"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Ninetieth Week

there must be
a better way
to learn the letters
of the Greek alphabet.


We are warned
that if we are unwilling
to change
we shall wind up
where we are going.

And then
after we prove unwilling
to change
we express shock
when we arrive
where we were going.


A year ago
we told ourselves
that on the other side
of a dark frigid winter
better days awaited us
that hope
warmed us like a heavy coat.

we look toward
a dark frigid winter
and struggle to believe
better days await us
on its other side
bereft of hope
we shiver in the wind.


We will discover
the cost
of inviting the virus
to our Thanksgiving tables
just in time
to offer it an invitation
to spend the Christmas holiday
with our families as well.


Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between November 29, 2021 and December 3, 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.


We are all
so fatigued
from the plague
that it is hard to know
if the exhaustion we feel
comes from living
with the virus
or from the virus
living within us.


Beta Delta Omicron
would be a fitting name
for a fraternity.

One so renowned for its
hazing rituals
that wise students
rush away
even as an intoxicated few
scoff at the ordeals
they must face
en route to membership.

Beta Delta Omicron
would be a fitting name
for a fraternity.


The danger
is not
that some people
might panic
but that too many
have become too numb
to feel anything.


Our stores
of hope
are nearly exhausted.

It must be
a supply chain issue.


I know that you
have just started learning it
quite recently
but you should know
that omicron
is not the last letter
in the Greek alphabet.


These days
there is much debate
around pronunciation
there are some who say
is pronounced
while others declare
it is pronounced
and still others insist
that the way it is pronounced
is the least of our concerns.


Though it is difficult
you must try
to appreciate
these early December days
for what they are.

And what they are
are the last few days
in which you can still say
that the pandemic
has lasted
for less than two years.


in this moment
you lack the energy
to think about
the virus
give yourself permission
to think of other things
the virus
will still be here
when you have the energy
to think about it again.


Even now
I am not frightened
by the plague
though I am terrified
by the indifference
many of my neighbors
have for it.


We would like
the pandemic to end
we would all like that
so very much
but only on the condition
that we need not
do anything
that we need not
do anything at all
to hasten its end.


Stop what you are doing
and go order
another box of masks
if you can afford it
you might as well
order two boxes.

Shipping always takes
longer than expected
around the holidays
and the supply chain
issues persist.

Order more masks
order them now
you will need them.


An unmasked man
came to my door
to share with me
“the good news”
that the pandemic
is all just a part
of God’s plan
and that if I read
the proper verses
I will rejoice
for these dark days
show that God
will be coming soon.

So at least
is enjoying the pandemic.


Do not say
we are right back
where we started
at that original point
we could believe
these modest steps
might be sufficient.

Where we are now
we know
those modest steps
were not enough
and yet
here we are
taking those same
modest steps
and expecting
a different result.


Even as
the deck beneath them
tilts skyward
there are some
who will refuse
to board the lifeboats
and still there are others
who instead prefer
to set the lifeboats on fire.


in this exceptional land
it is no longer a question
of if
the plague’s death toll
will exceed eight hundred thousand
by the year’s end
but by how much
it shall exceed that number.


So the emails
you meant to write
remain unsent.

So your report
that is due
is not finished.

So the dishes
remain piled high
in your overflowing sink.

So your to do list
mostly undone.

You have survived
another week
of the plague.

And though
that is not enough
it is enough.



Plague Poems…the next 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

One comment on “Plague Poems – The Ninetieth Week

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ne'er do wells



Creative Commons License


%d bloggers like this: