"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Fourteenth Week

Upon being asked
to accept the
of having to wear
a mask
many decided they
would rather
their neighbors instead.


While buying groceries
I overheard a man
angrily shouting:
“Telling everyone
that they must wear masks
is a grotesque violation
of civil liberties!”

Behind the man
the plague
nodded in agreement.


The people who
see a mask and scoff
do not cover their mouths
when they cough.

The people who
think the plague is done
through inaction ensure
the plague has won.

The people who
feel a measure of fear
recognize that
the plague is still here.


Greatly do I miss
the times before
the plague
they seem so long ago.

Greatly do I miss
the early days of
the plague
when our leaders
still claimed they would
not abandon us
those times too
seem so very long ago.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between June 13, 2020 and June 19, 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.


My lungs ache
my throat is sore
I am wracked
with exhaustion
not from having the virus
but from crying out
to the maskless masses
that the virus
is still amongst us.


How many must
the plague
carry off before
you will say “enough”?
Two hundred thousand?
Five hundred thousand?
A million deaths or more?

I will not judge
your answer
but please
tell me
so I can stop


Do not allow
your healthy
of authority
to convince you that
the smoke from
the funeral pyre
that is presently
assaulting your nostrils
is merely a ruse.


Had we only
donned masks
many lives
would have
been saved.

Perhaps that
small act
could have saved us
from this moment
in which it seems
that we will be
wearing masks
in perpetuity.


Of all the techniques
to prevent
the arrival of a horrid
second wave
allowing the first wave
to continue indefinitely
is a questionable


That our leader
will summon his faithful
to rally around him
without requiring them
to wear masks
is no great shock
for their masks
slipped off
long before the plague.


Future historians
if there are any
will look back
on this year
and shudder.


When the plague
has ridden off
with the lives of
seventeen thousand
it was hailed as a tragedy.

When the plague
had ridden off
with the lives of
seventeen thousand
as well as
a hundred thousand more
the tragic news
was met with


In the dark times
allow yourself
to take comfort
in the brief
glimmers of light
that temporarily
disrupt the gloom
but do not mistake
such brief glimmers
for a signal that
the dark tiems
are ending.


The plague will eagerly accept
any assistance that is offered
though it does not understand
why so many
are so eager
to assist it in its deadly work.


do not judge me
too harshly
when I confess
that I long ago
the twelve hundred dollars
meant to keep me afloat.


That the plague
can be defeated
simply by deciding
that it is over
will come as
quite a shock
to the plague.


A mask
will cost you
several dollars
the plague
will cost you


Do not say that
the plague
has stolen your hope
for hope is not a thing
of which you can be robbed.

Instead say that
the plague
has removed your false hopes.

You may miss them
(and the comfort they brought)
but know that
you are better off
without them.

Or so
I am told.


Do not waste
your anger
on the plague
for it is not driven
by hatred
as it coldly reaps.

Instead keep
your anger
for your leaders
as it is they who
will throw you
before the scythe.

Without the
eager assistance
of cruel leaders
the plague’s work
would be much less


Do not allow
to drive you
to wear a mask
to stay inside
to behave cautiously
to remain alert.

Allow yourself
to be driven to
commit those acts
by compassion



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 Fourteenth Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Pingback: Plague Poems – The First 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 26, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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