Today is March 16 2021. In my opinion and that of many of our leading health authorities, the Pandemic rages on. The Beast Is ‘Still’ at the Door. But things have changed. Not only do we have a vaccine, at last count we had three vaccines already in millions of arms throughout the world.. I feel blessed to be one of the protected. I had my second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on March 9. And I’m going dancing this afternoon. Masked of course. Now is no time to be lax.
Unfortunately isolation is still a problem. It seems my life has become a monopoly game and I am rolling for a Get Out of Jail card. Stuck in a time warp. Been working on the same poem for weeks. Can’t get past the first verse. Maybe you can help me. If I set the scene.
I live in a condo complex with a view of Piestewa Peak off one patio and Camelback Mountain off the other. And only a sidewalk separates my common yard from the golf course. It’s a popular sidewalk. Great for people watching. Here’s a people who caught my eye on a number of occasions.
She’s my bi-ped baby with limbs all crazy
and a smile down to her knees
wearing blue jean shorts and sensible shoes
the girl ain’t fixin’ to sing no blues
I had the thought that maybe this could be the chorus for a song. All it needs is a couple of verses to go with it. Suggestions welcome!
But of course we have bigger fish to fry. What has happened to the great Nelson Mandela so far in his autography, Long Walk to Freedom–the book I’ve been reading since the start of the Pandemic? I am close to the ending. Ok, confession: I have peeked at the last pages of the great man’s story. One passage in particular gives a look deep into his humanity.
From Wikepedia: Nelson Mandela was born near Qunu in the village Mvezo next to the Mbhashe River. This was the home of his youth and the site where his mothers was buried.
In his words, spoken after his ultimate release from prison–before he was elected President of South Africa–
…what was foremost in my mind and heart was paying my respects to my mother’s grave. Her grave was simple and unadorned, covered only by a few stones and some upturned bricks, no different from the other graves in Qunu. I find it difficult to describe my feelings: I felt regret that I had been unable to be with her when she died, remorse that I had not been able to look after her properly during her life, and a longing for what might have been had I chosen to live my life differently.
Next What I Did On My Covid Vacation post will feature an incomparable tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela by one of out greatest poets, Maya Angelou. Well worth waiting for.
Meantime you might enjoy the launch of my newest blog series New Poets Wednesday. The purpose of this series is to provide a platform for new poets to find their voices. A new poet will be featured every Wednesday moving forward. If you, or anybody you now is a new poet please send one poem and a short bio to email@example.com. We will do the rest.
My third book of poetry, Coffee With the Bard: 2020 Blues will be available on Amazon in a few weeks. We are billing it as the ultimate coffee table book, combining my most popular poems with those written during the tumultuous first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Bard of Appanoose County
Excerpts from The House by the Side of the Road
by Sam Walter Foss