Pandemic Poetry Showcase by John Dorsey

water ripple with maple leaves

photo by Mitchell McCleary (unsplash)

Hanging by a Thread

after almost 2 years of winter
the clocks have stopped
seasonal depression no longer passes
with the falling leaves
a squeaky wheel on a grocery cart
where we quickly get what we need
& rush home to safety 
provides little comfort

where an ugly christmas sweater
from a dead aunt
feels like a treasure

the only thing 
that hasn’t completely 
come apart.

The Order of Things Now

this isn’t a fireside chat
the war of the worlds on the radio
when the end comes 
we will be invisible
the hands we touched as children
will be kept in perfect working order
& put away in a hall closet 
stuffed with memories
a teddy bear
a rumpled bed
paper scattered around 
our messy hearts
their work left undone
next to a flower pot

invading every room.  

March, 2020

we joked about it then
today we are what we don’t do
& thank god that david bowie 
doesn’t have to be here for this
because dancing in a paper mask 
just seems silly
while listening 
to a song from 1974

we wonder about our children
how they will express everything 
they have to hold in
we wonder will their love 
become a silent dance
behind a closed bathroom door?

The Death Toll is Great Cinema

you can hear a pin drop
everyone is afraid 
to walk into the theater

in 1918
they had charlie chaplin 
in baggy pants 
to help them through 
the spanish flu 

this is different
this is musical chairs
without the music.

Bio: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival, (Spartan Press, 2022).. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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