Life in the Time of Corona Detail for W Florida Literary Federation

Life in The Time of Corona BG

Broken Destiny

Broken Destiny

Joe Howard

Creativity, what are your coordinates?
Brain centered, most likely.
Hyperbolic experiences
contrasted with apogees of daily routine.
Born of attitudes and longitudes.
Evolved by bodily touches with the world.

There, see the long scar on my forearm.  
A tendon severed; blood vessels broken, and a nerve interrupted.
The arm raised in protection
against a knife wielding drug idiot.
A keloid has formed like a monument
that covers the horrors of the attack.
I stroke the scar in times of worry.

Ever been in a riot?  
A world-class soccer match meant for
promotion of friendship through sport.  
The game’s outcome adverse to the sore losers.
My ears are pierced by screams of human rage and defense.
Several lay dead on the dusty bloodied ground
trampled by the running of the homo sapiens bulls.

I saw human torture in a book’s word picture.  
Gulag is its name and sounds its own anatomy.  
Ghoul, ugly, gallop, laggard, and lug.
It is the scene of soulless men with hot iron pincers
picking live flesh from a political victim -  
a hopeless reactionary.
My eyes have seen too much.
My haunted night unwelcome.

All in a coroner’s day –
the smell of decay from
forensics of a missing child.
DNA of tissue remains.
The snapshot of a unique life.

Now walking the halls of the nursing home.
Air filled with particles of foul urine.
I visit my mother.  
I touch her brow.
The feel of sandpaper
on worry furrow lines.  
Where am I in those creases?

I walk by a room on my visit.  
Hospice huddled with family
around a bed
obscuring the silhouette of the patient.
Human smells
mixed with medication odors
failed masking of deodorants.
The patient now ready
for opioid transport
to the ultimate garden gates.
No ticket scalpers there.  

And then there’s COVID-19.
It should be 666.
Invisible, deadly.
Suffocates from within
Makes clots without cuts
And suffocates from within.

And so it goes.
Good people
Bad things.
Fairness never found.

Life in the Time of Corona

Within weeks after March 11, 2020 World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, West Florida Literary Federation offered its writers a catharsis. By April, regional writers were submitting words and images to preserve this time in history. The ongoing project began with Phase I, a special edition of The Legend published in May. It featured more than thirty juried submissions. Life in the Time of Corona continues with Phase II, updated as submissions are accepted. Here are the voices of health care workers, poets, essayists, historians, and the images of artists and photographers, documenting this time in Northwest Florida's history. The ongoing project ends with the advent of a vaccine or declaration by the World Health Organization.

WFLF thanks its generous “You: The Writer" Foo Foo Festival Partners:

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