"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Ninth Week

From the wreckage
of the fall
we shall look back
upon these days
and remember them
as having been
the good times.


None should be
surprised to learn
that the plague
has taken up residency
in the White House.

For the pale rider
has long had
a private office
in that storied


Before a thousand had died
that number
was unthinkable.

Before ten thousand had died
that number
was unthinkable.

Before fifty thousand had died
that number
was unthinkable.

At the Moment a hundred thousand
is still unthinkable
but it will not be
for much longer.


That more tests are
so desperately needed
to reveal those in
our midst who
carry the plague
is a star
that this plague
is itself a test
one which
as a society
have failed.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between May 9, 2020 and May 15, 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.


Suffering and death
already surrounds us
has always surrounded us
but suffering and death
become needless
only in the moment
when they threaten to strike
those who are not poor.


Mortal beings have
no choice but
to acclimate themselves
to suffering and death.

Moral beings have
no choice but
to refuse to bcome
acclimated to needless
suffering and death.


How odd it is to fear
the plague’s resurgence
when the mounting
death toll declares
that the plague’s
initial surge
was never stopped.

May we be so lucky
as to survive
to that golden day
when we can
anxiously fear
that the now
banished plague
might return.


The woeful predictions
of the prophets of doom,
should be ignored
for all of their gloom.

Only in experts should
you place your trust,
for they will tell you
if worry you must.

And if the experts say
a disaster does loom,
feel free to mock them
as prophets of doom.


It is not that
everything has become
but that you
are still pointing
in the direction of a world
that has ceased
to exist.


Our storied
the plague
puts on trial.

dear voter
is always
in style.


Abandoned in my office
the library books now
gather dust.

Forgotten in my office
a large orange now
gathers mold.

Fearless in my office
the army of mice now
gather openly.

Shut up in my hovel
my anxious worries
gather now.


Cartoon characters know
that they can run
off the edge of a cliff
and keep running
as long as they
do not look down.

Long ago our society
charged confidently
off the edge of a cliff
it has kept running
but now the plague
cries out “look down.”


When war rages
those who work to
quicken the victory
of the enemy riders
are called traitors.

When plague rages
those who work to
quicken the victory
of the pale rider
call themselves patriots.


Legend tells that vampires
need to receive a
proper invitation
before they can enter a home
lest they should
feel unwelcome.

The present plague requires
no such invitation
but the eagerness
with which many are greeting it
certainly makes it
feel welcome.


The hair salons and barbershops
that have reopened their doors
are offering a new service
to their unkempt customers
with every dye job, shave, or trim
comes a complimentary
brush with death


The only thing
than the speed
with which the
number of deaths
has grown
is the speed
with which
many have come
to simply accept
that growing number.


A civilization that derides
as cowardice
is one that has already

Look not for an army of
at the gates
for they are already here and
in power.


I am exhausted
I have not been sleeping.

My head aches
I have been staring at screens.

I am sore
this chair is uncomfortable.

I am coughing
I have not been drinking enough.

There are
for all of my symptoms
but I am certain
I must have
the plague.


During the plague times
the patriotic extolling
of freedom
is a mask that protects
its wearers from the
obligation to care
for others
but this tri-color mask
will not protect
its prideful wearers
from the virus.


“How is that they dare
ignore me?”
asks the plague,
“Do they not know
I am the end of the world
they knew?”

“I sympathize with
your frustrations,” replies
the changing climate.



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 Ninth Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  8. Pingback: Plague Poems – The First 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 May 21, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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