Poets Salon: Painting the Pandemic

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an anstract painting of colored cubic boxes

Order in chaos by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz. Watercolor on paper (2020)



Hosted by Kath Abela Wilson

Sometimes by chance, sometimes by intent, sometimes inescapably drawn by the pandemic itself, we paint a cure, by expanding our lockdown world from within.

five mile walk
round our small red table
new solar system

~ Kath Abela

a colorful explotion

Supernova, by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz. Digital photograph (2015)

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz


with a sense of urgency
art and words
pour out from my soul

i pray

if this year is my last
may it be filled
with a lifetime’s worth

of color

About a week before the COVID quarantine began in Ohio, I had a difficult conversation with myself. If I perished this year, would I be content with my artistic output? The answer was no. Naturally, that thought filled me with a great deal of anxiety. However, that anxiety slowly transformed into something more positive: genuine, soulful motivation. I truly felt as if my spirit went supernova, and I was simply documenting the process through color and words. While I do still have many hard days, I try to continually lean on my inner creativity to keep myself afloat in these dark waters.


a colorful elephant painting

Ganesha, remover of obstacles by Hemapriya Chellappan

Hemapriya Chellappan

Time has been passing by. Seconds, minutes, hours, days and now months. Thanks for the mynas in my balcony for their melodic background music that makes this very moment a scene from a movie. If you ask what inspires me? I don’t know. Everything and nothing. Some days great artists like Van Gogh, Monet inspire me to pick up the colors and play with my imagination. On other days a film of muck on the windshield is enough to do it. Love to all the people old and new (including me) that still write and wonder and create for others to see.

spiral galaxy
I sprinke my soup
with glitter


painting of a road and flowers and plants on the side

Pandemic painting by Hemapriya Chellappan

Painting the Pandemic: Quotes and Credits

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, Dayton, Ohio, is a Pushcart Prize and Dwarf Stars Award nominee who also works as a professional visual artist. Her poetry has been featured in Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Bones, NHK World Haiku Masters, The Mainichi, and dozens of other publications. Her first chapbook, says the rose, was published by Yavanika Press in 2019, and her second chapbook, filth, was published by Proleteria in 2020.

Hemapriya Chellappan is a haikai poet and an illustrator who resides in Pune, India. She took to Japanese literary short forms in the summer of 2019. Her works have been published in various international magazines, podcasts and anthologies including The Heron’s Nest, Modern Haiku, Akitsu Quarterly, among others. When she isn’t daydreaming she writes jokes, sketches landscapes, hums old songs and makes excellent tea.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh


Tell us your story of the unusual interesting positive gifts and realizations that you have come upon by surprise, during these challenging times. Tell us about the new paths you have taken, those that might endure in your life, that may not have happened had we not been in this situation. We all know good things can come from difficulty. Unexpected doors open and we sometimes find treasure. What are your Silver Linings?

Send short poems, haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita haibun, tanka prose, short prose poems, etc., or your own unique approach, to Kath Abela by Facebook message or click here to email her directly. We can feature your work again after five months. Multiple Submissions can be saved to appear later:

  1. Send a short bio, comments on the theme.
  2. Send photos or artwork by you, if possible.
  3. No attachments except photos.
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Kath Abela Wilson
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