"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Sixth Week

Where once there were
seven kinds
of days
now there are
only two
the bad days and
the worse ones.

How strange
it is to
long for
the banality
of a Tuesday.


Knowing that nothing
will be the same as
it was before
we resolutely act
as though everything
will be the same as
it was before.


A day will come
when we leave our hovels
and return to the world.

On that bright day
we shall tell of
our sufferings
recount the ordeals
we faced
and sing lamentations
for the dead.

And come that day
others shall bemoan
the haircuts
they were unable to receive.


The men with guns
have descended
on city hall
in order to defend
and to declare
that they are not
of the virus.

Yet it is not
the virus
that needs to
these men
and their guns.

For these guns are
not pointed at
the virus
but at you.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between April 19, 2020 and April 25, 2020.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at that Twitter account, they will then be collected and reposted here in weekly increments.


Our civilization must
the oil companies today
so that
the oil companies can
our civilization


If you fear that
your leaders will
not stop this
from taking your life
pray to be
reincarnated as
an oil company

At least that way
you know that
your leaders will
save you
in your next


Should books someday
be written
about this plague
the authors will have to
take great pains
to convince their
future readers
(those who were not
alive during this ordeal)
that those in power
behaved in every instance
with such
heartless foolishness.


Had we acted
and with more
we might now
be sitting outside
at how we had

If only
we had acted
and with more

If only.


History tells us
that leaders who
to save their people
often need to be
from their people.

Not that this
comfort you.


To reopen we’ll need more testing
on that all our hopes are resting
Now our leaders all say
the tests are on the way
but it really seems like they’re jesting.


The lamentations
have grown
so loud that it
is a challenge
to hear anything

Yet if you strain
your ears you
can still discern
the desperate
of our planet.

Unless we learn
to hear and
harken to
those cries
our future will
only contain more


Contrary to the
you have seen
humanity is
the virus

The health of the
disease riddled
does not require
the extinction
of our shortsighted

We afflict
but we are not
we could
be the cure
if only we
cared enough
to be.


my friend
I know that
it is a
lonely thing
to find yourself

Yet even
as you sit
alone remember that
six and twenty
sit beside you.


Our leaders can hear the angry roar,
the anxious cries of “please do more!”
They could throw you a rope!
They could give people hope!
But they’d rather just kill the poor.


If those who hold
the fates
of the jobless
six and twenty million
only knew what it is
to be unemployed
perhaps they would
what it is to be
abandoned by those
you once trusted.


Before the plague
I feared that I might
be labeled
a doom-monger
and so I hid my pessimism
beneath a performance
of hope
knowing that my
grim prognosticating
would make me

Today I fear that
I lack the energy
to maintain
that performance.


When the
carnival barker
said to fight the plague
by drinking bleach
I felt as though I
needed a strong

But not


Numbers convey
the tragic scale
even as they
render the weight

Fifty thousand is
a horrid number
but it is still
a number.

If the dead were
never counted
but only and always
it would break us.


Lest we forget
in the time
before the plague
many leaders
poisoned their people.

Yes that may be
but they knew
than to openly
admit it.


I saw a
pale rider,
with a big
rictus smile.

he told me,
“is always
in style.”



Plague Poems…the previous week

Plague Poems…the next week

Plague Poems – The First Week


About Z.M.L

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer @libshipwreck

14 comments on “Plague Poems – The Sixth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fifth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fourth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  3. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Third Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  4. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Second Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  5. Pingback: Plague Poems – The First Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  6. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Seventh Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  7. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Eighth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  8. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Ninth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  9. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Tenth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  10. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Eleventh and Twelfth Weeks | LibrarianShipwreck

  11. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Thirteenth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  12. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fourteenth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  13. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fifteenth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  14. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Sixteenth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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This entry was posted on April 30, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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