"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Seventh Week

Before you face
the new week
and remember
the horrors of
the previous week.

By this week’s end
last week’s many
tragedies will be
displaced by new
woeful occurrences
which in turn will
be forgotten
the following week.

So take this
to remember.


My dear
perhaps in some
far off future
your messages will
find me well
but this is
not that day.


Take a slip of
paper and on it
write the words
“It does not
have to be
this way”
fold the slip and
place it in your pocket
look at it whenever the
despair threatens to
overwhelm you.


Two weeks of food
extra prescriptions
something to read
more toilet paper
supplies to outlast
the plague’s wrath.

Yet my shelves now
grow empty even as
the pale horse
still plods outisde
in shame I confess
I, too, thought this
would have ended
by now.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between April 6, 2020 and May 2, 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.


Soon the paychek
you were expecting
will not come.

Soon the monthly rent
you were dreading
will be due.

Soon the assistance
you were needing
will vanish completely.

This all may be
but soon
the Blue Angels
will fly over
your city
so try to show
more gratitude.


There is no need
for exaggeration
let us not pretend
there is nothign
with which to
busy ourselves.

For there are
movies to watch
books to read
songs to hear
games to play.

Yes there is plenty
to distract you
but your
is that you can
still hear
the sirens.


To say that
our leaders
have deserted us
is to falsely imply
they were ever
with us.

To say that
our systmes
have failed us
is to falsely imply
they were ever
for us.

To say that
our hopes
have failed us
is to misunderstand
what it means
to have


Had you only been
more responsible
you would have known
to save
for a rainy day.

Alas even that
would have proven
on this day
when it is raining


The belief that
thousands must
be sacrificed
for the sake of our
to unceasingly consume
afflicted our society
long before
the plague arrived.


The buboes
hunched shoulders and
running sores that you
see everywhere of late
are not the result of
this plague.

Alas, we have been
for so many years that
we had come to see our
sickness as health.


To be hesitant to
to life as it was
is not a sign
of cowardice
but of


Provided that you have
a pitcher, clean water,
and plenty of sugar
you can create a
refreshing drink when
presented with
sour citrus.

Yet no matter how much
sugar you mix in
you cannot create a
refreshing drink out of


If our leaders
truly cared
for the thirty million
unemployed workers
they would never
have allowed
thirty million workers
to lose their jobs
in the first place.


That you received a
paycheck today
and that you can afford
rent tomorrow
should be an occasion for

Many of those who
did not receive a
paycheck today
who cannot afford
rent tomorrow
were in your enviable
only last month.


On the final day
of the plague semester
I commended
my students
for facing this ordeal
and told them
how proud I was
of them all.

And though I smiled
I was filled with
for not telling
this to my students
every semester.


We are here
but this
is not where we
had to be.

And where we are
is not where we
must go.

Time remains
we can still
our course.

Yes, my friends
time still
but not much.


Were they not filled with the plague
the first of May would be a time
to take to the streets to
march with your fellow workers
and demand a better world.

How strange to be stuck inside
on this the first of May
when it has never been clearer
that we must build that
better world.


If you dance around
the maypole today
the plague will
dance with you.


We trudged through
March with
the plague clinging
to our ankles.

We sprinted through
April with
the plague Matching
our hurried pace.

We arrive now at
May with
the plague standing
by our side.


There is comfort
in knowing
there is still an
emergency brake
but do not forget

At our current speed
even that
will not save us from
hurtling over the edge.

If only
we would
slow down.

Why are we so eager
to reach
the charnel house
towards which we are racing?



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 Seventh Week

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Pingback: Plague Poems – The First 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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