. As with several of the stretch-myself courses I’ve taken, it was one of my favorites. One suggested assignment Ellie gave was that we write a form of poem called a villanelle. My computer defines a villanelle as “a nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain.” I’m sure Ellie explained it in a way that I understood better than I understand this definition! She had told us the Dylan Thomas’ poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night was an example of a villanelle. His poem has always disturbed me, so I cheated a bit and did not write an original villanelle, but altered his to suit my wish for how we all go into that good night. Here is my version.

May you go gentle into that good night,
Old age should bow and bend at end of day;
Rage not against the dying of the light.

Wise women at their end, know rest is right
They’ve had their chance to voice their final say
May they go gentle into that good night.

Mensch, at last farewell, recall how bright
Their simple helpful deeds had shone. May they
Rage not against the dying of the light.

Dear friend, the time to part is now in sight
Your seasons have turned, you can no longer stay
May you go gentle into that good night
Rage not against the dying of the light.

Barbara is a former member of the Senior College Board. Currently, she is a very active member of the Curriculum Committee where she serves as secretary. She has also chaired the Brown Bag Lunch program for several years.


Watson Gets His Needs Met
Jim Owen

I thought folks might like this poem. There are many dog owners in this town who love their dogs and some walk them by my house. I don’t often write about pets, but this dog is special, particularly in a time of a pandemic, social distancing, and a physical affection drought.

Watson is an English Springer Spaniel,
he lives next door,
a mid-sized dog, way too big for a lap,
long droopy ears, big expressive eyes,
a large nose and mouth to match,
short cropped hair in white, brown and tan,
on a walk, free of his leash
he ranges about with speed and surprising grace
nose scanning his surroundings like radar.

Watson is an extrovert
loves being around people,
a constant presence,
always alert to his family and their company.
whether he is lying, sitting or moving about.
Watson is a living argument
in favor of dogs,
he is funny,
he sings along whenever his owner
practices her violin.

He is responsive,
when told not to eat appetizers,
his legs overcome his desire.
He is protective,
alway ready to guard the front door,
even when firecrackers go off
several blocks away.
Like a cowboy sidekick,
in a TV western,
his soulful glances provide comic relief
whenever distraction is needed.

Unlike the cats I have lived with,
Watson longs for
pats, scratches, gentle stroking,
and comes back for more,
again and again,
anybody will do.
His big eyes, droopy eyelids
lead the way,
a deafening silent request for love,
and he thrives,
we should all be touched
as often as Watson is.

Jim Owen is inspired by the poetry of Billy Collins, Maya Angelou, Richard Blanco, E.B. White, Japanese Haiku and many others. A member of The Wheelbarrow School of Poetry in Belfast, Jim’s poems have been published in the Foreign Service Journal, several online journals, the Maine Island Trail Association’s Tales of the Trail blog, and a booklet published by The Wheelbarrow School of Poetry. One of his pandemic poems is on the front door of the Belfast Free Library. A member of the Board of Directors of Senior College Belfast, Jim was regional manager and counselor for an Employee Assistance Program based in Maine.


Poem
Tycelia Santoro

Lounging on the patio
I await the concert.
It begins: high pitched calls
followed by a tumble of trills,
pierce the air
again and again.

Sometimes the soloist
at the top of the highest tree
is joined for a duet.

Summer with the cardinals.

Autumn brings quieter times.

Hope for flashes of red among
the winter trees.

Hope for encores –

I take pleasure from the natural beauty of my surroundings, the scenic pleasures of our state, and the joy of my animal companion, a 12 pound terrier named Beanie (so named by his Louisiana rescue shelter for his pinto bean shaped markings). I find myself more attuned to changes in the weather and the world around me. I have watched spiders spin, chipmunks scurry, birds fly, and my dog sleep. I have listened to sounds of the night and the silent beginning of the day. I have marveled at both the rising and setting of the sun. The moon has brought serenity and peace most nights and I fall asleep with anticipation of the day to come.

Is this what we call making lemonade from lemons?