Earthworms’ Castings

With Jean Ponzi

The Shape Of Days

First of spring, a viral force
Sequestered people everywhere.
No one drove, went out or met. 
We huddled through a public scare.

Sheltering in place, how could I 
Carry on my working share?
How could I maintain my reach 
To fellow humans here and there? 

Lo! through that alarming space
An open view, a way to share!
Electrons brought us face-to-face
Within a frame: The Little Square. 

Precious portal, place to meet,
To learn, discuss and grow aware!
On our laptops, on our phones, 
With answers or a questionnaire 
A virtu-ally let us TOUCH
Each other, from The Little Square.

No need now to drive or fly,
My shrunken Carbon-Foot is bare.
Yet daily parlance hums along
On techno-nets extraordinaire
As Webex, FaceTime, Teams and Zoom
Cut slices of my market share,
Gatekeepers to The Little Square.

What lies beyond the lines of what you see
When I hold forth from there?
Below the pretty shirt,
Around the wall behind me, bright and spare?
Paper piles, my bags of teaching props – 
Some days, my underwear!

Home improvements
Have our rooms in CHAOS!
Flotsam everywhere!
Wiring! Plywood! Insulation!
Saws, compressor, choke-dust air!
Crumbs from breakfast, lunch and snacks
That threaten keyboard disrepair.
Till I stop and feed her,
Kitty bites my ankles
OUCH down there!

What you see, composed and focused,
May be partial (not all there)
But offering the best I have to give
(safe from intensive care)
Striving still to serve with inspiration,
From The Little Square.

Looking back through seasons three
With awe and gratitude to spare,
I count the hours when I could teach 
and touch an audience with care; 
continued opportunity
To make a difference – blessings rare!
With distance no deterrent, 
Heart to heart,
Thanks to The Little Square.

Willing to remain within what limits
Life’s flow will declare,
To hold in check desire to fly this coop!
To see it’s not unfair
That Mother Earth has put us in Time Out,
Her kids who won’t beware, 
Who need to cease our rackets,
Curb our impacts ripping Her

One day we WILL emerge, rejoin each other
From this solitaire.
But eco-logic says, for now,
Relate in PLACE!
That’s not a snare!
Apart, and yet beside you
I am grounded on my padded chair.
Through my Little Square.

Jean Ponzi keeps Green message coming from EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden and her Earthworms enviro-conversation podcasts from KDHX St. Louis Independent Media.