Doreen’s Bio-Doreen Procope was born in England to parents who immigrated from Jamaica. Today she lives in Sacramento, California. She’s a wife, mother of two adult children, and a new grandma.
Doreen discovered her purpose and passion in life during a brief illness. Having very little to do besides focusing upon recovery, she unearthed her passion for writing. In 2019, she published her first book entitled “Be inspired To Inspire” with her daughter’s company, Mertina Publishing. This collection of faith-based poetry chronicles the journey of a person who has minimal knowledge of God and desires to dig a little deeper.
Doreen also writes and recites personalized poems for any occasion or event. Today Doreen enjoys a close walk of faith. Her goal is to introduce the concept of faith in a practical and simple manner. Her writings attempt to bridge the gap between humanity and spirituality and the main thrust of her mission is to tell the world there is still hope despite the seemingly prevalent nature of darkness. Doreen outlines the simple process of faith as well as the many facets of this journey.
Doreen’s hobbies include reading, photography, meeting people and learning new cultures.
To purchase your copy of Be Inspired To Inspire, Please visit:
The WOA Distancing Project is a virtual space for local Sacramento area writers and artists of all genres to share their art through Zoom readings, pictures, video, radio and this website. Below is poetry, storytelling, verse, music, much of which has come from our abrogated lives and former routines. But not all.
The physical space is now a virtual space.
Zoom042720-Nick, Jeremy, Gena, Rose Ann, Ivy, Todd
Distance by Frederick Foote
Isolation on a remote station
six feet outside my reach is
my untouchable destination
just beyond the flattening curve
ball life has pitched me
a novel virus that
reads like a
ZOOM420a-Rose Ann, Joanne, Nick, Todd, Lynette
ZOOM420b–Mary and Robin
Andy Laufer-The Owl Box
Zoom, April 13th, 2020 Reading
Invisible by Ziaeddin Torabi
We are prisoners in our homes
without locks or chains.
We are imprisoned
so we circle ourselves
until we feel dizzy
fall and die.
We are prisoners in our homes
without locks or chains
and we know
The invisible enemy
we cannot see or feel
but he can
and he is waiting there
to catch and kill us
the invisible enemy.
The End of Convenient Fictions by Mirah Lucas
Painting lips with goodbyes,
an empty mouth of soft sounds—
a slow, long howl gliding like strings of a cello
in double-stop unison—
my breath, your breath—
the dissonance of our unexpected nows.
I pour my fictions onto you, a mix
of memories, of misrememberings,
a muddled gouache on your body.
Today is the end,
as the swollen starts to rot, starts to grow
a masterpiece of ruin.
Today, we will not fold the world inside our arms,
and instead say
I love you
Joanne Leilani Carpenter
Jennifer O’Neill Pickering’s Journal
March 19th, 2020
I am trying to keep a
Coronvirus journal during this trying time. I had been hearing reports of the
virus during the winter in a city in China, Wuhan that I’d never heard
of. The reports were scary but seemed far away. It was about this time I
came down with the worst sore throat I remembered. On the second day I had a
strep throat test that proved negative. For four days I could barely swallow,
my glands were swollen, and I got a temperature of 102, which broke after a
day. On the fifth day my sore throat had improved, and I had no fever but was
weak from lack of food. I posted my symptoms on Nextdoor, the local
neighborhood social media site to see if anyone else had the same symptoms. A
few had and suggested several home remedies one that included whiskey. There
was one person that suggested I might have the Coronvirus, though I had not
been abroad or in the Bay area where a woman had developed it. I didn’t think
much more about the virus or the 4-day bout with a sore throat. I couldn’t
imagine the wakeup call that was coming.
On March 5th,
sister-in-law called with
distress in her voice to tell me that her husband and my twin brother had had a
major stroke from a blood clot to his brain. This is how I found out that there
was a person in Sacramento with the virus and that person was being treated for
the virus at UCD Med Center where I was headed at eight o’clock that night. On
route to the NICU (neurological critical unit) and wandering in the hallway I
was almost run down by a speeding gurney. My twin brother was strapped to it
and I saw he was alive as I cried out his name. He had just come from surgery
to remove the clot to his brain after being air lifted from a Chico Inloe
Medical Center. I waited Tondering if he would make it. My husband had a bad
swollen ankle caused by an infection on his calf and needed to elevate his leg
and so had to leave me alone. After an hour and a half, a young woman who did
not look old enough to be a doctor took me in a private room and explained the
prognosis. She gently said in clinical terms “That I should not hope for
much.” Parts of his brain were gone. He was hospitalized at the Med Center
from March 5th, four days before our 68th birthday, on a ventilator for a week
and unconscious for several days. I visited every other day, washing my hands
before and after visiting. By the 7th day he was awake and alert and had pulled
out the ventilator tube. By the 8th day he signed his name perfectly to a Power
of Attorney form and was breathing on his own alert and answering questions,
though his speech was garbled. I need to thank the medical staff at the UCD Med
Center for their skills and amazing intervention and saving, my brother, Buck.
Stubbornness and determination
are so important in recovery and it runs in the family. He has been moved to a
skilled nursing facility still struggles with swallowing, can’t stand without
assistance as these areas are compromised by the stroke causing paralysis on
one side of his body. I can only see him through a window in his room. Skilled
nursing centers are quarantined from outside visitation as they need to be .
Today I went to Trader Joes at
9am when it first opened. The store was rationing how many people could enter
the store. As soon as one person exited another was allowed in. There was a
line of people with scrubbed down disinfected carts waiting to get into the
store that wrapped around the building. I started to turn around and then
asked a clerk if they had a time period where just “old people could shop?” He
said well you don’t look old (in all fairness I had on my mask on). I removed
it and he said, “You have young eyes.” “I, am 68.” “When the next customer
leaves you can go right in.”
I was never so glad to be old
since I received my first retirement check.
Spring is here and there is so
much rebirth and renewal everywhere it is hard to believe that we are in a
pandemic and catapulted into the Great Depression of my grandparents. Unfortunately,
President Trump’s tax policies (cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans) have
positioned us for more pain. He needs to reinstate taxes on the very wealthy,
the 1% immediately as a “war measure.” It is the patriotic thing to do, but I
haven’t heard anything about this mentioned at his moronic press conferences
(excluding the science people who by the way are not practicing safe
distancing)…nothing to diminish the deficit we are racking up.
I can’t sleep and it is 12:30.
We are almost out of TP and PT. I can’t find bleach anywhere. I miss shopping.
I saw my first Ladybug today on a leaf of a very hearty sunflower volunteer. I
have never had so many volunteer sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, and sweet peas.
The calendulas and Echinacea are also, coming back, but they are annuals. I
love working in the garden. My moments there are centering and comforting
despite the controlled chaos around me the sun is warm on my back and the lady
bugs are busy taking care of my plants.
Mike and I took a long bike
ride to the river. It wasn’t too crowded. I am afraid to go to the store. There
is no hand sanitizer, but a friend told us how to make our own from liquid Aloe
Vera and alcohol(60% alcohol to 40% Aloe Vera).
I feel crappy today mainly
because of continued shoulder pain in my right shoulder. It hurts when I
breathe deeply on my right side. Also, I didn’t sleep well. I just want to stay
in bed. I have allergies.
March 25th I wrestled with getting back to sleep after waking at 3am this morning.
I have been waking in the
middle of the night since the days have gotten longer and before the Coronvirus
outbreak. I wake and can’t get back to sleep with thoughts popping like kernels
of corn in an air popper. I get up and rattle around in the kitchen wiping down
the counters with disinfectant I concocted from bleach and dish soap. My
husband cleaned up the kitchen last night, but I am more thorough. I toss my
pea filled heating pad in the microwave to assuage the persistent pain in my
shoulder, that I am afraid to get X-rayed because clinics and hospitals are
full of sick people, and some with the Coronvirus. My doctor concurs. But
when I take a deep breath I hurt on my right side. I remind myself I have had
similar pain in the past from bursitis in a shoulder blade area, but then that
was before my twin brother was recently diagnosed with suspected lung cancer.
I climb back into bed next to
my husband who is snoring contentedly. I try reading a paperback real book, by
Elian Hilderbrand. It is called Summer of 69 and brings back my own memories of
that uncertain, violent, and hopeful period. I read a little and then pick up
my IPAD and go on Twitter, a mistake. The Lt. Governor of Texas has just asked
grandparents (and I guess that means those who are over 60 who don’t have
grandchildren) to make the sacrifice of themselves to allow the economy (which
has mostly been shut down) to return to business as usual. I tweet,” Ok why
don’t you set an example for us all by being the first in line to be
Tomorrow I visit my brother at
the skilled nursing facility where I can talk to him 15 feet away through a
crack in the window or over the phone. When I get there, he is vocal about
wanting to go home and I don’t blame him. Most of the staff are
millennials or of the Generation X age group. on and I fear he will develop the
Coronvirus too and there won’t be a ventilator available or bed or both.
I just heard on the news that this age-group has the highest incidence of the
Coronavirus. I am now his Power of Attorney and jumping through hoops with
Medicare and Medical which has made me a huge fan of universal healthcare.
It is 7am and there is no hope
of going back to sleep. I have started my 3rd journal entry to
document my experience during the Coronavirus. I will make myself go for a walk
or the dog will make me take her. I will get out in the garden and putter about
with the abundance of annuls all volunteers that reaffirm life. It is a
beautiful spring and the sun is a comfort despite all our troubles, I will
create. There are short stories that need their happy endings, I will make
because I am an
artist and this work requires solitude. I will login to Zoom and connect
with other writers to share the uncertainty of our lives living in a in a
pandemic. I am grateful to social media to be able to connect with others
remembering my grandmother did not have such luxuries during the polio epidemic
and the Spanish Flu pandemic. She’d recount stories of how they were shunned
because her little brother developed polio and a notice of Quarantine was
posted on their front door with crossbones
Too cheer myself up I even
ordered a pretty summer dress because Mike, my husband will be taking me out to
our favorite restaurant when this is over. I feel ashamed of relenting that my
hair won’t be cut this month, or my pedicure will be put off and that I can’t
get a massage or go away to the ocean for a few days. I feel ashamed because my
brother can’t get up and leave the skilled nursing facility and that panic and
suffering is the next “breaking news “on the television that seems always on in
his room. I feel ashamed because there is so much suffering all over the world
and the best and only thing real way I can do to help is shelter in place, help
my brother, and pay my hair stylist and pedicurist, though they won’t be
providing these services in April. I am not a seamstress and don’t know how to
sew well but if someone will show me, I will.
Hope everyone is safe or
as my friend Sue says, “6 feet or six feet under.”
A New Poem by Alexander McCall Smith, written as a response to the current situation and forwarded by Andy Laufer
“In a time of distance”
The unexpected always happens in the way The unexpected has always occurred: While we are doing something else, While we are thinking of altogether Different things — matters that events Then show to be every bit as unimportant As our human concerns so often are; And then, with the unexpected upon us, We look at one another with a sort of surprise; How could things possibly turn out this way When we are so competent, so pleased With the elaborate systems we’ve created — Networks and satellites, intelligent machines, Pills for every eventuality — except this one?
And so we turn again to face one another And discover those things We had almost forgotten, But that, mercifully, are still there: Love and friendship, not just for those To whom we are closest, but also for those Whom we do not know and of whom Perhaps we have in the past been frightened; The words brother and sister, powerful still, Are brought out, dusted down, Found to be still capable of expressing What we feel for others, that precise concern; Joined together in adversity We discover things we had put aside: Old board games with obscure rules, Books we had been meaning to read, Letters we had intended to write, Things we had thought we might say But for which we never found the time; And from these discoveries of self, of time, There comes a new realization That we have been in too much of hurry, That we have misused our fragile world, That we have forgotten the claims of others Who have been left behind; We find that out in our seclusion, In our silence; we commit ourselves afresh, We look for a few bars of song That we used to sing together, A long time ago; we give what we can, We wait, knowing that when this is over A lot of us — not all perhaps — but most, Will be slightly different people, And our world, though diminished, Will be much bigger, its beauty revealed afresh.
Frederick Foote Contributions
Complexity breeds arrogance and self-centered reflection
that re-enforce the bias that complex creatures are the apex
Viruses invisible to the naked eye slay that conceit with
a wicked blade
that cuts to the bone and unseats complexity from her