Tiger's Tail — Writing our way through
This is a collection of writing from a group of us who began meeting at the beginning of COVID-19. We had one class before the shelter in place took effect and the rest have been online. We plan, once we are able to meet in person together again (may it be soon), to create a real book in physical form. We hope you find solace and strength, relief and humor in these words.
Together --Clare Olivares
under the peace of a big green tree
my mind like a cloud
wonders about the mystery of this time and place
trusting in the unbearable, the unknowable
like falling out of a window forever
Trusting that the earth
will catch me with its sturdy hold
This time this place
into the fragility of the unknown
into the brokenness of the world.
Pay Attention --Clare Olivares
One can live with beauty and horror at the same time
You can wake to the sound of birds
and to the radio's blare recounting death
The rain softly falling on the roof
can mimic the tears of the forgotten
Yes we can stand with a foot in each world
I once saw a small dead bird
cradled near its dead mother
No marks, no blood
just stillness and fragility
So sorrowful my heart cracked a bit
but my heart also swelled
at the beautiful iridescent blue wings
and tiny yellow beaks
A heart broken and healed at the same time
one ventricle saying to the other
Pay attention, pay attention.
Today, March 2020 --Clare Olivares
The dolphins have returned to the Venice canals
bringing joy to a place of despair
Today I saw a beautiful peacock
strutting down my street
with daring and disinterest
My partner bought me a loaf of bread
a sacred offering
not jewel or precious gold
a simple loaf
Gave my neighbor my last packet of yeast
for cinnamon rolls she said
sharing the sweetness at a distance
we will barter and trade as we are able
and look at the world with kinder eyes
Perhaps the world needs to rest awhile
give us time to breathe compassion
into our hearts and souls.
Adjustments —Lynda Efros
Perhaps that was why I began to feel
so drawn to birdsong, the scamper
of squirrels, and the furry felines
curled in their own personal circles
I guess the center of me knew what
That this would be the world’s
assignment for awhile.
To find increased beauty at home.
Create a distance
And further connection with others
at the same time.
To recognize smiling eyes peeking
over homemade masks
on neighborhood walks
turned into good natured avoidance.
Pray for those that can’t breathe
this newly unleashed murderer
out of their airways.
And applaud those that fight for
life for another
When it’s only sheer will that keeps them standing.
We fall asleep with the shadowed
Images of their masked faces and
those they care for clinging to life
through tubes of solutions
and ventilated air.
We wish them well.
It isn’t enough.
It can’t be enough.