Archives for posts with tag: Covid-19

bees ea seguy
My Facebook Feed Tells Me
by Ann E. Wallace

that milkweed and butterflies
are this year’s sourdough bread
and backyard chickens
as the pandemic has turned
our attention from life
that must be kneaded and tended
each day and in earnest,
filling solitary days, one
after the other,
with small tasks
and gratification that is in sight
but does not come quick
or easy. A year in, we take
a breath and make
space for the wild things
that pollinate and multiply
when we step aside
and let them be,
reclaiming once
manicured city slips
of greenery
as the early pandemic
bakers and hen handlers
now relax into gathering seed pods
for next year’s bees and planting
parsley for the swallowtail
caterpillars to munch,
each doing its job without ado
as we learn to withdraw
our heavy hand.

ILLUSTRATION: Bees by Eugene Séguy (1890-1985).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I fell ill with COVID-19 at the very start of the pandemic and am now a long hauler. Sidelined and on bedrest through spring 2020, I became a fascinated observer of my friends’ early pandemic activities—the bread making, the bird watching, the urban vegetable gardening and chicken raising—as reported on their social media feeds. A year later, still recovering, I noticed a shift, an intensification of sorts, in my friends’ activities as they turned to restoring native plants, safeguarding butterfly eggs, and nurturing natural habitats and food sources for birds, devoting their attention to making space within our city for the earth to heal itself. Next summer, I hope to be well enough to join them in this important work.

IMG_5719

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ann E. Wallace, a poet and essayist from Jersey City, New Jersey, is author of the poetry collection Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag). She has published work in Huffington Post, Wordgathering, Halfway Down the Stairs, Snapdragon, and many other journals. Find her online at AnnWallacePhD.com and on Twitter @annwlace409.

JeterDoor
Wait, I think I’ve seen this one…
by Andrew Jeter

When we bought this place,
way off in the woods,
it was the first home I’ve ever had
with a glass front door and I thought,
“Great, now I’ll have to wear pants
just in case someone stops by
unannounced.”

But this spring, it feels different when I pass
that door. I think, “Wait, I think I’ve seen
this one before. This is the one where,
in the beginning, there’s a gray
and rust-colored squirrel chewing
on the corner of the bench on the porch
and then the turkey walks by
just before the UPS van rounds
the corner of the drive.

Then later, the Prime driver will take forever
sifting through his boxes before he brings up
something, looks in under the bill of his ball cap
and does a two-fingered salute when he
sees me in my robe with my coffee cup at 2:47 PM
wondering why do I keep watching the same movie over
and over and over…”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As a film teacher, I tend to see plot and story structure everywhere. Now that I am stuck at home, I am seeing it in my own life as well and my front door acts as a natural frame for the new and exposed rhythms of my life.

Jeter copy1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Jeter has taught high school writing and film for 17 years and holds a BA in English and Creative Writing, a Masters in English Education, and a PhD in English Composition & Applied Linguistics. He has lived on four continents with five dogs and one husband and currently splits his time between Chicago and Saugatuck, Michigan. Visit him at andrewjeter.org.

Version 2
morris poem
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My world suddenly and drastically changed due to a viral strain that started in China. How could that possibly affect me? Then when I saw how this mysterious virus was harming so many, and shutting down the life I knew only weeks before, I fell into a bit of a funk. Every ounce of creativity seemed to have drained from me. I had taken a couple notes, but that was all. I was thrilled to see that Silver Birch Press was back with a prompt about the very thing that had robbed me of my energy and sense of joy. I knew I had to try to write again.

–Morris

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alice Morris was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, and recently nominated for Best of the Net. In 2018, she won the Florence C. Coltman Award for Creative Writing, and was shortlisted in a Postcard Poetry and Prose fiction contest. In 2019, she won second place (single poem) and third place (single short story) in the Delaware Press Association Communications Contest. Recently, her work was noted by Goodreads reviewer Jeffrey Keeten. Her writing appears, or is forthcoming in numerous anthologies, including The Broadkill Review, Backbone Mountain Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Gargoyle, Paterson Literary Review, and other publications.