"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Thirty-Fourth Week

Clouds can block the heavens
crystal balls can fall and break
tarot decks can be missing cards
an A+ poll can feature a mistake.

Even the prescient do not know
what shall happen here this week
but after every vote is counted
our plague winter will be bleak.


“Do not worry
he cannot
do that”
are the words
on democracy’s tombstone.


We do not know
who will be victorious
but it is quite clear
that the plague
has once more
been proven victorious


Only fools and brutes
are content
with this world
and it is no sign
of erudition
or kindness
to believe this world
can be easily fixed.

To hope that the situation
will not get even worse
to try to stave off
for even a day
is not to endorse
the present status.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between October 31, 2020 and November 6, 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.


Do not say
oh you must not say
“We survived four years
of him”
when 231,477
did not survive
the last year
of him.


though you are
to quickly know
the identity of the winner
allow yourself to enjoy
these last hours
of frantic anxiousness.

You may chafe
at your inability at present
to focus
but revel in it
when the votes are counted
what will be left
to distract you
from the plague.


The line
at the polls
for a mile.

(win or lose)
is always
in style.


The margin of victory
was not large thne
not even a percentage point here
ten thousand elsewhere
the margins were not large
some claim just a few thousand
decided the winner then
perhaps 231,990
will decide it now.


Be patient with you
disappointed hopes
even the sages could not
definitively predict
what the results would be
it was not wrong of you
to hope
though you must still
ask yourself
what it was that you
from a country
that had so calmly
allowed the plague
to conquer it.


You must not believe
that the world
is irredeemable
but neither should you
that it will be redeemed.


When a house burns
the alert sound the alarm
the prepared grab extinguishers
the brace search for survivors
while most just
stand there
watching the flames
as still others look upon
the vicious fire and long
for the opportunity
to set their neighbor’s home


In the dark times
you must not mistake
a frail glimmer of light
for the end
of the dark times.


After all the votes
have been counted
we will still need
to count
the dead.


Every update
only further confirms
precisely that
which I had already believed
my erudite analysis is
beyond rebuke
even my incorrect predictions
were only wrong
in the right direction.

How wonderful it must be
to have such foresight
while quarantined
from the surging plague.


is a virtue
that the plague
has not yet
taught us
in its horrid way
it has tried
but from the plague
we still
refuse to learn.


If civilization is a race
(as a prescient writer once noted)
education and catastrophe
we must not confuse
a reduction in the speed
with which we charge
towards catastrophe
with the other racer
having taken the lead.


If you have a bottle
pour yourself champagne
If you have the energy
permit yourself to dance
If you remember how
smile behind your mask
You will need this glimpse
of hope
to carry you through
the dark months ahead.


We prayed that he would recover
from the plague
so that he would be able
to fully feel
the crush of his defeat.


When the historians
the account of this ordeal
they will have little doubt
that the pandemic
deserves credit
for hastening
the leader’s downfall
of that there will be
little doubt
But of his earliest ascent
will be attributed
to a sickness
that predates this plague.


Place your despair
in the top drawer of your desk
let it rest
next to the box of envelopes
near the tangled cords
there it will be safe
you need not worry
do not dwell on it for the moment
know it will still
be there
when the plague reminds you
to retrieve it
on Monday.



Plague Poems…the next week

Plague Poems…the previous week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

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

2 comments on “Plague Poems – The Thirty-Fourth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Thirty-Third Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Thirty-Fifth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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