In-between Intro & Outro Tracks of 2020

Someone once asked, “For whom does the poet write?” and the response “Somewhere somebody is reading one of my poems.” But it’s highly possible that “no one is reading any of [my] poems, right now.” So, I’ll indulge myself.

1. Expand. What’s there to say! The universe gives in abundance.
2. Each year starts as a promise, I remember toasting with a glass full of hope.
3. Things unknown occupy space. No one can tell if it’s the beginning or end of a bad dystopian era.
4. This is NO writer’s retreat, a luxury of space and time. Yet the sun rises despite of everything and birds flutter their wings at my window.
5. Oh, the city! Madness is gallant. Every morn, I take a stroll and bypass the lunatic asylum.
6. A blackboard in my kitchen over spills with disappointments. A virus buildup I’ve been quietly tallying since the start.
7. This is a liminal space filled with anxiety, uncertainty and waiting, waiting, waiting…
8. How many clouds gather for a downpour?
9. Hopping back and forth in different rooms of Zoom is one of the Seven Steps to Accept Change.
10. This— I acknowledge privilege.
11. A friend asks how my family is doing. Family—I choke. For, where do I start? “F.I.N.E.” I respond.
12. We can do nothing. But sit comfortably with grief, for we are left to survive like lilies at the edge of a flooding river.
13. The country is lyric. Every night, I dance to the rhythm in between intro and outro tracks of the year.

note: As we wrap the year, and inspired by Rajani, I share excerpts of poems from a work in progress. I’m also linking to the Writer’s Pantry at Poets and Storytellers United.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and blogger. Her blog focuses on poetry and creative nonfiction, and also features poets and their books.

39 Comments

  1. #10 is the absolute demand of this year. The way people and livelihoods have been destroyed, the way digital learning is exacerbating the economic gap, the sheer numbers… 10 is humility and gratitude and perhaps a tiny bit of proactive action. Love your list. 8 resonates with my love for sky! May 2021 be a kind year to all.

  2. I enjoyed you thirteen excerpts of poems from a work in progress, Khaiya, especially the acceptance in: ‘We can do nothing. But sit comfortably with grief, for we are left to survive like lilies at the edge of a flooding river.’ That is where I am now.

  3. Apart from pleasing oneself in ones writing you probably put a facet of yourself in as well as surely we know ourselves better than anyone else. Then our life is special to us and should be enjoyed and hopefully pleased others as well as we live it.

  4. #9. “Hopping back and forth in different rooms of Zoom is one of the Seven Steps to Accept Change.”

    Like i always say Thanks for the Technology

    Stay Safe

    Much❤love

  5. Each excerpt hits true. The new chipping painfully through the old and the stasis of the present. Resonant.

  6. The imagery in 12 blew me away. I have to say I feel the same. But there’s months left in this storm and I hope the lilies outlast it.

  7. Lots of wisdom in such a sad time This is such a beautiful line “But sit comfortably with grief, for we are left to survive like lilies at the edge of a flooding river.” I love the las one as well. Take care and Kia Kaha

  8. #4 speaks to me. Despite the gloom, still we’re surrounded with promises of hope.

  9. Numbers 3, 5, and 10 will linger for a while… 3 in particular. I truly hope that the current events–dystopian or not, endings or beginnings–mark the edge of something better. We need better; we’ve danced precariously on the lips of too many monsters lately.

  10. “9. Hopping back and forth in different rooms of Zoom is one of the Seven Steps to Accept Change.” It’s also the 21stc definition of insanity lol

  11. Thank you, Rajani. I too, agree. Acknowledging privilege is a must for this year. So many livelihoods have been destroyed. But we live in hope that the coming year will be kinder to all of us.

  12. Your list brings a sense of peace. These interesting times we are now living in are indeed a liminal space, and I keep searching for the light within it, to light the way ahead. I am old enough now to see more road behind me than what lies ahead, though there is still plenty of time, and I am in no hurry to complete the journey. There is much to contemplate, and still much to do.

    Keep writing, Khaya, and shining on into the future. <3

  13. The new normal they call it. This zoom business make me wish fervently that there was no new normal. Reading more than I write. But hei, like you said, expand we shall. The universe has so much to give. 🙂

  14. Thank you so much, Kim. I appreciate your comment. As for acceptance, most of us have been dealt a bad hand this year. And I’m sorry to hear that’s where you are as well. Keep safe and looking after yourself!

  15. That imagery is real, Rommy. I choke each time, I edit the full poem. But the lilies will survive, they’ve withstood fierce storms.

  16. Yeah, the year has sort of been a sad poem. But thanks Marja for reading, I like that last night too. I can’t wait to go and breathe in the country with upcoming winter break and Christmas holidays. 🙂

  17. Thank you, my friend. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to enjoying some peace during the holiday season. I’ve even given myself to forgo all the fuss that comes with Christmas holidays. I just want to be. <3

  18. Say that again! These are interesting times. The upset brought by the pandemic; a disruption to the familiar, what is lost in the process, and anxious waiting in that liminal space are some of things that had been taxing. But we must keep hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s much to contemplate, grieve and also so much to be thankful for.

    Thank you, Lavinia. There’s no other way but write to keep sane. 🙂 I hope you’ve been creating too, I’ll be catching with happenings on your side, soon. <3

  19. They call it a new normal, indeed. But I don’t see how we are going to sustain this Zoom business without completely going mad. And I’m not denying its advantages but time management and setting work boundaries are proving to be the biggest challenges of working remotely. But yeah, as for “expand” my word for 2020, what can I say other than “be careful what you wish for”… 😀

  20. That’s so true Robin, I put a facet of myself in my writings. And so, it’s always an honour when a reader can relate to my world.

  21. #12…is where I’ve been the most of 2020. Great, resounding words. You give insightful perspective and always forever encouraging with your words. This will not be our undoing…”like lilies..”

  22. Thank you Michelle for popping by. I’m glad you found some encouraging words from these smatterings. And yes, this will not be our undoing; there’s always hope.

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