(Photo provided by Pexels)

One week after all business travel was cancelled
All corporate division headquarter offices closed
Meetings and conferences formerly, solely dependent
upon physical presence of a quorum of attendees
were rapidly moved to the electronic venue of teleconferencing

Teleconferencing was not brand, new technology to me
I used it a lot for several years during projects while on the road
Teleconferencing was new for many other people
This included colleagues, friends, school teachers
judges, lawyers,students, parents, and the list goes on and on.

So it was at the beginning, everybody adopted teleconferencing
But the adaptation was fraught with problems
at the start
Teleconferencing bombers terrorized virtual audiences
It mattered not whether kids or adults were watching
Nor did it matter for the elderly or for religious services

Racist invective, material inappropriate for minors,
and more was aimed and launched onto innocent programming
Many schools fled from many teleconferencing brands
Other organizations scrambled to implement security measures
Nonetheless, many found ways to overcome the bombers

By summer, teleconferencing fever became a thang
Some were teleconferencing all day for their day jobs
After the day jobs were over they were teleconferencing
at night for family and virtual event after virtual event
No doubt some needed therapy and medication

Teleconferencing fever led to teleconferencing fatigue
People began to turn off the camera during the daytime calls
because they were tired of the lens staring at them
Some began to limit after-work events they attended
as pandemic fatigue set in so did fatigue of teleconferencing

Now that announcements for vaccines are heard and
daily, morning, noon, nightly news carry the stories
Anticipation builds for face-to-no-mask-face engagements
When that moment comes will the age of teleconferencing
slowly conclude, disappear, become a fad that ran its course?

I think it will still be around. A lot of people think it will be gone. We will see.


You may follow Jerry’s work on the following social media networks:



Balance of year —and to the chagrin of a few friends and mentors— I am posting my latest pandemic binge of poetry on my blog and my personal pages (Twitter, FB, IG). I’m a strong believer in submitting work to publishers I
join a few friends/mentors in encouraging others to do so. However, I want to do something a little different for a temporary period. I won’t publish any of these to group pages —that’s a big No-No (unless invited to).

After the new year, I plan to return to my usual habit of submitting new work to publishers.

You may follow these pandemic binge poems on the following social media networks:



(Photo provided by Pexels)

Northbound on the Jersey Turnpike,
My car speeds through the rain.
More rain, I think to myself. Just
like the Carolinas, just like Virginia,
just like Maryland and Delaware.
State after state, rain, rain, rain.

I wondered that if I didn’t stop for a
bathroom or a food break could
I count my driving day as day one.
According to Connecticut law
two weeks quarantine was required
after visiting a hot zone.

I visited a southern beach. My visit
was after Labor Day. The beach
was empty. I had the place to
myself and my accommodations
were cheap. Nonetheless, I paid
in quarantine time upon my return.

Leaving the turnpike, crossing
the George Washington bridge
was easy. The rain had finally,
stopped. Up Route 9 to the
Saw Mill then to the Cross
County then to the Hutch then
to six-eighty-four, easy.

The hard part was when I
arrived at home. Quarantine
Continued. I checked my fridge.
Nothing to eat. I pulled my
smart phone from my pocket.
I ordered my food to be delivered.

The next five days consisted
of working from home all day,
ordering food delivered from
restaurants, ordering grocery
deliveries, eating breakfast,
eating lunch, eating dinner,

mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon.
snacks. evening snacks, midnight.
snacks. ordering deliveries of bottles
of wine, writing, reading, writing,
ordering more food, more wine,
working, eating, working, drinking.

After day five I called a timeout.
I looked at the state law on online
I found that at this point if I tested
negative, I could end my quarantine.
I showered and shaved for the first
time in five days and put on fresh clothes.

I awoke my car from its five day nap,
cranked it up and headed down to
the test center that I’d found online.
I arrived, stayed in the car, called
the number listed on the big sign
displayed in the parking area.

It wasn’t long before someone
tapped on my car window, gave
me a clipboard with a form
attached and asked me to
complete it. I did, gave it back.
they left, returned —swab in hand.

After returning home, I changed
into my workout attire and walked
on the treadmill for half an hour.
i finished work and fixed dinner,
chopped salad and baked salmon.
I drank a bottle of sparkling water.

Day six and seven I repeated what
I started on day five. In addition
to eating fish and chopped salads
and exercise, I resumed a hobby
that I started but put aside due
to not having time for it in the past.

By the end of day seven, my coin
collection book was half-full.
I had several boxes of old coins
left but I was excited. I poured
myself a big glass of sparkling
water with lime to celebrate.

Day eight started early for me.
mediation first, treadmill, shower
and dress for work -at home,
treadmill for lunch, back to work.
My cell phone rang, it was the clinic,
my test results were negative.

Quarantine. Over.

(c) 2020, Jerry T Johnson

You may follow Jerry’s work on the following social media networks:



You stare at yourself in the mirror
Your eyes red, your hair distressed,
You’re not smiling, You’re fatigued.
You’re in the middle of a another
lockdown, another surge,
another day of teleconferences,
one after the other over
and over ad nauseam.
another day of fretting
over politics, another day
of mourning over murders,
another day of hearing
talking heads, another
day of strident division,
another day of children
—fatigued too, at home
all day, all night, all week.

“This is exhausting,” you
mutter to yourself. You just
want to remove your face mask
and sit in a room crowded with
a thousand mask-less people
and declare your freedom.
But your common sense
appears and annoys you.
You realize you are in a tsunami.
You realize you must stand down
from errant and misguided notions.
You realize you must let this tsunami
pass, and deal with the aftermath
and the ruin and the wreckage for
a while and a while and a while.

You sweat from the strain of
your rumination, you sit down,
you point the remote at the tube
once again, the news is on and
you hear breaking news:
Vaccination is ninety-five
percent effective. Sunlight
streams through the vent your
curtains. You lift your sorrow
drenched head. Grateful.

My Pandemic Related Poems

Since nearly, every publisher, on earth, states in their guidelines: NO PANDEMIC POEMS, PLEASE (ouch, those caps are loud), I am posting my pandemic binge on my blog and my personal pages (Twitter, FB, IG). After the new year, I plan to submit new work to publishers.

Oh, for those who frowned at my “on earth” reference, I did submit some poems to Neptune but so far I got no response.