Friday, August 13, 2021

5 Pandemic Poems Just For You

 Howdy, Campers and happy Poetry Friday! (the PF host link is below)

The topic this round, which Esther suggested in late June, was Writing (Or Teaching)-Related Activities We’re Getting Back To As Things Open Again.

So far, four TeachingAuthors have created terrific posts on this topic, and already the sands have shifted.Esther's (July 16th) is euphoric (including an empty frame in which she expected to post of photo of Carmela, Esther and me at a Chicago restaurant), Zeena's (July 23rd) is about her new committment as a teacher of 4- and 5-year-olds (it includes a video of Zeena book talking picture books);  Bobbi's (July 30th) is hope-filled--with a terrific resources list!), Mary Ann's (August 6th) is wonderfully written as always. But hope?...not so much. 

And me? I'm grumpy today.

Me, slaying the topic we'd hoped to write about

The last few months in our house have been overshadowed by STUFF. Towards the end of April, zombies from the apocalyspe stopped by to chomp on my foot. (The medical diagnosis was staph infection, but I know it was zombies.)

Which meant I couldn't hike. Or run. Or walk. Or go to a wedding in Chicago and have lunch in person with Esther and Carmela. My pup Eli was also casuality: he couldn't hike or run or walk without me. 

Our muscles melted.

After umpteen weeks of varying antibiotics, my doctors found one that worked and I got better...

...just in time to drive my very sick husband to the ER. He was admitted to the hospital; it was scary. Now he's home. We're lucky. He'll be okay. 


Okay, I just thought of something that's hopeful: Like so many wonderful writers in the Poetry Friday community, I never stop writing a poem a day. (Yesterday ~ even on a very grumpy day ~ I wrote my 4,141st poem in a row)

And so I offer you five pandemic poems and the inspiration behind each, for your entertainment:

1. March 27, 2020

by April Halprin Wayland

Hey, Tom! Are you up for a walk tomorrow?

If I met you at your house

and we drove separately

and stayed six feet apart?

And how about a third person,

Joyce? Would that be too much?

 (I would ask her to drive separately

and meet us at your house also.)


Okay strange times.

Put this exchange in a time capsule.

Inspiration: This is a word for word text conversation with my friend Tom. We ultimately didn't walk...times had changed by the time Tom read my text. (At least an hour had gone by.)
2. April 4, 2020

LOVING MAMA-MADE MASK ~ a semi-found poem
by April Halprin Wayland

Waves of

hand marbled fabric:


three layers, mostly cotton—

reusable, washable,


to brighten your day.

Line dry.


The scare will pass.

And we'll all have masks.
Inspiration: My friend Tom in the first poem has a wife named JoAnn who mailed us two beautiful masks with a note. I gleaned it for words around which to form a poem.  I did add words, though, so technically it's not a Found Poem.

3. May 9, 2020

ZOOM ~ in four words 
by April Halprin Wayland

Drapes drawn

pearls on
Inspiration: When I started Zooming, the only place in our house with appropriate lighting was a tiny corner of my office in front of a bookshelf, with the drapes drawn, a floor lamp on one side and the overhead light on. Also, of course pearls!

4. May 21, 2020 

(previously published in this post, its title is from the book of the same name by Myra Cohn Livingston)
by April Halprin Wayland

It's a kind of art—

lit by air

and light. Kept in a vault,


it can only chase it's own tail.

So blow on it, gently—this is vital.

It's yours; invent your own ritual.

That day I wanted to write an In One Word Poem. I choose a word that had become tiresome: VIRTUAL.

Below are the 18 words I decided to play with from the 65 words offered by Wordmaker. I used the six of these:  it, lit, air, art, rut, rail, tail, liar, vial, vail, rival, trial, vault, viral, vital, trail, ultra, ritual

One of the wonders of this form is that I can take a word that makes me sick and come up with a poem that's kind. Or glowing.
5. July 19, 2021

by April Halprin Wayland

Hey, little girl,

let the day unfurl

like a light-weight blanket.

At the close of day,

be sure

and thank it.
Inspiration: I believe I heard the words "let the day unfurl" in a morning meditation on Insight Timer
poems © 2021 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved


I've inadvertently ended on a note of hope. Oh, well. I tried to stay grumpy. You've gotta give me points for that.

One more thing: if you know anyone who's interested in taking my 10-week course, Picture Book 1 through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, please tell them to sign up now...this class is limited to 15 students.

Thank you for stopping by today, Campers!

Many thanks to Christie for hosting this week's PF
at Wondering and Wandering

posted with a teeny tiny bit of hope and a bushel of love by April Halprin Wayland while Eli rests on top of his two favorite toys (the blue one is our kitty's)


Irene Latham said...

Dear Grumpy April - I don't think there's another human in existence who has written 4125 poems in a row, and counting! AMAZING. I'm so sorry for the health scares, and I'm grateful for your poems. You find the humor and hope, in spite of all. Thank you for unfurling your words here today. xo

Linda B said...

Carry on, April, no matter the day's menu, I am amazed that you keep writing. Sorry for your infection & your husband's plight, glad all is better. I love that "Tip" & "be sure to thank it". Appreciating what we have is the current must, isn't it? Thanks for the post of some of your days!

Denise Krebs said...

April, lovely! I did enjoy reading your five pandemic poems, and brava to you for writing 4,141 poems in a row. I was fascinated with the In One Word Poem using virtual. I've added it to my list of poems to try. Thanks for the hope and joy even though you were trying to be grumpy. So glad to hear you and your hubby are on the mend.

Janice Scully said...

Just hearing about your 4,000 plus poems is a hopeful thought, so inspiring to me. You are amazing! Thanks for sharing them. So sorry to hear about your health challenges and I hope that stops going forward and you get back to your walks. I love how your one word became a comforting blanket.

Carmela Martino said...

Wow, April! You're so inspiring. I'd planned to write a poem a week and couldn't even manage that. But now I have to tell myself if you can write one every day, I can surely write one a week!
Glad everyone's on the mend at your house. Thanks for sharing these poems. I especially like Tip!

April Halprin Wayland said...

My dear Irene... How I love you.
PS: I'll bet there are many people on Poetry Friday who have written a poem a day for more than 10 years.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda! You're a keep-on-keepin-on kind of person,too! I know that for a fact. And yes, gratitude brings me balance. Every morning when I wake up, before getting out of bed, I think about what I am grateful for. It's often the fan in our bedroom ceiling, the pale yellow color of our bedroom walls that has lasted for more than 20 years, and which I never tire of, the plant that I've been watering more frequently since the pandemic and that has flourished under attentive care (surprise, surprise!)
Simply finding tangible things that I'm grateful each day helps so much. But you know that.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Denise, this time it's a longer path to good health then we could have imagined. Everything has changed in my life... but the choreography has unfolded more beautifully than I could have arranged on my own.
So yes, I can be grumpy... and yes, I am grateful. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post

April Halprin Wayland said...

Janice, that poetic form is so much fun. And the poems that emerge really do transform me.
Thank you for your good wishes. They mean a lot to me.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hey, Carmela ~ the poem, "Tip" seems to be the hands-down winner. It's useful to see how people respond to one's writing, isn't it? I used to be in many critique it's just me and my best friend, Bruce. Which is working, so I guess I don't need to change. I think I'm better at allowing change in my life. I used to have so many rules...

Mary Lee said...

In. Credible. 4000+ poems in a row!

I love that you weren't able to stay grumpy. Good role model for us all. You wrote your way out of it!

Jone said...

I am so glad that you are on the mend, that your husband is better, and you couldn't stay grumpy. I bet Eli is glad to walk with you again.

Carol Coven Grannick said...

I hope you both stay safe and well. The pandemic poems have validated how incredibly important poetry and the love of it has been this past year and a half. I particularly love, "blow on it, gently".

Carol Varsalona said...

April, I have to say that your "grumpy" mood produced happiness for the reader (me). Thanks for all the poetry goodness. Pandemic life does help us reflect.

laurasalas said...

Fabulous! Your poems 3 and 4 just made me sigh and smile. Thank you for the loveliness.

Margaret Simon said...

Just saying, these poems made me smile. I think you are happy even on your worst day. Thanks for sharing and lifting me up.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh, April - Goodness at what you all have been through! Glad you're on the mend now, but you are certainly pardoned for any GRUMPY-ness. And Eli looks like he's been a commiserating companion. Sure enjoyed these poems - of course, my favorite is "Zoom" - ha! And, 4,125 poems? That is impressive beyond words. You rock. xo

Elisabeth said...

This is a smorgasbord of tasty poetic goodness - thank you for sharing with us! (Especially given all you've had going on!). I like the poems that have captured aspects of the pandemic experience. I agree with Carol - I'm among those who have reaffirmed me love of and the importance of poetry during these crazy times.