Friday, November 01, 2019

Poetry Friday: Lockdown Yoga

My friend Alexis Kreiner wrote this poem when friends in the US kept telling her to do plenty of self-care during this lockdown in Haiti. Specifically, many suggested yoga. Alexis says she doesn't ever write poetry, but she just couldn't bypass this opportunity. Thanks for letting me share it, friend!

If you don't live in Haiti, you won't fully appreciate all Alexis' clever references, but you will pick up on the fact that all of us here in Haiti are tired of lockdown and want to go back to our regular lives.

DO YOGA, THEY SAID (by Alexis) Welcome, To lockdown yoga, A manifestation, Of mindfulness, Attempted self-care, And deliberate ignoring. To begin, We inhale, The charcoal smoke, From the neighbor, And we exhale, All plans for the week. We bend, Forward to the mat, Stretching the muscles, Beginning to atrophy, From Netflix "self-care." We sit, Cross-legged now, Raising our arms, Above as a flame, We call this one, The 'burning tire.' We descend, Back lying on mat, Legs outstretched, We move now, Into my favorite pose, The 'road barricade.' We raise, Our aware bodies, Bringing our focus, To the present, While fully ignoring, The shots fired. We lift, Arms above head, Slowly leaning back, Going steeper, And painfully long, Just like the weeks. We bring, Ourselves back, To our center place, Stretching shoulders, Holding in core, And desire to scream. We pretend, This helps something, Stops the rocks, Flying at windows, Angrily claiming this, Self-care damn it. We thank, Our tense bodies, And high lakou walls, And admit honestly, Feeling more stressed, By lockdown yoga.

Tabatha has today's roundup. 


Tabatha said...

Sounds like maybe self-care should involve more kickboxing and primal screaming?
Alexis doesn't ever write poetry? She does an amazing job!
"Exhale/All plans for the week" -- this poem connects the lockdown to the poses very effectively, expressing the frustration of not having control in the external world with the movement of the body.

Irene Latham said...

I hope your lockdown ends soon, Ruth.. you and everyone in Haiti are in my heart! Meanwhile, this really is a brilliant poem. Thank you for sharing it. xo

Linda B said...

From the heart or from the frustration, your friend wrote it beautifully, Ruth. We receive little news and I thought you were in better shape now. I hope that something is settled soon for you all.

Cheriee Weichel said...

I agree with Tabatha, Alexis does an amazing job here!
I am not a huge fan of the idea of self care when the real problem is external and systemic. Having to deal with this must be brutally frustrating. I hope things settle down soon for you, your friends and your students.

Kay said...

I hope the lockdown in Haiti ends soon. Alexis wrote a powerful, moving poem. I can feel the tension in my own body as I read it. Thank you for sharing it, and thank Alexis, too.

GatheringBooks said...

Sending you lots of positive energies and light and love. This poem is a primal in-your-face response that is deeply needed - poets and artists capture the very essence of what is happening in the world, and their voices need to be heard even more, especially times like these.

Michelle Kogan said...

What telling and moving Yoga positions your friend has created–thinking of all of you there and hoping the situation improves, thanks Ruth.