Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Fresh Air

in Coronavirus by

Grateful, aren’t you, for waking up this
Morning, next to the Chinese Embassy.
On the island of St. Lucia.

And not seeing anyone wearing
A mask, taking extreme precautions.
Although it appears the palms are

Coughing into their sleeves.
The bougainvillea blossoming
indoors. Who knows what Derek

Walcott, the island’s, the world’s poet
Would advise from his grave.
Knowing what he knew

About the wind and the knives
Of the palm leaves.
What warning the beeping

insects give, all day and night.
As if they realize
What the waves bring in. A barge

Of families, coughing and sneezing?
A one day poet laureate?
A chicken the sea forgot

To quarantine, to hold at bay?
Maybe I’ll have the courage
To walk next door and talk

My way through security
And meet the Ambassador,
Han Shan, distant relative

Of the ancient hermit poet.
Who headed for the mountain.
To live for the rest of his life.

To send us his poems,
His masks. The silk worms spun.
He never wore inside or once

A year when when he went out
For a walk. For fresh air.
To clear his mind.



Gary Margolis is Emeritus Executive Director of College Mental Health Services at Middlebury College. His third book, “Fire in the Orchard” was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize Poetry. His latest book “Time Inside” is recently published.


Saint Lucia foregoes 18,721 cruise ship passengers because of coronavirus
[St. Lucia Times]

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