earthweal open link weekend #26

Welcome to earthweal’s open link weekend #26.

Link a poem using the Mr. Linky Widget (include your location) and be sure to visit your fellow linkers’ contributions and comment.

Open link weekend ends at midnight EST Sunday night to make room for the Monday’s weekly challenge.


People gather on a beach in Southend-on-Sea, England, on Wednesday, June 24. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson began easing coronavirus restrictions in May, but people are still supposed to be distancing themselves from one another. Photo: Getty Images


Days here swelter in the Plume, Saharan dust unfurled across the Atlantic Ocean. Humidity normally makes the Florida summer sky pale; clouds become oblique in the shriek of sunlight and humidity. Now this vague dusty obscurantism comes to the upper firmament. In late afternoon it’s like a blue steel lens, refracting and obliquing the build of summer storms so that they look like distant sculpture prohibited us.  Six days we’ve been without rain, which in the teeth of the rainy season translates into an impenetrable wall of heat.

Of course this miasma is token to the effulgence of local COVID-19; the USA’s leaders and citizens have both failed extraordinarily at heeding precautions against this virus. Now it swells and magnifies faster than a speeding concept. The country’s 14-day record of daily new virus counts is up more than 45 percent; in Florida, the count is exponentially even greater. No way to put this on any timely grid; infections reported today are from a picture taken two weeks ago. No way to scale it either, as we are told by our Center for Disease Control that the infection counts should be magnified tenfold to represent the actual rate. Then we are told that our common-sense figurations are useless, as it’s not the number of tests which are swelling the infection count but the rate of infection for those tested. Add summer heat and we’re quite befuddled and besotted lot.

Well, it’s a dismal American story, with Brazil and India also seeing precarious first-wave rises. Not perhaps the tale in your particular corner and if not, good for you. Us dummies will slowly learn, I pray. Meanwhile summer unfolds in the Northern Hemisphere carrying on the work of the austral high tide, with flowers in full bloom and fires raging in the Arctic. Today’s my wife’s birthday and we plan to head out for a day to celebrate, driving over to Cocoa Beach and shopping for birthday stuff. Masked and worn out, by heat and the endless ravages of the Coronavirus. My job search is stymied yet again, and my wife can’t put her father into memory care because two patients at the facility have contracted the virus and are in the hospital. The state will probably be on lockdown in another couple of weeks, so it’s here we go again.

Quite the year, this 2020. And here we are.

— Brendan

11 thoughts on “earthweal open link weekend #26

  1. It seems like a living illustration of the old saw about being doomed to repeat the history you don’t want to digest. I feel for you there in one of the hottest of the hot spots, Brendan. Thanks to reopening before the caseload decreased, and to Trump and his dogwhistle rally, my own state is looking at bigger spikes now than initially. The prospect of remaining housebound for an undetermined time is indeed wearing, like life is on hold. I have posted an oldie (never published for some reason) that has worn my brain out in the rewrite, so I don’t expect I’ll be back to read til tomorrow. Good luck on the birthday shopping, and to all who are struggling through this endless year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks H, “old saw” indeed. All this unfolds not according to our wishes but the virus’s logic. We are not used to bowing to infinitesimals smaller than our sense! We were on the road when I got the alert on my phone of a new daily case count almost double anything previous. Then went about our day. Great contribution to the forum and glad to see you here; may the whine of those saws echo in the yapping of dem denialist jaws …B


  2. I worry for you and my other friends in the US, Brendan. Stay safe, wear masks, social distance, it is the only way. Here in my small village where we have been so compliant and fortunate to be so intelligently led and cared for by ALL levels of government, we have slowly relaxed into stage three – BUT what that means is our small village is SWARMING with tourists, some of them from the States, including Texas……..our borders are CLOSED to the US but tourists brag they are telling the officials they are going to Alaska, so are allowed through and they come to all the tourist destinations. We are more at risk now than we have ever been, even though many of our businesses had to close because of the shutdowns and precautions. Sigh. In the US wearing masks seems to have become a poliical statement rather than a life-saving and life-guarding one. That might make for a good essay? It completely boggles my mind.


    • Thanks Sherry — Tourism is the silent spreader — since it takes up to 2 weeks for symptoms to show, tourists infected one week ago may not even know the are sick yet. This virus has gotta love cheap airfare. Mask-denial is another specie of the general madness, in the US an outrage against the right to die wrong. It’s also supreme selfishness, since every dummy knows we wear masks to protect others from the damage we might be carrying. The myth and meaning of masks might also make a good challenge.


  3. I appreciate your observations and reports about Florida. My only daughter lives there and I pray she and her family stay safe. I wish the same for you and yours.
    Hope your wife had a Happy Birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life in Florida sounds depressing. It’s the winter school holidays over here so hordes of tourists have suddenly descended on this tourist town. I’m avoiding them! Unexpectedly though a poem arrived in my head early this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s happening here in the UK, parties on beaches and parks, illegal raves, riots and attacks on police and civilians. It’s Armageddon. All because they think they are entitled. Will they never learn?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We have politicians who are giving mixed messages, encouraging “hustle and bustle” and sanctioning bad behaviour in their cronies. We have people who’ve been cooped up and have got the message that it’s all over (it’s so not over). What do we expect?

    Brendan, is there a way of messaging you?


  7. fookin idjits. here in CA the bloom spreads again. I have a shirt made by a friend which has a pic of Darwin with a finger to his lips, captioned “shhhhh. I got this”. I think it may be too subtle. ~

    Liked by 1 person

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