Hello out there!  I’ve been in a bubble since we put our house on the market last summer.  It sold and we moved.  To northern Ohio, to be closer to our families.  (A bit ironic considering the current situation, huh?)  We survived the “unpacking cardboard boxes” stage and were just starting to venture out–meet the neighbors, join the gym, find my niche in the local poetry scene–and BOOM!  Now, like people all over the country, we are ‘social distancing.’  Rather than spending my days obsessing over Coronavirus graphs in the NY Times or watching idiots on Facebook lick shopping cart handles, I summoned the Muses and wrote a poem.


No cure, no vaccine
means self-quarantine
Awkward new routines
Like elbow bump – ing
Six feet in between
Coughing into your sleeve
Doing good “hand hygiene”
Home-brewed caffeine
Home-cooked cuisine
School on a screen
Sermons live-streamed
More masks than Halloween
Morons hoarding TP
while others use leaves
or old magazines
Meanwhile, on TV
Trump pours gasoline
on the fire, more worried
‘bout the damned economy
than keeping you and me
safe from COVID-19

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33 thoughts on “NOTHING BETTER TO DO

  1. Tippy Gnu March 26, 2020 / 1:01 pm

    I’ve missed your poetry. Welcome back to the world where social distancing is not necessary. I’m looking forward to more of your metered messages and clever commentary.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan March 27, 2020 / 11:30 am

      I was up Shit Creek without a paddle when I switched to Google Chrome. I couldn’t access my WP blog without my password. It was in the pocket of the binder I used for my online WP class, but as I said, we moved, so all my writing stuff was in disarray for a while. I hope to post more poems but that depends on the Muses keeping me supplied with material. Stay tuned.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tippy Gnu March 27, 2020 / 11:58 am

        That’s a bummer, losing a password. I’ve got about a million of them. It can be challenging, keeping them organized and accessible.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan March 27, 2020 / 11:31 am

      Thanks, KE. I’ve been working my way down WP Reader. It puts a smile on my face when I get to one of your posts as I know it will be deep, honest, and thought-provoking.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 3:16 pm

      Hope all is well with you, Elan. At least we can still go outside, huh?


    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 3:15 pm

      Thanks, PB. Good to see you. Hope you and your family are OK.


      • pranabaxom March 26, 2020 / 3:19 pm

        Yes, been a long time.
        We are all well and hope it stays that way.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. murisopsis March 26, 2020 / 2:19 pm

    Ah Joan! You have penned a winner! I hope the lock-down provides you with the impetus to finish your unpacking… or at least more poetry writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 4:38 pm

      Maybe we should do another poetry challenge… April is coming!


  3. kutchie Kender March 26, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    ​I am glad you are settling in. Like you said , what a heck of a time! I so enjoyed your poetry and it made me feel relatively OK!
    Keep writing


    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      Hey Ursula! I was thinking about you the other day when someone said we’d need all hands on deck to manage this crisis and retired nurses should jump back into the game. Are they nuts? You couldn’t tempt me with all the gold in Fort Knox to take care of COVID-19 patients in a hospital where there are no masks, gowns, or gloves, and not enough ventilators. Hello? Hope all is well with you and Dave. Continue to hunker in your bunker until we get the all clear, OK? 🙂


  4. Charles Paige Wood March 26, 2020 / 7:11 pm


    Loved the poem. Great rhyme scheme and so timely.

    I hope you and all you love are well.

    Here’s a far less structured poem another good friend sent:


    What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times?

    Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.

    Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down. And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.)

    Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.)

    Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. Promise this world your love– for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live. –Lynn Ungar 3/11/20



    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 8:39 pm

      Thanks, Paige. I love the poem you attached. Instead of complaining about being isolated and bored, we could use the time to explore and nourish our inner selves, create art, make music, write letters, meditate, pray. Did you get “woke,” as the kids would say? Something is different. Be well and stay tuned. 🙂


    • Just Joan March 27, 2020 / 11:17 am

      I saw the above poem in today’s New York Times, along with a bunch of other pandemic poems. Of all of them, my favorites were this one and one called “A Blessing for Staying Inside” by Joyce Bartlett. It was about not just making the best of our seclusion, but finding joy in it. 🙂


    • Just Joan March 26, 2020 / 8:43 pm

      Judy, Judy, Judy! Great to see you here. It’s just like old times. Hope all is well with you.


  5. L. T. Garvin, Author March 27, 2020 / 6:54 am

    Such a great summation on our current situation! Ain’t that the truth? Glad you got settled in to your new place. Great to read your poetry again. Stay well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 27, 2020 / 11:01 am

      I’m concerned, too, but I think we need to listen to the experts (rather than the Stable Genius) and stay put for now. A huge chunk of the workforce dropping dead wouldn’t be good for the economy either, except maybe funeral homes and crematoriums.


  6. Quirky Girl March 27, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    Nice to see you back! Yeah, unfortunately this new ‘normal’ isn’t such a picnic. And so we are forced to find the joy in the unexpected. Like the plethora of Halloweenish masks you pointed out… I’ve seen everything from unicorn costumes to masks fashioned out of old bras to full on face masks with snorkels. Those moments of shock and laughter serve as a nice little reprieve from reality… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 27, 2020 / 5:02 pm

      Good to see you, too, Quirky! I saw a YouTube video with instructions on how to fashion face masks from old bras. Necessity is the mother of invention–LOL! Have also seen people wearing ski masks (those hats with just eyeholes) and bandanas. Bank robbers or germ phobes? Who knows. 🙂


  7. circumstance227 April 5, 2020 / 6:21 pm

    Finally! I saw that you were back (with great joy!) and have appreciated your long comments over the past week (or weeks? I have no sense of time anymore!) Now it is my time to reciprocate.
    I love this poem! It’s going up on my bulletin board.
    I had no idea that you were even thinking of moving. Maybe you were lucky to have pulled it off before the distancing started – even if your initiation into a new community has been put on hold for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 5, 2020 / 6:49 pm

      Hey 227! I’m back, Muses willing and the creek don’t rise. My usual MO was to post once a week on Sunday, but I’m participating in a challenge for National Poetry Month as well, so I’ll be cranking out prompt-based “bonus poems” a few times a week during April. The moving thing happened kind of suddenly and once things were in motion, I had ZERO time to write poems for my blog. We came up here to be closer to our families, kind of ironic as it turned out. When Ohio’s schools closed in mid-March, a FaceBook buddy put out a challenge for bored kids, to write a poem using words that rhyme with quarantine. I couldn’t resist joining in and “New Normal” was born. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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