"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Eleventh and Twelfth Weeks

Some say that history
will be made
this week.

Was not history
last week?

Yes, history was made
last week
but this week
we will not be able
to ignore it.


After a pleasant weekend
laying lazily in the sun
strolling through the sand
and wading in the waves
the pale rider has made
many new


On the cover
of today’s paper
we shall pay a
striking tribute
to the dead.

On the cover
of tomorrow’s paper
we shall repeat
the lies
of the man
who killed them.


During the plague times
the sun will still shine
the birds will still sing
the flowers will still bloom
and many will still act
as though these are not
the plague times.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between May 23, 2020 and June 6th, 2020. Due to personal circumstances on the part of the author, few poems were written during the first week of June.

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.


From the crow’s nest
the sailor cries out
at the sight of the
looming second wave.

On the ship’s deck
the warning is not
heard by those who
are still drowning
in the first wave.


A mask can be a comfort
not because it offers
but as it means you
no longer must wear
a fake smile.


Even as you keep
your mask
tightly affixed to
your face
the mask is slipping off
your society.


The plague has continuously
challenged us to imagine
wretched scenarios
but very soon
a hundred thousand deaths
will no longer be


When injustices
are permitted to pile
upon themselves
the mountain they form
blots the sun
from the sky.

But as you toil
in the darkness
it is not that the sun
does not exist
but that it
is hidden.


Even here
in the pitch black
of the abyss
we have not
yet reached
the bottom.


We’re still
many months
from a vaccine
in a vial.

until then,
is always
in style.


If you had ever
if your leaders
would allow
a plague
to carry off
you now have
your answer.


Should you take
from a store in the
midst of a crisis
they will call you

Should you take
from a society in the
midst of a crisis
they will call you


It should not take
a plague
for people to recognize
that they have been living
in a sick society.


Our leaders have
abandoned us
but they have not
left us alone.

They have left us
the plague.


A society which
scarcely shrugs
when a plague
has carried off
one hundred thousand people
is precisely the sort
of society in which
such tragedies are
permitted to occur.


If a cure is discovered
for the plague
but nothing more is done
to drive off the
numerous illnesses
which ravage our society
than we will be
cured of the plague
but still horridly infirm.


If you listen
you can hear
that the funeral dirges
have been subsumed within
an angry chorus
that echoes
through the streets.

To hear these verses
you need not strain
or put your ear to the window
you only need to be willing
to listen.

Do not be
to sing along.


Do not pine for
the ruins
they will not return
your affection
burnt bricks make
an uncomfortable bed.

But do not ignore
the ruins
they spread without
your attention
charred beams attest
to unlearned lessons.

Atop the ruins
you may build
but you must
build something


As the sound of the voices
crying out
in anger and anguish
disrupts the quiet of
your quarantine
remember that
over a hundred thousand
voices have been forever
by the plague.

You must raise your voice
to cry out
in anguish and anger
for them.


I have
through a city
that was
on fire.

I have
along sidewalks
covered in
broken glass.

I have
the poisonous air
meant to drive
people inside.

I have
police officers
beating protestors
with truncheons.

I have
through a city
that was
on fire.


Anger and sorry
march through
these streets

But do not forget
the plague
is still there as well.


The plague
should be thanked
for one thing
only one thing
it supplies a
clear justification
for wearing a mask.


Despite what you
may have heard
does not repeat itself
first as tragedy
then as farce.

To the contrary
repeats itself
first as tragedy
then as tragedy.


Your watch
has been silent
for so long
for so very long.

The plague
gave you the time
to wind it
so it can tick again.

With your watch
working again
you can see
the proper time.

Your watch now
tells a simple
it is late
it is so very late.


A plague is a
colorful thing
an oddity to which
the Black Plague attests.

Today’s plagues are also
we have an Orange Plague
alongside a Blue Plague
and then there’s also the
actual plague.


When they said
“It can happen here”
they were insulted
and scorned.

But as the dark times
grow bleaker
don’t say you
weren’t warned.


“Were it not
for the plague
I too
would be out
in the streets!”

Such is the decree
of those who
never dare
step off of
the sidewalk.



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 Eleventh and Twelfth Weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  10. Pingback: Plague Poems – The First Week | 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 June 10, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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