Neighborhood News

We met our neighbor
with her dog
between our lunch
and work again.

We talked about — 
the weather 
how we went to work
but never left
how in the spring the dogs 
ran out
“The last one left
was undefined — a mutt”.

Today at two PM
again,
we saw the numbers
growing, spread, and dead
but still, we thought
of baking bread.

It’s hard to live alone,
or two when weighed with clouds
to leave, to stay. to walk
in circles see
the seasons slip from spring
to summer, fall to worse 
before it’s well again,
and then it’s strange how much
it means with dogs and words 
with neighbors shared.

The world outside our neighborhood,
feels close
and clings to news reports that ceased 
to mean a thing, 
and still, we read and walk
around the neighborhood.

Neighborhood walk

Today Peter hosts at dVerse and tells us to write witness poetry from where we live. I feel that the biggest thing happening is the ongoing pandemic and how mush it has changed the way we love (not all for bad)

November 10, 2020

23 responses to “Neighborhood News

  1. Terrific write Björn – the dogs, the neighbours – that line ‘but still, we thought / of baking bread.” in the face of disaster (I’ve done exactly the same). I wonder if it’s our compassion shrinks to who we know and love or is it a defence against what we can’t control. Insightful as ever. Thank you.

  2. I love the meter and rhymes in this and the enclosed melancholy : “we saw the numbers
    growing, spread, and dead
    but still, we thought
    of baking bread.” Beautifully evocative of a time and space.

  3. I love the way you have limited your poem to you neighbourhood, reflecting the way we are all limited to our neighbourhoods by the pandemic. I haven’t seen any of our neighbours for several weeks now, which is rather eerie – although I have seen a few strangers and horse riders pass by our house and I sometimes see the postman to wave to. As you may have guessed, I’m still shielding. I’m so glad you’re still baking bread! You’ve summed it up beautifully in these lines, Björn:
    ‘It’s hard to live alone,
    or two when weighed with clouds
    to leave, to stay. to walk
    in circles see
    the seasons slip from spring
    to summer…’

  4. “It’s hard to live alone,
    or two when weighed with clouds
    to leave, to stay. to walk
    in circles see
    the seasons slip from spring
    to summer, fall to worse
    before it’s well again”

    I feel this so deeply, Bjorn! The sense of holding on, of surviving despite the odds, and emerging through is palpable in this poem. 💝

  5. I love how you describe a new normal in the midst of chaos. There has to be some semblance in life to have and to balance that with the worries of today, that is really something. Life must go on as solutions will be found and discovered, so taking each day at a time is best. Beautifully written and expressed.

  6. Our sequestered world has grown very small, and your poem expresses it beautifully. Well penned.

  7. Mt first creative writing teacher always said, “Your best work will reflect that which you know”. Gosh, the Pandemic captivates every poet ouit here, just about. I, pf course, wrote about myself, my journey.

  8. I love this snapshot of your life under the pandemic Bjorn. I see our neighbors walking with their dogs too and sometimes we would chat with the neighbors for a bit. The seasons passing is constant reminder that time moves on outside our neighborhood. Enjoy the walks!

  9. Beautifully written and love the descriptive account of your neighborhood. Our neighborhood pretty much the same with dog walkers and neighbors taking a stroll while wearing masks and keeping their distance.

  10. You’ve summed up so well the strange times in which we live, Bjorn:

    ‘see
    the seasons slip from spring
    to summer, fall to worse
    before it’s well again,’

    I love this, how you’ve used the double meaning of ‘fall.’ At least with the vaccine there is hope that the situation will improve.

  11. What a strange world we are living in, isn’t it? I still walk my pup everyday and seldom encounter another soul, but today I did. A man named Ken with one of his dogs whose name is Mille, and of all things, Ken is British. We kept our distance as we chatted about our dogs. Astounding.

  12. A very great poem. It is much more special to meet and talk with someone than before. I think we were the last mutts to leave the house this Spring!! But still live goes on… until it doesn’t.

  13. Yes, the silver lining, we too have found our way to conversations we might not have had, I loved the warmth of this very relational piece.

  14. You had me with the first stanza. So much has changed with this pandemic….but in a way, so much remains the same in terms of our home being our place of comfort and safety. Because we do not own a car or bicycles, we’ve always been depending on public transportation and our feet. As septuagenarians, and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve not been on public transportation since Covid hit so we are limited to where our feet take us. As you say, that is not all bad. So for us, our neighborhood has expanded simply because we are exploring it more.

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