It came in the guise of a gaseous envelope in the sky
of sun and other stars. No eclipse this time –
just a pearly glow around the muted disc of moon.
Chinese New Year celebrations were cancelled
and Italy’s strict lockdown won’t be lifted soon.
How appropriate that this is the year of the rat.

Condemned to isolation, we can only watch
television screens, no miasma or boils to be seen,
just misery and pain. But the world will breathe again,
we will brush ourselves off as we have always done,
look up to the ancient skies to see another crown,
a joyful gathering of the moon, the stars and sun.

Kim M. Russell, 7th April 2020

Lunar corona stock image. Image of inner, circle, light - 161797563
Stock image from

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics: In the Time of the Plague, also linked to earthweal weekly challenge: PANDEMIC AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Björn is behind the bar this Tuesday with a topical theme, one that everyone’s talking about. He points out that, in many ways, we don’t really know a lot more than we did at the time of the bubonic plague, giving a brief etymology lesson about the word ‘quarantine’ and an illustration of a plague doctor wearing a beaked mask filled with herbs to protect against miasma. He also reminds us that people have always practised isolation or quarantine.

He has given examples of poetry about plagues and diseases: Boccaccio’s Decameron, which is set in a quarantine situation, The Plague by Camus, ‘The Plague’ by Christina Rosetti, and ‘Lockdown’, a new poem by Simon Armitage.

Today, Björn would like us to write about how the corona virus has changed us (for better and for worse). How will the world look like on the other side? He asks us to take inspiration from words like plague, pestilence and pandemic, and write a poem to console us in this time of corona.

34 thoughts on “Corona

  1. Impressive imagery surrounds the condemnation of humans as the poem moves down to isolation and that back up to breathing again, exactly as if we were eclipsed briefly and come back to normal. The earth will be lighter, I imagine, though I don’t know what a soul weighs and the bodies will still be here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In a way, midst our sheltering, there is a sense of holding our breath and closing our eyes, and hoping to awaken from this nightmare, only to awaken and discover that zombies are real.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just hope we learn from this. We have weapons stockpiled in case of war, but we don’t want to waste money preparing for disease.

    Still, I like the hope in this, Kim, and the way you link that other meaning of corona.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I will be hones, Kim. I’ve put off reading the posts for this prompt….afraid they would all ignite the fear that I try to keep tamped down. That they would be depressing as I try to stay positive. I’ve gone back to meditating daily, after my stretching and yoga. I had put aside the mediation about two years after I was certain my husband was himself after his 6 minute cardiac arrest in October 2013. But now, I need it again.
    So thank you. Thank you immensely for taking the positive side here. We must all keep that hope and spirit in these horrific times. Stay safe. Stay healthy. We know the virus can not attach itself to the pen…I am so grateful for dVerse, Toads and the month of April carrying the diversion/challenge of writing a poem a day.

    Liked by 2 people

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