I’m on vacation,
A time to relax,
A time to let things go,
A time for nothing.
Yet, the conversation around me speaks
Of a time filled with anxiety,
Of a time accumulating annoyances,
Of a time weighted by everything.

Man, I’m out of this shit,
I just want to sit, write, read, anything,
But discussing coronavirus and schools,
Politics and protests,
I’m undoing the last three months
One sea breeze massage at a time.
My time, down time,
Vacation time.

I’ve got my sunblock on,
My flip flops off, the
Sounds of Bakersfield spinning,
A margarita craving raging,
Simple poems flowing,
Hearty provolone sliced,
A mask ready to go, and
Not a care about anything else.

Long days of dumb emails
Equal a numb brain without fail.
Add to that the rigor of conspiracies,
Fully accepted as fishy delicacies
And this is the night for a great sleep.

Chaos rules, suspicious deaths
Distance learning epitets,
I hope they continue tomorrow
With another dumping of the mental wheel barrow
Because at this hour I could give a bleep.

Today was a little more than usual,
I made the mistake of going out,
Ran some errands,
Got a taste of freedom,
Standing in line,
Wearing a mask,
Looking through fogged glasses
Dreaming of how those who are most wanted
Must love being able to put on their protection
And walk anywhere without being recognized.
Then there was the ankle sprain,
Mild, but swelling, no biggie, but on the radar,
Kid drama from adults,
And major-minor surgery for my mom.
That was the shit-kicker,
I mean, who wants anyone having surgery,
Especially now.
Not to mention, governors in
Two commonwealths and two states say
I’m not allowed to drive there to help her.
Harbinger of things to come?
I dread so,
But none of this would be a problem
Without the virus, the plaque, or the running.
So coping skills were needed, I know,
I used my seventh grade Home Economics skills,
That would be Consumer Science to the youth of today,
To bake a cake.
And bake I did, whipping up some of Em’s Nutella cake,
In all of about ten total minutes
Which is good since I only made the Kool-Aid in Home Ec.
The cake, straight out of the microwave was banging,
Two-thirds of my house liked it,
Einstein, the pit bull, would have, but no chocolate for him.
So on this day, when I nearly cracked,
Em’s Nutella cake saved me at least until tomorrow.

Peak pollen pollution,
Running in the thick air
Was labored at best.

Why should I moan?
I’m out, catching the wind
While others are struggling for a breath.

These weird times,
Where something good
Becomes bad to some.

Public health policy
Versus
Profit making ability

The political smog
Making living a pollster’s proposition
Who gets the vote? Who gets their last breath?

Number three, two years into high school
Sharing the couch with number five,
A loving pit bull who’s curled into a tight ball.

Outside, the golden hour has arrived,
A bright sun, the emerging green bathing in its warmth,
For the first time today, a blue sky.

Yet, the open air still preaches caution,
Unseen germs lurking in every breath,
Every cough, every sneeze.

With nothing but time,
With nothing but digital papers to grade,
It seems logical to drift,
To wander,
Experiencing whatever path Frost took,
Or the other one,
Assuming they weren’t any different,
Maybe not even metaphors for individualism,
Hell, I don’t know,
I’m a poetry infant,
Able to sling the words,
Not so great at understanding.

So with nothing but time,
That bone-crushing soul-sapping super villain,
I’ve been reduced to a dining room chair,
Elbows on a table with many steam burns in the finish,
Ears covered with headphones,
To hear the YouTube videos,
To experience Pink Floyd the way it should be,
Up close, alone,
To cultivate an appreciation of Pearl Jam,
Listening without distraction
To the poetry, the narratives, the experiences
I missed way back when.

It’s time that is giving me these gifts,
Cobra Kai, The Wall, and whatever the Pearl Jam titles are,
It’s time that gets taken,
If we allow it to be done that way,
A run is a run happening in time, the time allowed,
Same for the videos, not time wasted, time enjoyed,
And the music, ah, the music,
Inspiring, massaging, the best of it all,
Poetry, sounds, dismissive a clock’s time,
Nothing wasted.

That’s it.
I’ve had it.
This shit has got to end.
How many effing Schoology buttons are there?
Why am I getting mail?
Am I in control
Of anything anymore?

Normalcy.
That’s what I need.
Did I already have this shit?
Was that bad cold back in December it?
Dry hack, dry hack, dry hack
Day after day after day.
I bet it was.

Patience.
I need it, today.
This shit is driving me crazy.
Get me back to school…
WHAT? Did I just write that.
At least there, I’m there.
Be well everyone.

Malcolm Gladwell,
Billy Collins,
Dave Matthews Band,
George Fox,
David Goggins,
Neko Case,
Buzz Lightyear,
New Balance,
Trek,
All getting me through,
All finding a way to pass the time
Influencing,
Distracting,
Informing,
Motivating,
Setting up the future,
Enlightening the past,
Saving the present.

Thank goodness.

Listening to winds blow,
Relaxing, watching the trees sway,
Calming.

Listening to fireplaces pop,
Soothing, seeing the flames dance,
Mesmerizing.

Listening to people cope,
Refreshing, hearing their strength,
Inspiring.

It’s in the way things are taken,
Perspective, wanting the best,
Survival.

For all of the talk,
Preparation, being ready for stuff,
Difficult.

Yet there are those,
Friends, making it through tough times,
Stoics.

Closer to home as well,
Family, propping me up each day,
Peace.