"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Seventy-Sixth Week

No matter how ardent
is your attempt
you will never succeed
in keeping a hurricane
from making landfall
by standing alone on the beach
and blowing at the sky.


I will confess
(at risk of seeming hypocritical)
I would feel much better
if the woebegone words
I type and place here
did not resonate
with so many of you.


Should you find yourself
in a large meeting
at which your manager comments
on the continuing pandemic
by glumly noting
“we are in for a rough four months”
resist the urge to audibly reply
“we’ve just been through
eighteen rough months.”

Trust me
it is better to just stay quiet.


From the front
of the crowded classroom
the instructor declare
“I’m so glad we’re together again!”

From the back
of the crowded classroom
the plague croaked
“so am I.”


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between August 21, 2021 and August 27, 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.


It is difficult to laugh
while wearing a mask
not because your mouth
is unable to move
but because the mask
reminds you
of just how little
there is to laugh about.


We are all of us
of this plage
though some
much more
than others.


Just as with
the previous three
eventually this wave
shall mercifully recede
but the ocean
from which it was born
shall remain.


To learn
to live with the plague is
to learn
to go on with your life
while others die of the plague.


Without checking my notes
I no longer recall
the exact date on which
the plague claimed its
one hundred thousandth victim
three hundred thousandth victim
six hundred thousandth victim
but I can clearly recall
being assured
that it would not be this bad.


When you no longer believe
that every weary step
you force yourself to take
is slowly bringing you closer
to a promised land
of milk and honey
it makes every single day
feel like wandering in the desert
for forty years.


The bespectacled doctor
on the news program
that if we do everything right
life should be able
to return to normal
in the spring.

Though I would love
to believe him
I remember when he said
the same exact thing
a year ago.


After so many months
of my worst fears
coming true
I would be quite content
if one (just one)
of my dreams could come true.

It would be a nice change.


After less than a week
of being back in person
I fear
that it will not be long
before we find ourselves
quarantined in our homes.


Do not say
that we have returned
to where we were
in January.

At the year’s start
we believed
that if we only endured
for a few more months
the vaccines
would end the plague.

But now
we are returning
to January’s numbers
without the hope
that sustained us
in January.


From the depths
of 2020
we pinned our hopes
on 2021.

From the abyss
of 2021
we dare not dream
of 2022.


Do not bother
being surprised
by the lack of attention
over a hundred thousand
new daily cases, and
over a thousand
daily deaths
manages to generate
you must remember:
we became inured
to figures of such scale
many months ago.


How reassuring it is
to hear that we are in
the middle
of the pandemic.

For if that is where we are
at the midpoint
we would know
that it is halfway over.

How much worse it is
to just hear
that we are in
the pandemic.

For if that is the case
the middle
may yet be distant.


In your
uncovered face
I can see your longing
for normality.

In your
uncovered face
I can see your desire
for the sun.

In your
uncovered face
I can see the defiance
of bold humanity.

In your
uncovered face
I can see a pandemic
that’s far from done.


If only our leaders
were as eager
to keep the plague
from entering our homes
as they are
to see us
evicted from our homes.


who would survive
this plague
must remember
that you
have not survived
this plague



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 Seventy-Sixth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Seventy-Fifth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

  2. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Seventy-Seventh Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2021 by in Plague Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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