Corona Verses, by Yahia Lababidi

Person wearing a red gown dancing in an open cathedral.

Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi has written this poem in response to our global health crisis: 


Corona Verses

We can’t simply return to how we were after a crisis—

our homes have become cocoons for radical transformation


Others lives, we finally realize, depend on us and vice versa,

either we change our ways, now, or perish alone-together...


And, if we survive, we might ask of this benevolent master:  

Tell us, what new fast can we add to our days ahead? 


The same way that Lent or Ramadan are spiritual reminders, 

we should consider what sacrifice this pandemic asks of us.


What extreme limit have we reached, or trespassed?

As Laozi says: "Turning back is how the Way moves."


Don't bemoan your four walls, give thanks, for your necessary isolation 

and pray to emerge from this chrysalis into a new consciousness.


Yahia Lababidi is an Egyptian-American author of 7 books of poetry and prose. Lababidi’s new collection of essays & conversations, “Revolutions of the Heart,” is coming soon from Wipf & Stock (2020). Photograph courtesy of Hasan Açan.