"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Fifteenth Week

Though the carnival barker
at the numerous empty seats
at his rally
the plague
was quite satisfied
with the turnout.


If more of your neighbors
had only been willing
to wear masks for
a few weeks
|you would not now
find yourself
having to wear a mask


How unfortunate it is
that the plague has stolen
our ability to appreciate
a good joke!

So very few laughed
when our dear leader
about how he had pushed to
slow testing.

Though from beneath
its black hood
the plague
could be heard chuckling.


In the evening my neighborhood
with fireworks
from my hovel’s window
I look out as they
illuminate the sky
for hour upon hour.

I wish I knew
what they
are celebrating.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between June 20, 2020 and June 26, 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.


Where we are
we did not have to be.

Where we will be
we do not have to go.

Where next month
will find us
is not yet certain.

Where we are
we did not have to be
but it is
where we are.


Under questioning
the bespectacled doctor
warned of how
“The next couple
of weeks
are going to be critical
to address those surges
we’re seeing.”

I listen
to the tone
with which he reveals
that he already knows
that this critical time
will be wasted.


Had you told me
in January
that before June
had even ended
more than one hundred
and twenty thousand
would be carried off
by the plague
I would not have
believed you.

It was not that I
was too optimistic
but that I was
insufficiently pessimistic.


With sackcloth and scythe
the plague
cannot be expected
to exhibit sympathy
for the many lives
it destroys
but you
oh maskless one
what is your excuse.


Many a university president
is eager to have
students return
to classrooms this fall
the plague is eager
for this as well.


When the plague
knocked at our door
we did not have to
invite it in.

When the plague
was inside our home
we did not have to
make it comfortable.

When the plague
was made comfortable
we did not have to
ask it to stay.

You can blame
your landlord
but not
for everything.


Even now
after several months
there is so very much
that remains unknown
yet there can be
no doubt
that what we are doing now
is not working.


You who have
sung dirges
every night
for week after week
must remember
that the
lament you sing
is not
the only song.


In many parts of the world
life is returning
to normal
but in this blasted land
the plague has become
the new normal.


there is much
so very much
for you to learn
at a university,
this fall
you shall have
the opportunity
to learn what
the plague
feels like.


My dear
maskless neighbor
I hope that when you learn
of the newly infected
of the newly deceased
of the new mourners
that you stare long
at your reflection
and consider whether
your haircut was worth it.


Do not smugly laugh
at the ignorance
of your neighbors
who disregard the plague,
for the hallowed defenders
of knowledge
are preparing to welcome
the plague
into their ivory citadels this fall.


How many
could have been
if only
our leader’s insecurities
had not kept him
from wearing
a mask.


There was a time
when it was claimed
that warm weather
would force the plague
to flee.

Alas the pale rider
happily plods through
our sun filled streets
his sackcloth hood
pulled back
so his skinless head
may get a tan.


When the plague was new
we were frightened
by the thought
of overwhelmed hospitals
of depleted shelves
of falling ill
so we stayed inside
so we rationed
so we wore masks
but the plague is no longer new
we are no longer frightened
so now
that which we feared
will happen.


Long ago
in the days when
I could still gather
face to face
with friends
I would often
express my belief
that our society
was doomed
after saying this
we would all laugh.

How I miss
the days
when dire predictions
seemed laughable.



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 Fifteenth Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This entry was posted on July 2, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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