"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Seventeenth Week

So long as
the sate of the world
causes you anguish
you need not despair.

For your anguish
is a sign that
some buried part of you
still know that the world
could be different
could be better.

It is only when
the state of the world
no longer phases you
that you should despair.


That the plague
you learn to live
with shifts you
long opposed
does not mean
that your opposition
was unfounded.

When the plague finally ends
(if the plague finally ends)
that remembered opposition
will allow you
to resist
those shifts becoming normal.


When the plague arrived
it was horrible to think
that its victory was
the result
of massive incompetence.

Yet how much better that was
than the growing suspicion
that its victory has been
the result
of cruel policy decisions.


The fireworks were loud
so very loud
and yet
if you listened
carefully enough
you could still hear
the funeral dirges
that the colorful explosions
were meant to drown out.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between July 4, 2020 and July 10, 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.


There are many who
in the plague times
but monsters
thrive amidst
the desolation
if they are so allowed.


The bespectacled fellow knows
“We have already
through a lot of pain
a lot of
economic and personal pain
and inconvenince.

With that
who read
the news can

But when he adds
“science will get
through this,”
I fear he has not
read the news.


There are some
who will applaud
the news
that the United States
will be withdrawing
from the World Health Organization
but no hands will clap
with more enthusiasm
than the bony palms
of the plague.


Forgive me
my friends
I know that I
for too long
the bad news.

My apologies
my friends
but I feel that it
is necessary
to fixate on the
one hundred and
thirty thousand deaths.


It is not
that life is
returning to normal
but that
the plague
now seems


It is not
the plague
that frightens me
what frightens me
is those who say
that the plague
should not
frighten me.


Having concluded that
helping the people
would be too difficult
the leaders decided
to help the plague instead.


When a disaster strikes
leaders are ridiculed
if it is perceived
that they are
only pretending
to care.

Yet how we long for
such performances
in this moment wherein
our leaders
cannot even be bothered
to acknowledge
the bodies at their feet.


Every person
tests positive
for this plague
that this plague
is a test that
our leaders
have failed.


(the historians lament)
how can you expect a society
to learn
the lessons
from decades ago
when the society is unwilling
to learn
the lessons
from two months ago?


When the plague
was new
our leaders sought
to sate its hunger
by feeding it the old
now that the plague
grows hungrier
our leaders plan
to feed it the young.


Optimists hope
that they will be
proven correct.

Pessimists pray
that they will be
proven wrong.

Take pity on
the pessimists
in your midst
for they have been
proven right
about so much
about too much
in recent weeks.


Mistakes are easily made
when reading,
a letter is so often

How unfortunate
when our leaders read
that they must
flatten the curve
they lost the thin “l”
and thus thought
that they must
fatten the curve instead.


When the world
surrounding you is
you must check carefully
to ensure that the bucket
of liquid
you are preparing to pour
on the flames
is filled with water
and not gasoline.


History tells us that
the Titanic struck
an iceberg
and sank in the cold waters.

Yet the icebergs
are melting
so who fears
them today?

How ridiculous it is
to talk of rearranging
deck chairs
on the Titanic
when we are busy
rearranging the branches
on our funeral pyre.


The plague’s victory
was not inevitable
different decisions
would have produced
different outcomes
but what is to be gained
from dwelling on the past
when the future is a wasteland.



Plague Poems…the next week

Plague Poems…the previous week

Plague Pomes – 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

3 comments on “Plague Poems – The Seventeenth Week

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

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

  3. Pingback: Omnium Gatherum: 25jul2020 - The Hermetic Library Blog

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This entry was posted on July 17, 2020 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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