"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Sixtieth Week

Were we asleep
we could be forgiven
for believing dreams
to be reality
for babbling nonsense
for the havoc caused
by our snoring somnambulism
sleepers cannot be blamed
for what they do
alas we who are awake
have no excuse.


If we fought the plague
with the same energy
that we muster
as we fight amongst ourselves
perhaps we might not still
find ourselves
having to fight the plague.


The new normal
is much like
the old normal
except that now
it includes a plague.


We are not
all living the same story
even if we are all
living different sentences
in the same book.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between May 1, 2021 and May 7, 2021.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems and Instagram at @plague_poems.

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.


is an acceptable response
to mass death.


There will be ample time
to discuss life after the pandemic
once the pandemic
finally ends.


Those who wish to forget
detest the ones
who have not forgotten.


You will never know
whether your anxious choices
your small wary acts
saved any lives or
prevented any suffering.

Do not wait for
applause or thanks
for you will receive neither
when the final toll is counted
just remind yourself
that it could have been worse.


When a wooden horse
sat before the gates of Troy
the one who warned
that the danger had not passed
was met with mockery.


And the plague times
now continue
in towns and nations states.

But the confident discard
their cares, for
we are past the dire straits.

We are assured the worst
has ended
at last hope is at the gates.

But watching us through
lidless eyes
the plague patiently awaits.


Should they ask you
(and they will)
what you did with yourself
during the plague times
they will not be satisfied
if you answer
that you survived.

But know
it is enough.


I do not believe
these tired words
will convince anyone
of anything.

I can offer no
persuasive argument
just a faded mark
on a confusing map
attempting to say
“you are here.”


If you look back
over your experience
of the plague times
and it seems like a mass
of undifferentiated days
each one indistinguishable
except for slight seasonal change
visible through your window,
then know that you
were one of the fortunate.


The pandemic makes
students of us all
though this does not mean
that all of us are willing
to learn.


Though it was long ago
there was a time
when hundreds of daily deaths
was sufficient
to make us shudder.


Sometimes I fear
that these dark times
are not the darkest times
I will live to experience.


We all desire
for this to be over.

Though too many
remain unwilling
to take the steps
to make that end possible.


It is not accurate
for you to say
that you did nothing.

Did you not
discard your habits?
wear a mask constantly?
avoid your friends?
stare endlessly at a screen?
wash your hands raw?
wait and endure and wait?

You have done much
but saying nothing
is easier
than remembering.


After so many months
of quietly watching
the carefree hubris of your neighbors
you must admit that the phrase
“avoid it like the plague”
has lost much of its meaning.


That there is nothing
new to say
does not mean that you
should remain silent.



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 Sixtieth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Fifty-Ninth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – the Sixty-First Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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This entry was posted on May 14, 2021 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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