SPECIAL EDITION: A poem of historical hope

Hello Dear Friends of WordPress and beyond.

Like the rest of you, I am disturbed and troubled by the outbreak sweeping the globe as I sit here and type this. It’s a bit overwhelming, almost paralyzing. As the days go by, it feels like things go from bad to worse. There’s an ever present tingling and tension in the air. I go through the world (or rather, my house since I’m under shelter in place orders) with stooped shoulders and an upset stomach.

In times like these, it feels hard to keep writing, reading, making art, taking pictures, and going about my routine. However, the writing muse still crackles in my veins and it will not be ignored. It tells me that as hard as it is, now is the most important time to keep doing those things. Because art and literature are powerful human sun rays in a storm like this. More than that, they can bear witness for a future generation, those who will look into the hearts and minds of people like us, locked in this scary time and unable to see the other side.

Thinking in those terms, I see my pen as the most powerful weapon in a world where I feel helpless. This week, instead of one of my usual posts, I picked up that pen and wrote a little something special that I hope will bring you some encouragement. I hope it reminds you that we, humans, have weathered an awful lot of storms. We have been knocked down, but we get back up. We work together and make things come out right. This too shall pass.

I am thinking of all of you. I wish you safety, health, and emotional well being in these very troubling times. To hopefully help with that, I have included some of my favorite photos of flowers and butterflies in this post, two magical things in nature that remind us times of darkness, in a cocoon or in winter’s cold ground, can be times of transformation. We can come out stronger and more beautiful on the other side. So, while we wait for our wings to come in, I wish you all well.

A Poem of Historical Hope

by M.B. Henry

I find myself speechless as I out reach for my pen

Never thought I’d see something like this, not in a decade or ten

I find I’m scared and anxious, it’s hard to focus or think

People have closed their shops and doors, I miss that human link

There’s no real telling when it ends, a kind of thing like this

I’m not sure when normal resumes, or even what normal is

It’s hard for me to think about, I feel so very alone

No places to go or people to see, just sitting here in my home

But there’s lots of people to talk to still, and they’re not too far away

Just down on my bookshelf, thousands of people await

People who have endured so much, survived all kinds of hell

On every page, with every story, they remind me all will be well

World Wars, famines, floods, revolutions, and pandemics too

Space shuttle crashes, nuclear melt downs, shipwrecks in the deep blue

One thing I learn reading it all is light always shines in the dark

Even when things get really rough, there’s always the human spark

It might take more time than we’d like, months, maybe years

Lots of people will get upset, there will be a lot more tears

Someday though, the curve will flatten, things will turn out right

The clouds and rain will dissipate, the sun will shine so bright

The spirit of many tested peoples runs through all of our veins

It helps us to never give up or quit, no matter what chaos reigns

So when I need some company, I’ll march right to my shelf

I’ll grab a book, a glass of wine, I’ll travel some time else

I’ll also keep picking up my pen and writing in the same old way

Especially in my journal, which will help bear witness someday

To tell the story of the Covid Pandemic and how we made it through

For up and coming generations who will have their struggles too

I’ll stay calm and do my best, I’ll wait for the storm to pass

I’ll help my neighbors, call my friends, and attend my livestream mass

I’ll wash my hands, I’ll stay inside, I’ll try to keep to myself

And when I need a dose of courage, I’ll reach for that old book shelf

All photos by M.B. Henry. For more flowers and butterflies, click here and here

88 Comments on “SPECIAL EDITION: A poem of historical hope

  1. powerful and perceptive post MB … absolutely love your poem and your amazing pics!

    You’ve penned what many must be feeling just now but this too will pass 🙂

    “They went to war so we could live
    we just have to stay in the comfort of our own home
    …. so they can live!”

  2. You express the angst and hopes and fears of this time so well, MB. With you, I find comfort in others who have shared their triumphs, tragedies, fears, and heroic actions through the ages.

  3. Wonderful poem, MB. Books can indeed offer solace, perspective, and a reminder that many other people have “been there, done that” when it comes to facing immense challenges.

  4. Thanks for the reminder that we will survive this and history will remember us.

  5. It’s true that the human journey historically has been a rough road. We just got a little spoiled in the last 60 years or so, vaccines and antibiotics eliminating so many diseases. I guess the bill has finally come due.
    Stay well, MB!

    • 😉 You know it! And this was a very uplifting comment, thank you!

  6. You have done a wonderful job expressing the sentiments of so many. Humankind as experienced struggles since the beginning and somehow we always weather the storms. ❤️

  7. We are all indeed living through a unique stretch of history. Your poem mirrors what many of us – me included – are experiencing. Thank you for these words of empathy and encouragement.

  8. What an excellent poem. Thank you, MB! “The spirit of many tested peoples runs through all of our veins” – how true this is. Our ancestors are the ones who survived all the plagues that have gone before.
    Gorgeous photos – some of those butterflies I’ve not seen before.

    • I’m often reminded of all our ancestors survived by reading through your many family stories! 🙂 Glad you like the butterflies, they’re one of my favorite photography subjects.

  9. Beautiful. Indeed this gives me hope. Thank you for this message of light to guide us through the darkness.

  10. Beautifully done, MB. And an important reminder. I was born during World War II and my parents lived through the Depression. And much has happened since. We will prevail. The good people of the world will prevail. Hope is essential in dark times, and kindness, and a sense of humor, and love… as well as clear thinking, good leadership , and sacrifice. Loved both your photos and your poem. Hang in there! –Curt

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Curt. Yes – I agree with everything you said here!

  11. Worldwide we are in this together and thank you for your poem and beautiful photos. Our libraries closed two weeks ago, so I am glad we have lots of books. This evening I started to read a fascinating book on the Spanish flu

    • Our libraries are closed too. Luckily my book addiction means my house is crammed with books to keep me busy. Which book are you reading? I read a great one about that a long time ago that was hard to get through, even when there wasn’t a pandemic afoot! Keep up your excellent photos 🙂

  12. Thank you for this. It is difficult to express all the thoughts and feelings this pandemic is producing. As I’m reading this, unable to sleep in the middle of the night, I’m experiencing probably my first real moment of fear associated with all of this. I am grateful that somehow I’ve managed to stay relatively calm until now. I suppose the stress of our unusual situation is bound to pull us all down once in a while. It helps a little to place it all in a historical perspective.

    • Glad the poem could help a little. I hope you start sleeping better soon, and yes it’s amazing how calm you’ve been able to stay! I have good days and bad days, as I think we all do. Stay well and safe.

  13. Outstanding post. Getting over the hump that this is real and this is serious comes at different times for different people. Then, settling into the reality is another thing altogether. Thank you for putting to words what many are feeling — both the uncertainty and newness of it, as well as the hope of a brighter day. I applaud you 🙂

  14. Nice words. The first photo is a knockout.
    All the best from a more or less locked down London 🇬🇧.

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Best of luck in London, I’m so glad I got to visit there early this year before all this started! Hope to be back someday soon when all of this is over <3

  15. It’s perfectly rational to feel fear and be troubled when confined with something frightening seemingly waiting outside. Stay safe, M.B. Be well. We’ll get through this.

  16. That was very well written. All the emotions – past, present and future. Take care, this will pass, hopefully soon.

  17. Years of medications required to deal with severe pulmonary disease have literally rendered my wife’s bones, capable of breaking through normal daily activities. The first of several compression fractures of the spine occurred in December. There have been several others, since that time.
    Three days before the gubernatorial/Presidential disaster declaration for Massachusetts, Sheryl and packed up the dogs and headed south, to a little place we bought last year, on the west coast of Florida.
    I think my honey can describe in painful detail, every crack and pothole over 1,500 miles of asphalt. All the best, MB. This too shall pass.

    • 🙁 Prayers for you and your wife, who sounds very strong and very amazing. All the best for you both of you. <3 <3

  18. So beautiful poem, you told in details, in a soft way, the crisis at this moment. Stay safe, my friend!

  19. I so enjoyed reading this poem. The world of books, the journeys they take us on the people they introduce us to. Books are indeed an antidote to the CV!9 crisis. They put it into perspective. Thank you.

    • They sure do! They also provide escape when we need it, and I’m very grateful for all the books on my shelf these days 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem, stay well and safe <3

  20. Thank you for sharing this encouragement – and the beautiful flower pics too! It is an overwhelming time, with so much sadness and uncertainty. However, there is the human spark you spoke of, as well as other ways of keeping in touch. Thanks again for this. 🙂

  21. This is an amazing perspective shared by all of us. We all feel the anxiety, we all feel the sadness but at the same time we all are very hopeful. Love that Flower photo too. Thanks for thisM.B. 💚

    • Yes, we are indeed all in this together! So glad you enjoyed the post, wishing you health, safety, and well-being!

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