Skip to main content

Pandemic's Deserted Spaces: Poem #9

PANDEMIC'S DESERTED SPACES

 

A deserted space can be disturbing.

It speaks of empty buildings

and barren earth.

 

Cities once full of energy

and boisterous crowds, now temporarily abandoned

cause imbalance to the psyche. 

 

Yet, the human mind adapts when prompted

to shelter in place, as we are told.

Comply we must as good citizens

of our town, our state, our world.

 

Only go out for food, medicine or other essential need.

And I did exactly that, last evening before bed.

I drove outside the neighborhood

for prescription drugs and take-out-food.

Alarming yet comforting feeling came over me

that I could count on my fingers

the cars that were around, a good sign, I agree.

 

Although relieved that many adhered

as California’s governor ordered,

the gravity of the crisis resounded

by the sight of parking lots deserted,

a state of reality in my head eerily pounded.

 

A deserted space can be disturbing.

It speaks of empty cupboards

and motionless playgrounds.

 

But deserted spaces must be re-imagined.

Because our best chance of survival

is highly dependent on the moral ground

to act to protect each other,

for the good of the many,

for names known and unknown are aplenty.

 

To act to curb the spread of this insolent virus

must be the driving universal call; 

the only acceptable ethical standard

to follow for the good of all.

 

The collateral to this health crisis

is our sense of loss.

Loss of income, freedom of movement,

And loss of lives and loves,

I shudder to think how many.

 

This toxin importing virus has forced us

to rethink what’s important.

Collectively we grieve as the earth grieves

for the heart and mind despondent.

 

A deserted space is a disturbing sign.

It speaks of empty cupboards,

abandoned livelihood and worn out spirit.

 

But a deserted space seems to lead

to flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases;

a good sign that speaks

to the practice of social distancing and how effectively

it helps to curb the spread of this virus.

 

We seek for simple ways

to console ourselves, as this pandemic

has profoundly altered our world,

altered how we go about our daily lives

in a manner that one could say is beyond bold.

 

We adopt extreme habits to ward off risk,

as the virus by the hour, by the day grows endemic.

Yet, we find humor where we can.

Our friend Sue made us chuckle this morning

while practicing social distancing by texting:

“I have washed my hands to Happy Birthday

so many times, I am now 347 years old.”

If truth be told, that quip made the decibel of laughter

in my head increase; increase tenfold.

 

Poem ©Lu Sobredo

Photo ©James Sobredo

ALL RIGHT RESERVED


About the Author 
Lu Sobredo is writer/publisher at Lu Travels Abroad, a blog dedicated to folks whose limitations do not hamper them from traveling. A year into early retirement her world collapsed from the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her total life changed, but she did not let RA define her. With love from family, friends and an awesome doctor, she regained some functionality--her new normal. She will have RA all her life. And she now writes about life and travel with RA. During the pandemic of 2020, she stays put and writes poetry and a first novel, a travel of sorts but in the heart and mind.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Travel and Why Not?

By Lu Sobredo WELCOME to LuTravelsAbroad Website! What's new with me? TODAY I am exploring possible format/design for my LuTravelsAbroad website, for my Blog and Facebook page. Tickled to be launching a new venture. I have this incredible feeling of drive from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A similar feeling that came over me when I finally realized I will travel abroad again. Travel while disabled, you might ask? Why not? Mother & Son: Midnight in Paris, ©James Sobredo 2004 WHY A TRAVEL BLOG The Travel Blog and Facebook web presence is meant to be a self-help travel corner, and a vehicle for opening up about my personal health journey. When preparing for the 2016 travel, some websites and travel blogs were a great help. While in Spain as I focused on the moment and less and less on what discomfort to anticipate, I gradually experienced the thrill of traveling. It was then that I began to envision creating a one-stop self-help corner for peopl

Through His Camera Lens: Lights, Landscapes and Life Abroad

by Lu Sobredo ~Celebrating the many dimensions of my husband James Sobredo: his interest, talent and heart as reflected through his camera lens. Introduction Yes, my son and I, and sometimes our friends take very good pictures with our mobile phones. But the person, whose camera lens I totally rely on to document life's moments and special places, is my husband James Sobredo. Being around him and his photography partner and close friend, Steven Montalvo when on their photography shoots, is both meditative and exhilarating to watch. As if their eyes are connected to their hearts. And after many hours and enormous patience, they might be happy with the outcome. I know I am. Folks have asked me why I find blogging so much fun? Other than the fact that: My family actually have visited the amazing places I write about. I get to meet fascinating people and who have become part of my family’s life.  As strange as this sounds, it’s even fun to awkwardly attempt speaking a d

Top 10 Restaurants We Love in Spain

By Lu Sobredo Gastronomy and Spain have become synonymous. Writing this photo essay makes me think of scrumptious meals. My mouth is literally watering with great longing to return.   Since starting my blog in 2016, my husband and I are often asked for recommendation of places to eat when in Spain. I have given recommendations in a private message through my travel Facebook Page: Lutravelsabroad . And I do it happily. But there is no reason to keep our recommendations private. When one finds a gold mine, I believe it is important to share the wealth. My family and I have managed to partake in culinary feasts on a budget when traveling. When we do some modest splurging, it is all planned and calculated into our travel expense. Why not live a little while we still can? If curious, you can still access my first Blog post on the subject: Happy Eating on a Budget in Spain . This earlier essay takes you from the Madrid area and Barcelona, to the Galician region in Santiago de

Finding Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum

by Lu Sobredo Viewing Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum. ©Lu Sobredo 2017 "Celebrate the rich diversity of Philippine art with 25 compelling works recently added to the Asian Art Museum’s collection. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry and textiles; Christian devotional statues from the Spanish colonial period; postwar genre and landscape paintings; and contemporary works come together in this intimate exhibition to tell fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines.” ~ Asian Art Museum Introduction I’m surprised to be hanging out on a Thursday afternoon at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the middle of summer. Most times, I am there either appreciating some permanent exhibit or being drawn to a special exhibit or event. Sometimes, I could be found simply sitting at the museum Cafe sipping green tea and lingering over an apple almond tart. It is at these moments when I am moved to write. The writing I do these days is for my blog.  

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage on My Terms (Parts 1 & 2)

By Lu Sobredo PART I Introduction Walking near the border of France and Spain through the Spanish Pyrenees to the city of Santiago de Compostela was not the vacation I envisaged, not for my first trip to Spain in 2010. However, my husband James, the avid adventurer had other ideas born out of an earlier visit to Madrid and Seville in 2006. It was a decision that turned out to be monumental for the family and deeply personal for me. Mother and Son Bonding on the Camino. ©James Sobredo This essay is sprinkled with practical hints from lessons learned in the pilgrimage. It is a personal reflection of the whole experience. It is about the physically challenging, emotionally invigorating, and spiritually uplifting journey. It was an experience made increasingly significant because of a life-changing diagnosis that followed three years later, a diagnosis that has rendered me chronically disabled. I sincerely hope this serves as an important reminder to all: act no

Life With RA: Exercise Strategy That Works, Article #5

LIFE WITH RA: EXERCISE STRATEGY THAT WORKS   Article #5 By Lu Sobredo Why write about exercise if you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?   Exercise was the last thing on my mind when RA inundated   major joints in my body starting in 2013. Pain was excruciating on both knees, ankles, wrists, fingers and hands. Inflammation and stiffness were so pronounced; I grew resentful over how the disease stole the flexibility my body once knew. Everyday routine did not happen without my husband's help. But I did my best to will my pained body to move. The body gradually adapted to gentle and measured movements. And three years after I began the regimen of medications & treatment, my RA-ridden body gradually stabilized.  There is no cure for what ails me, so who knows what the future holds.  However,  I am convinced that without attempts at movement, the disease could have crippled me irrevocably. With a Physical Therapist Early in RA Treatment. ©James Sobredo

World in Motion: Part I -- Health Storm

WORLD IN MOTION: PART I A health storm descended on my family's lives... By Lu Sobredo The southeasterly wind howled. What has angered it so? The rain wasn’t happy either. The deluge   pounded against the wall near where I slept. There was swaying for sure. Or was I having one of those episodes that compelled my husband to drive me to a nearby hospital? We both agreed my symptoms were alarming enough that warranted a run to the emergency room.   I slowly opened my eyes to get my bearings. Still too dark to be morning. The light from the digital clock reminded me we spent the night in our sailboat. It was 3 a.m., Sunday January 6, 2019. Epiphany Sunday, the feast day for christians to commemorate when God the incarnate revealed as Jesus Christ to the Magi—The Three Kings. Somehow, I felt the Universe was speaking to me in kind words despite the tempestuous weather. Our boat was safely moored. However, the wrath of the storm hitting Northern California made itse