Life/Lines - April 22

Submitted poems for April 22, 2020

A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike

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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.


Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.

Today’s words were contributed by Barbara Thomas, a member of the Washington University Board of Trustees and retired senior vice president and chief financial officer for HBO Sports, New York. She is also an NYC-based actress who performs in theater, television and film productions.


Poems submitted for April 22

The hawk is my only companion
In these quiet days,
Circling, soaring,
freer than I, with my desperation
for Purell, my railings
against Fox,
my addiction to broadband.
The hawk is better company.

— Jeannette Cooperman



Circling on winds with no companion,
His communication was always, only broadband
transmission. Keen sight is set on a baby
fox or rabbit, his reasoning has no room
for disease, his talons no need for Purell.

— Julia Gordon-Bramer


State of the Union

All the Purell in the world won’t sanitize this scene
when hawks and Faux foxes parade across your screen.
A broadband companion of corruption and disinformation;
we need to address the sad state of this nation.
As lives and democracy are lost in the static noise,
I think it’s high time for girls to rule instead of boys.
It turns out old white men aren’t that great after all.

— Susan Lively


22 April 2020

The World has changed.
Purell sanitizing the souls,
Fox and Hawk became friends.
We have no companion
The broadband.

— Jey Sushil - Track for International Writers


Mixed Company
(in honor of Earth Day 50th Anniversary)

Purell and broadband
have become my companions
joining fox and hawk
my longtime friends

— 2020 04 22          by Lloyd Klinedinst


Broadband fox
Hawk on Purel

Good companion
In a global


Let’s misbehave

— James Goodman   4.22.20


Broadband is my friend,
a constant companion,
Purell by my side
using it with abandon.
Fox News on the TV
I watch it like a hawk,
needing more info,
at more stories to gawk.

— Kelley Lingle


I’m working from home with my companion Purell
Trying to keep everything safe and sterile
My broadband at home can handle the load
But I must watch my computer and have the eyes of a hawk
As scammers and zoombombers come and flock
They are as clever and crafty as an old fox
If justice perseveres, maybe they’ll get the Corona virus and chickenpox

— Maureen Kleekamp


The Fox and Hawk

The Fox Purells his paws,
then the talons
of his companion, the Hawk.
Their world is broadband now.
They travel widely
where humans once held sway.

— Rita Winters


To a Stroke Patient in the time of Covid

We are companions, thanks to broadband’s digital connection,
between the rehab facility and the outside world.
We are his hawk, watching over his care.
Purell protects him inside, we protect him from the outside.
Soon, he’s swift and clever as a fox, running back home.

— Laura Glass


Covid – 19 has hit us like a broadband engine search.
Scrambling for cover leaves the red fox in a lurch.
The hawk circles the area ready for war.
While a human companion watches six feet from afar.
The winner in this conflict …Purell is the star!



Rebel companion done out-protest me,
Forward his shoulders brick red
As an iron hawk small-high
In a broadband tower. The fox
Is in the hallway. Opal light
From the river gleams with
So much jostled water What can I do
But concert my hands with blue Purell?

—  John Randall


This Just In. . .

Quarantined for weeks now.
The media, my closest companion, would not let me rest.
It is the curse of broadband. Finite content. Repeated.
From Fox to MSNBC. On the internet. On our phone.
The hawk is circling in the widening gyre.
And there is not enough Purell in the world
To wash their hands clean of the virus
Of Breaking News

— Kevin Farrell


I cannot think of broadband or Fox, Purell or the dearth of companions.
My focus is set on The Hawk.


We became aware of one another in the same instant.
A hawk, standing on the lawn, not ten feet away.
She looked up at me, equally surprised.
Captured by the questions in our eyes
we both held still.
And still.
Long moments later, she adjusted her grip,
flew off with her kill.

— January Kiefer


a once companion left our town when jobs did start to fail
she joined a touring broadband when bands were mostly male

she toured the back roads of our state where hawk and fox do dwell
and said she knew the in’s and out’s of many a shabby motel

we envied her in many ways, I thought that she were free
but she said it was “Pure ell” and not the life for me

— T.M.Wilson


Purell-cleansing away yet again un-seeable danger
I take my seat on the couch
without traveling companion
moving into broadband worlds
of fox and hawk and bee-loud glade
borrowing a technicolor moment from Yeats
to get me through this interim spring.

— Steve Givens


Fox News hawks
MSNBC doves
Companions in polluting
My broadband connection
Need Purell for my brain

— Anonymous



Injured, alone, and now lost in the woods,
Purell for his wounds, little left of his goods.
A fox, a hawk, neither a companion at hand
Broadband reachable by hike, if he only could stand.

— Ted


The broadband signal stalled
As the receiver bore the weight
Of increasingly complex data
The high-speed dream couldn't last
So I donned my Purell
And walked to the woods
Where the fox and the hawk
Were my only companions

— Ally Betker


Suppose I could try my hand
At rhyming a word like b r o a d b a n d,
But I must admit
I’m not in favor of this bit,
Nor the words that came with it.

I won’t watch CNN or FOX,
Because they’re a virus of political jocks,
But I’ll use my Purell,
So I won’t go the Hell,
And still have a story to tell.

On Sunday I escaped to the lake
Looking for a fish to take
When out of the day,
A hawk came to sleigh,
And off he went with my prey.

So, with curious abandon
I made haste with my companion
And while driving on a country road,
We hurriedly ran over a toad
And went sheepishly back to my abode.



New Normal

The world has turned,
revolved and changed,
while circling the sun.

It has forsaken baseband for broadband,
soaps new companion, Purell
is difficult to come by,

and under stay at home orders
you will find Harry the Hawk, Flex the Falcon
and Sly the Silver Fox snoozing on the couch.
Such is life.

— Terrie Jacks


Scrub, wipe, scrape, squeak the glass,
Accompany the Fox political squawk
With a language, a broadband, of solid things
That glide in and out of consciousness, hawks that
Only screech now and then when we need to rub
The wind ourselves, ourselves with emotional wings,
Act as Purell, a well of purifying, liquid action.
We need that rigorous companion to our thoughts.

— Dan Cuddy


I got my signals from broadband,
crazy like a fox. God said,
You'll never be a hawk. And I was never one
to use Purell ten times a day. My thing
was my companion kept looking
into my notebooks as I slept.

— Matthew Freeman


virus lockdown
with no Purell at home
broadband becomes
my lone companion as foxes
and hawks reclaim cities

— John J. Han


Grounded Flight

A hawk
in the sky
reminds me that
my only companions are
Purell, broadband, and wi-fi
A fox
in a hole

— Mason A


Sailing silently over city streets
Natures broadband hawks
Send the All Clear

Deer foxes coyotes
Own neighborhoods now

While we sit inside
Purell our constant companion

— Carol Haake    4/22/2020


Hawk :Why are these fools dumping purell everywhere
Fox: My dear companion, they are afraid of fate
Broad-banding themselves away from Life

— Braveheart Gillani


Purell is our companion
and broadband. Have you ever
been spied on by a fox? Listened
to the hawk broadcast its warning?

Those are thing that connect and purify.
Those are the things I hoard.

— M.E. Hope


The grey fox barks-he is louder and more consistent
than my broadband, which only works periodically.
The red-tailed hawk, perched high on the utility post,
solemn, as I walk by with my mask dutifully attached.

These two, my outdoor companions, ever present reminders,
that life carries on.
As fox scampers to the creek and hawk dips her beak to the water,
I remember to wash with purell.

— Laurie Jalenak


I miss my companion
following me like a hawk.
I like to be watched because when i am left on my own
there is too much broadband i must find ways to use
All by myself.

It doesn’t have to be a human.
It could be a fox, i like foxes.
I only have to know it might be looking in the window
As I lie there or purell my body or scream.

— Ellery Saluck


Trip to the supermarket:

There is nothing like our central meeting place.
In this broadband of reckless thoughts we pass
With held in breaths and belated sighs
arms stretched inwards,
grasping tightly to new coats of purell sweating from our palms
— is it mine?
Peeking jealously over at neighboring hawks eyeing our prey.
Companions linked with empty spaces and traces— it is you and I against the world! We are foxes challenging the limits of time
And rushing, as fast as we can
To the finish line.

— Nicci Mowszowski


Companion? Don’t shake my hand
Even across the virtual Broadband,
You Fiscal Hawk.
You Sly Fox.
But I’m not shocked by your grim terms.
I just don’t shake hands with worms.
After all, Purell only kills 99.9% of "MOST" germs.


The message on broadband covers
Like CNN, Fox or others
Messages that hawk fear
Are both far and near.

They Purell stories true and false
They do a foxtrot and a waltz
Please be true to the game
If you want to be a companion remain.

— Jan Newman LA72


She stalks her prey, watching through
broadband eyes, starving,
a hawk wafting through the Purell sky.
Treading along the scattered leaves of toilet paper the fox follows
the same quarry, companions
in hunger amidst the scarcity,
both alone.

— Christopher Ray, MD


December 31, 2020: Reflections on the Year

Splendid hunters, hawks and foxes see best just before nighttime.
An ocular machine, a retinal virtuoso, a broadband receptor, the hawk gets it all: ultraviolet light, polaroid, magnetic fields.
The fox adds strategy to perspicuity: camouflaging crouch, tensing hind legs —and the pounce!

We didn’t see well this year.
We missed so much.
Our “President” didn’t pounce.
Like moles, we now carry Purell as our constant companion.

The hawks soar above us
And the foxes conquer abandoned fields.

— Robert Henke


Hooking Up in the Age of COVID-19

The two of us sat next to each other at the end of the bar. closest to the entertainment.
There were a total of ten people in the bar on a Saturday night in May, including the bartender.
A trio of cowgirl-costumed females played a snappy tune. Their harmonies were perfect.
The two up front had their boots tappin' to keep time with the stunningly gorgeous raven-haired drummer.
Get a looka' that broadband!", said my hawk-eyed companion.
"The drummer is a fox!" Jed lathered up with Purell, and approached the stage.

— Kim Lehnhoff


Chemical Weapon

Purell, side arm companion obliterates
the viral broadband enemy.
Believers convinced the talisman
can out-sly the furtive fox.
Doubtful hawk flies solo,
unprotected, uncaring,
wing nut dropping stealth bombs.
I wash my hands of them.

— Linda O'Connell


Broadband slowly moves too many on the information highway ,not the interstate .
A fox races by as the squirrel leaps on the tree safely.
Up high in a walnut tree a hawk waiting to swoop down for a meal.
Purell and masks to find the essentials you need.
Time to reunite with your companion.

— Dave Brendel


my pandemic poetry has grown needlessly complex:
I no longer rhyme "fox" with "hawks" but
with "aftershocks" and "antiox--
my companion broadband
guides my Purell-scented thoughts
through online rhyme generators.


— Rebecca D.


Fox and Hawk,
a coordinated, broadband attack
to the rabbit and her companion,
loose in the backyard.
I cleanup.
Then Purell , definitely.

David Bates



Purell as a constant companion - ugh!
I never dreamt it could save my life.
Connecting with fellow humans from home
I am thankful for broadband.
While across the street in the park,
The fox and the hawk silently stalk their next meal.
Perhaps they wonder why they see more two legged animals
Now strolling in their abode.

— Karen Engelkenjohn 4/22/2020


where I grew up
homes with broadband
were less common than endangered hawk sightings
information less a reliable companion
than a commodity to be hoarded
how many hours we cashed in
making up new worlds on the swingset
fox and hound
and while we touched everything
no Purell required
we were not inoculated

— Jay Buchanan


Young Fox and Red Hawk
Prepared for ceremony
Purified themselves in Purell
And sat 6 feet away.
They connected to numerous others through the Broadband celebration of this
Herbal companion
Burning with the hottest flame, White Fire OG
For 420.

— J. Thomas


Earth Day 50

The parks so quiet one hears the hawks circling.
The sky unnaturally blue. Sunshine on the lilacs.
The rivers run clean, and foxes scamper between
The picnic tables. My companion stares at screens
Graphs the slaughter by the unseen viral enemy
Posts them on broadband, as we stay inside, afraid
We might see our shadow. The churches have filled
Holy water fonts with Purell, but no one goes there.
We are reaping fifty years of sowing, sewing masks,
Reading the news. There is no celebration anywhere.

— Jo Schaper


hawk circles—
life expectancy
purell dependent—
life matters
broadband only—
zoom boxed—
all of it
all on fox


The broadband internet trolls,
Seeking prey, like a hawk circling the sky,
And searching for the weak and vulnerable,
Or the broadcasters on Fox News,
Spreading lies and dirt and propaganda,
Sicken my stomach and sully my soul.
Under quarantine, no companion at my side to comfort me.
I reach for the Purell, but still do not feel clean.

— Pam Hughes


Nobody knows, really, how this will end.
I’ve learned that my cat likes the taste of Purell
that she licks from my fingers. She is
my always companion,
in this lockdown mode.
“Shelter in place” has a cozy sound,
I think of gray fox in her den,
red-shouldered hawk in her nest
both just outside my window.
My cat nestles in the cradle of my lap,
licking and licking, her glorious, gray fur.
We are “alone together,” broadband connected.

How this will end, nobody knows,
when our alone becomes together
once more.

— Bernie Mossotti


Have you ever watched a fox on broadband?
Seen it pump purell to its paws from the bark of a tree?
Call to the hawk nesting its companion?
Has broadband ever filmed a fox?

— Sabrina Spence


Headline image: Chris Barbalis on Unsplash





Headline image: Chris Barbalis on Unsplash