WALKING IN THE DAYS OF THE VIRUS #1

WALKING IN THE DAYS OF THE VIRUS
(#1 To the forest)

On the path to the forest 
before they deploy the drones 
with their remote temperature sensors 
kerosene sprays 
and I refuse to imagine what else

The air of the city edge sweeter than usual
A faint reminder of the bliss it was
to breathe in the vicinity 
of the Korean DMZ

If tomorrow is postponed for two weeks 
so be it 
24 hours were never enough 
to seize the day or night

A few solitary walkers 
keeping a respectful distance 
in silent solidarity 
At some point I’ll dare to believe this 
My doff of the hat  
and Moïen-Bonsoir 
are not returned

70s folk rock in the ears 
legs and arms strolling 
jamming with my shadow 
air drums, air guitar, air piano 
pretending to be the musician 
I suffocated as a kid

A cargo plane climbing over the green 
every few hundred steps 
Ħanini I miss you

Thank you, gap in the tree line 
for accepting me so easily 
May there be no irony 
in this scent of early spring

No need for the branches to salute me 
No need for the wind to shake them 
Our understanding goes back years

The waters of the Alzette 
seem clearer this evening 
but I haven’t been here for a while

Uphill, downhill 
with the waves of the music 
opening the veins of the legs 
inflating the lungs like sails

Sing
Sing with respect for the trees
Sing without acting like an inebriated tourist  
Sing from the balcony of the diaphragm 
Sing for those too scared to come out 
for the migrant workers who didn’t make it home on time 
for the nurses and doctors on the front line 
for stewards and pilots exposed  
to the new meaning of cabin fever 
Sing for the long-distance lovers 
for the teachers forced into solitude 
for the children who just learnt 
their imaginary scythes are real  
for the great-grandmother who lost her legs  
to the slow handsaw of sugar 
Sing for my ballerina cousin 
cooped up in the metropolis 
leaping across the tiny Atlantic 
between shuttered window and kitchenette 
Set your subversive lungs free 
but keep the volume down 
Sing till the tears block your throat

Breathe, people, breathe 
The leaves are on their way

Empty streets on the way back 
Almost a waste of a sunset

A pack of tissues on the ground 
winks at me like a 50 euro note 
I might need that next week 
or for tonight’s weep 
Better to resist and walk on

I turn left 
even where I don’t feel like it 
just to make the walk
a few streets longer

Let’s return to the desk 
Tonight on Radju Twanny 
they’re playing non-stop prog rock 
Paper, pencil,  
roll-ups and rum 
It’s gonna be a measured, marvellous 
one-man planetary party

---

#timezones #walking #covid19

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