A poem by Sr Mary, fcJ, from Kew, Australia. Art work by Sr Claire, fcJ
COVID19 and its effects
(Inspired by Bill Gates)
There’s a spirit guiding everything; we can learn from good or ill.
This virus opens avenues of thought.
We can weigh our values differently, our perceptions thus distill,
Learn the lessons that this anxious time has taught.
1 All of equal value
Regardless of our race or creed, our riches, pride or power,
This virus treats all people just the same;
The pauper in his humble hut, the ruler in his tower,
There are no protected players in this game.
2 We are all inter-connected
This virus has no boundaries, it jumps from place to place,
No culture, creed or nation is immune;
From East to West, from North to South it runs its deadly race,
Mutates and plays to every nation’s tune.
We depend on one another even when we cannot see
That what affects our poorest distant kin
Will influence the way we live and how we want to be,
To say nought of our environmental sin.
As we suffer the oppression that this virus has imposed
May we see the way our lifestyle has caused grief.
This virus offers insight and allows new life to grow
In a brotherhood of kindness and relief.
3 Our precious health
Nutrition takes some time to plan, so fast food on the run
Is our daily way to satisfy our need.
Our beverages are far from pure, and when the day is done,
This danger to our health we do not heed.
4 Shortness of life
Our life is short, and time moves fast,
But now we’ve had to halt.
We can review our recent past
And remedy our fault.
What is important to mankind is concern for every creature.
In this connection we will find
Our common healing structure.
5 Necessities, or luxuries?
What’s essential for our living are the simple gifts of life,
Of food and water, shelter, human care.
In this virus we are learning what we do not need to hold,
That the spiritual sustains us everywhere.
6 Importance of home and family life
Isolation forced us back to ‘house’ for many anxious days
Where work and schooling occupied our thought.
We had the chance to call it ‘home’ and purify our gaze
And see the gifts this virus to us brought.
7 Our true work
The human stories often told are not of pomp and power,
But of the gentle love and thoughtful care
That simple people give each other every day and hour
These days, these tales are everywhere.
8 Who we really are
Our ego may be mighty, our fame may be extreme;
The virus laughs in scorn at human pride.
In the end, death shows the folly of unproductive dreams;
The pauper and the king lie side by side.
9 We still have free will
No matter what the circumstances, or how illness does intrude,
Our responses and our actions are our own.
We can move to help each other, we can choose our attitude.
No one needs to be dejected or alone.
10 Panic or Peace?
In the history of the planet there have been such episodes
As the one that we are living with today.
In the cyclic cosmic movement many plagues have strongly strove.
But be peaceful There will be another day.
11 End, or Beginning?
Have we learned from this pandemic how to live a better life,
To be there for one another day by day?
To place value on connection ‘specilly in a time of strife
And to answer pressing needs without delay.
12 We are sick because our home is sick
Our environment is shouting, is shouting to be heard,
Yet pollution and misuse are all around.
We are sick, our world is sick. We must listen to this word
And toil till a solution can be found.
13 This too shall pass
We are part of earth’s great cycle. In its history we have seen
Catastrophes that shook it to the core;
But the earth spins ever onwards to a future yet unseen.
We can surely live in patient peacefulness once more.
14 Disaster, or corrector?
Do you see Corona19 as a threat or wake-up call?
Is it calling us to think our lives anew?
Is ecology important? Is environment for all?
To this new humanity can we be true?
As the harsh restrictions lessen and the world begins to move
May we hold fast to the lessons we have learned
That we’re part of Mother Earth and open to her love,
And our future plan of action we’ll discern.
(Mary fcJ, June 2020)