Corona Diaries: The steadfast optimist and his hardened wife, in isolation

Image © Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad 2020

by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad April 21, 2020

Isolation Day 11


we are getting along fine

even though we are

in each other’s faces


I’m amused at how

you are the perpetual optimist


I have to remind myself

that’s why I fell for you)

you are so certain

that when this surreal mayhem

finally blows over

people will have grasped

that boundaries and passports

and colour and creed

and wealth and power

do not matter

that we will all be

jolted awake


to opening our hearts forever

committed to reviving

this planet we desecrated

and a greener and cleaner

way of life

a path of peace

will emerge

from the fear and rubble

of this microorganism

this invisible foe

that invades

and replicates

usurping our living cells

that this virus

demonic as it is

will be that super catalyst

to finally illuminate

all of humankind.

pfft…let me tell you –

it’s just the lull

I’m sorry my smile

is disenchanted, honey.


how thrilled you look

with the Instagram photos

of the now aqua waters

in canals and lakes

photos of fish


in unpolluted water so clear

you can see all the way

to the pebbles at the bottom

someone tweets in raw excitement

that the swans

have returned

that birdsong is now heard

in empty city streets

that wild goats leave

their hillock homes

to gingerly explore

deserted by-lanes

as human beings huddle inside

and satellites over industrial belts

show shrinking bands

of nitrogen

clouds of carbon dioxide


and the skies gasp

and breathe clear

as factories go dormant

and the Earth seems to moult

and steadily heal

and people reach out

and sing and cheer

and talk through tears

of loving their neighbours

even in the midst

of such adversity

and poets craft

comely words

of a new consciousness


a kindred world

coming together

its lessons learned

being the same

being enlightened

being one


Oh you crack me up!

it’s such temporary human bullshit

I’m sorry to be

your Negative Nancy, honey.


Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a poet, artist, and improv pianist of Indian heritage. Her recent poems have been published in Active Muse, Neologism, The Ekphrastic Review, Dwell Time, and several other print and online journals and anthologies. She lives in Sydney.
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