Picking Cotton

MEMORIES of cotton picking days

picked along with men and women

all over the South

people of all colors

fourteen footer dragged behind

filled with cotton

picked from each boll

start when you’re old enough

to hold a sack

sang in harmony

as we picked

infant scooting behind

too small to pick

“cotton on the roadside

cotton in the ditch

we all picked cotton

but we never got rich”

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photo from SMU Degolyer Library

Picking Cotton

Outbreak

His shadow shouts—

don’t betray yourself

stay inside

it is your alibi

months later

on a nightmare scream

he went outside

when his shadow

could not be seen

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dVerse prompt to use Maya Angelou’s line his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

Outbreak

Dystopic Thinking

Dystopic thinking today

as I work in the garden, contemplating Voltaire.

How has education

brought me to this point

of doubting all that I know?

History is not repeating itself.

How can this pandemic

be compared to the Spanish Flu of 1918?

We know so much more but do little.

Communication is faster

so what is going on in Italy

I can know right now.

In Spain the same. Now the US.

But look at the geography.

Look at the size of countries

and compare it to US.

Italy is smaller than Washington State.

How can there be comparisons?

The one common factor is

that the disease spreads quickly.

Test- track-and isolate. Too late.

The microbe is loose.

By accident or design?

Nobody knows or somebody knows.

Maybe we will never know.

What we do know is

that staying home keeps us safe.

Not everyone can stay home

so in Italy

there are still new cases regardless of a lockdown.

People have to go out to get food.

Whole families die at home.

After a month of staying at home,

groceries delivered and sterilized,

no outside visits,

I can’t say that I am lonely or stir crazy.

I like to stay home.

But what would it be like without internet,

without the food supply,

without air conditioning and lights?

In the winter, what if there was no heat?

What if there was no gas

to keep the car going if I wanted to relocate,

live in the mountains, hunt for food?

Are we being tossed back

into the Neanderthal of life

or just a temporary bleep in the radar

of what we always thought was progress?

Too many questions and who cares

what the answer is.

I find answers to be too dystopic.

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write 20 minutes spontaneous writing and make it a poem.

Dystopic Thinking

In My Home Office

In my home office

a demanding task

never time for a cover-up

as I sit near my coffee cup

 

upright at my standing desk

there’s no time to letup

have at least 3 computer screens

as I work during this quarantine

 

just do a personal checkup

in a fit of hygiene

sterilize my triple keyboard

this practice not to be ignored

 

getting tired but must reconvene

keep it real not overboard

here on my wall the world map

putting together my word wrap

 

there is so much unexplored

new words for my legal rap

surrounded by photographs

always helps with my paragraphs

 

piles of paper on my lap

hope right now I don’t collapse

mail ordered a rocker board

never enough java stored

 

thinking of days with giraffes

praying to God I don’t get bored

now it’s time to light the lamp

end the day with writer’s cramp

 

night sets sail— come aboard

tackle this case like a champ

excuse me for I hear the printer

thankful to be the breadwinner

 

someday I’ll be out of home camp

anyday or perhaps midwinter

meanwhile I must be cautious

taking care to not feel nauseous

 

 

imagining a lobster dinner

stuck here in my home office

looking so statuesque

this is my manifest

In My Home Office

Lake Bosumtwi

 

IMG_6611

A meteor struck

filled with rain

fish came

 

twenty tribes

along the shore

speak Twi

 

fishermen

& their families

tour guides too

 

akwaaba   welcome

medaase   thank you

mayera   I’m lost

 

primary school

helps the children

learn English

 

sacred lake to Ashanti

protect her

life-sustaining waters

 

Tumi nyina ne asase

All power emanates

from the earth

 

 

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write a place poem.  Lake Bosumtwi is the only natural lake in Ghana,  an ancient impact crater.

 

 

Lake Bosumtwi