"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Thirty-Fifth Week

That we find ourselves
with slightly more time
in which to solve
our problems
does not mean that
our problems
have been solved.


Your hope that
just maybe
the world can be made better
will always be seen
as a threat
by all of those sho
are quite content
with the world
as it is.


“We’re not going
to control the pandemic”
the frustrated man claimed
at the end of October.

One week later
only one week later
the consequences
of such a policy
came for him.


The plague is not offended
by the disinterest
with which it is treated
it cares not
whether it dominates headlines
discomforts broadcasters
occupies legislatures
the plague is patient
it will be waiting for us
whenever it is
that we are ready
to remember
that it is still here.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between November 7, 2020 and November 13, 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.


It is premature
to feel bothered
by the silly question
“what did you accomplish
during the pandemic?”
for there is still time
still plenty of time
more time than you think
not that this
should give you much comfort.


Fearing accusations of hyperbole
we hesitate to call
the bloody mawed beasts
bearing their teeth at us
as if our greatest problem
is in accurately naming this threat
and not the fact
that these beasts
are steadily getting closer.


The exhausted heroes
in horror films
when they believe their foe
has finally been vanquished
though their relief is cut short
when their tormentor
rises again.

We know that we
have not learned
from history
we also
have not learned
from horror films.


Allow yourself to picture a world
in which your opponents
are not your enemies
attempt to walk towards that world
but with every step remember
it is not the world in which you live.


A record breaking number
of votes
is clearly
a positive sign of the
of your society.

A record breaking number
of new infections
is clearly
a much more worrisome
sign of the
of your society.


While casually speaking
over the phone
my friend began to cough
one cough
a pause and then
a minute of terrible hacking

“Don’t worry”
she said
between coughs
“I’m sure it isn’t

Before I could respond
she once more
began coughing.


In this moment
when all of our attention
should be focused on the threat
posed by the plague
we are more afraid
of the man
who swore an oath
to protect us
from dangers like this plague
than we are
of the plague itself.


We spent so many years
about the end of the world
that we were unprepared
for the end of our world.


Though we have been
poor students
the plague has tried
in its wretched way
to teach us many things
for its next lessons
the plague shall teach
us poor students
about exponential growth.


There are some who say
that we must prepare ourselves
to lockdown
once more.

How puzzling this “again” is
to those
who have been
carefully quarantining
since March.


I am thankful
that my thermometer cannot
judge me
for my habit
of checking my temperature
multiple times a day
while it may have been
pleased (at first)
to receive so much attention
I imagine that it would think
that I am now
being ridiculous.


When they said
we must enter lockdown
the first time
I was worried.

As they now say
that we must enter lockdown
once more
I am worried
yes I am very worried
but I am also exhausted.


When they warned us
that this would happen
they were laughed at.

Now that
what they warned us of
is happening
they have the good manners
not to laugh at us.


In your anger and fear
you must not say
“our leaders
have failed us.”

No, you must not
say that.

For to say
they failed us
is to falsely suggest
that they tried.

We were not
we were abandoned.


There are colorful maps
on the newspaper’s website
in red and blue
one map shows the states
that were carried
by each candidate
the other map
in shades of orange
shows how the entire country
is being carried off
by the plague.


In this room
the water has doused
the flames
the dense smoke has
finally thinned
the wailing alarm is
now quiet
you can sit once more
in peace
here in this room
but you are still
in the burning house.



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-Fifth Week

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

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

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