#FlattenTheCurve: March Lament by Paul Belz


Humming bird, busy
with a mating dance,
zips upwards, hovers
and dives.

His wings whistle. He perches,
repeats, and doesn’t care
that cineplexes, hair salons,
wine bars are closed.

He takes nectar
from red tube blossoms,
feels content.

Black bear wants berries, digs
for ants, doesn’t miss
basketball, or the cancelled
Kentucky Derby.

Wind goes on its way,
rain comes when it will.
Geese fly above rain clouds,
call out just before dawn.
Cling to them.



Paul Belz is an environmental educator and writer, currently based in Chico, California. He teaches natural history for preschool and elementary students, their parents, and teachers. Paul has published articles in Terrain Magazine, the East Bay Monthly, Childcare Exchange Magazine, the website Boots’n’All, and the blogs Wild Oakland and Green Adventures Travel. He’s co-editing a book on bioregional education with Judy Goldhaft of San Francisco’s Planet Drum Foundation. His poetry appears in a number of publications, including Canary, Living in the Land of the Dead (an anthology on homelessness by San Francisco’s Faithful Fools Ministry), Poetalk Quarterly, Just Like Cabbage, Only Different, The Poeming Pigeon, Blueline, the anthology What’s Nature Got to Do With Me? and others. His other joys include hiking and camping, world travel, vegetarian cooking, and long walks around San Francisco and his hometown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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