Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Thoughts for the Year that Won't Be

Life takes weird turns.  2020 will be a year that lives in infamy, but I'm try, trying to be positive, so as I sit here looking out my window for interesting things, I'm thinking of what is missing and what I want to do or see.  I'm not a poet, but this pestilence is making me do things I would never otherwise do, like stay based in my house for two months.  So here are my thoughts.  Maybe you dream of these things to?  Will the world ever be the same?  Will we ever get to do anything ever again?  Do we have to worry about how we are going to pay the bills, or how we are going to eat.

I dreams of hugs, a firm handshake, or
the passing kisses of strange women,
especially French women.
I desire people, crowds or people,
doing nothing but existing in a world
without fear of the unknown, or of me.

I think of hugging all three of my children
without fear of contagion.
I wish to see my parents again,
to play cards as a family,
to bid 10 spades and get only a few tricks
much to the dismay of my sister.
snowy owl
I yearn to go to a bar,
drinking a great beer on tap,
eating at a restaurant,
or just taking up space
I want to go shopping without fear of the bagger,
the handicapped person coming to package our groceries.

I don't want to have to Lysol my cash.
I don't want to have to quarantine the mail.
I want to go to the post office, and
not think about how many days of rice I own.
I don't want to look at farmers and think badly
that they are talking only three feet apart

I'd like to think of a huge bird stakeout,
with scopes lined up for as far as I can see,
with people telling chasing stories to each other.
and people laughing.
I strain to hear someone shout, "I got it!"
My legs ache for the sprint to see it, something rare.
canvasbacks and a redhead

I yearn for baseball, America's sport.
I want to wait impatiently for a 3-2 pitch,
and hear a close called third strike.
I think of hot dogs, nachos, and aluminum bottles
of beer without tops,  all being passed down the row.
There is something special about a beer all have touched

I yearn for the 7th inning stretch of 42,000 people,
singing Take me out to the ballgame,
or the harmony of God Bless America.
I'd even pine for yet another loss to the Yankees,
those damn Bronx Bombers
extending the Twins record for futility in the post season.
tundra swan
I'm thinking of the sun,
the life giving orb of heat
bathing my skin in warmth.
I think of crowded  beaches,
filled with people young and old,
dressed in too much or even, ...nothing at all.

I hope for the 6PM news on which state senator was intoxicated,
or a headline of warm snap, or a good storm.
I'd maybe even like to hear the fishing report.
Who did win the state golf tournament?
Who graduated at the top of their class?
Which kids are going to the service academies?

Let us celebrate something!
common goldeneye
I want less cancellations,
more celebrations, more parades, rousing concerts,
crazy parties, impromptu gatherings, or
even public drunkenness, and lewd behavior.
I would be so good to be inappropriate
Let us talk about #meetoo! and not coronaviris

I even think of karaoke.
I will sing, I really will.
Give me an old Kris Kristopherson tune or
I'd even dress in drag and sing,
Like a Virgin, or  Nine to Five.
Maybe I'd just croon to Elton or Elvis.

I want to go to a funeral,
to honor the deceased of a life well lived.
I'd like to go to wedding, any wedding,
to share in the joy of the future.
I'd like to think they have a future,
I'd also like to think I have one two.
greater white fronted geese
I want to go to a potluck, a barbecue
or even to church,
to worship free of fear, to shake
the hands of the pastor,
or to talk of good times past.
The past really was better, wasn't it.

I want to go somewhere, anywhere,
north or south, east or west.
I'd drive to Lubbock or Detroit,
Billings, Liberal, or Springfield,
Which Springfield, you may even ask?
Any or maybe even all of them.
I'd fly in a jet plane to Newfoundland,
or a prop plane to St Paul Island, or
even on an otter into the wilderness of Ontario.
How does one get to Botswana?
How many connections does it take to fly to Mauritius?
What airline even flies to Easter Island?

I don't know but I'd really like to find out!

Mostly, I'd just like to live,
I'd like to live without fear of my neighbor,
I'd like to not have to think about,
planting potatoes, to make it through next winter.
I'd like to just throw away old potatoes and not have to save them for the future,
a future bleak and bereft of hope.
Rough-legged hawk

In 1919, my great-great grandparents,
didn't died of influenza.
They had come to America late in life,
answering a plea for help on the farm,
to see their son, daughter, and their grandchildren
and to get away from the horrors of Europe.

Just because they avoided a horrible disease.
they are still buried under a gravestone marked
with a name they never used back in Sweden,
they were never Danielsons,
A virus, pestilence, or something else,
we will all end this life and be buried or burnt

I want to think about corona,
as old typewriters, writing classic stories.
I want to struggle to shift for a capital letter.
I want to slam the page return lever.
I yearn  to get black ink all over my fingers,
changing the ribbon, which never ever fits.

I want to think of corona as a beer, with people drinking
beer in warm tropical exotic places.
Places with names I can't spell.
I feel my toes digging into warm sand.
I want to just look over at my wife in just her hat
and hope to see her sly smile, saying

"You've just been dreaming, honey."  There is no virus, it was just a dream.

Stay safe!


  1. Excellent commentary. That brain of yours never stops working, and I mean that complimentarily. Birding still good here in Arizona with some of the regulars arriving or starting their rituals. At least we can get out here, and still retain social distancing; especially if those out of state birders stop looking for Five striped Sparrow up Box Canyon!!

  2. Thanks, I think. Watching a nature special on Cuba and this came out, Cuban green woodpecker anyone? Sigh...tourists

  3. O: Was fortunate to go to Cuba, as a Canuck, even though wife of the time had major health issues which made it challenging. At the time, I swore to myself I would never go back; because it was so hard, even with the benefits we enjoyed using the Nuevo Peso. Now, the benefits of hindsight make me rethink. An amazing country, when you think about what the average Cuban has to deal with, and with a perpetual smile!! Also, with the lack of industrialization, still pretty pristine environmentally. When I was there and went to the Baracoa area on the extreme East side, a biologist told me there was still flora and fauna in Humboldt National Park there that had no scientific names!! Still remember the sound of a Cuban Solitaire- like you are rubbing a wet finger around the rim of a wine glass. If you get a chance through one of those science/tourism programs, would definitely recommend going. If nothing else, it would give you lots to write about, and I would enjoy reading it.


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