LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Fortieth Week

A mantra
for a Monday morning
during the plague times:

I am
trying my best
to survive this
and on the days
when I fall short
of trying my best
it is because
the best I can do
is try
not to give up.

*

So long as we
are currently celebrating
how a little act
can make a difference
for the overall health
of a society
(provided, of course,
that enough people
are willing to perform it)
please remember
that wearing a mask
is another little act
of the meaningful sort.

*

My apologies
I do not mean
to cough on your cake
but it will take more
it will take much more
than this
to restore my faith
in this society.

*

I appreciate your concern
but no
I do not plan
on wearing this mask
forever
though your naked sneer
sadly informs me
that I will need
to keep wearing it
for quite a while longer.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between November 12, 2022 and November 18, 2022.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems, on Mastodon at @plaguepoems@mastodon.social, and on Instagram at @plague_poems.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at the above mentioned accounts, they will then be collected and reposted here as weekly compendiums.

*

We say
things like this
just don’t happen
in other
wealthy countries
as if wealth
is some sign
of morality.

*

Perhaps now
that the votes have been counted
we can go back
to counting
those falling ill and those dying
in this pandemic
perhaps now
but probably not.

*

You are right, my friend
personal responses
are woefully insufficient
for tackling the complex
systemic crises we face
yes, you are right,
but sometimes, my friend
I fear that you say this
in order to justify
your unwillingness to do anything
that would inconvenience you.

*

While I am receptive
to creative solutions
for ending the pandemic
I must confess
that a nuclear war
seems a rather poor idea
and besides
the virus might thrive
amidst the irradiated survivors.

*

The failing infrastructure
terrible management
and uncertainty
we grew accustomed to
during the pandemic
has prepared us well for
the failing infrastructure
terrible management
and uncertainty
on the platform
where we had gathered
to feel slightly less alone
during the pandemic.

*

Have sympathy
for the historians
it must be difficult for them
to constantly be reminded
of just how bad we are
at learning from history.

*

Our problem
is not
that we owe a debt
to immunity
that has now come due
but that we still refuse
to recognize
that we owe a debt
to one another.

*

I have heard a doctor say
that covid is not
the only viral threat
causing harm
in this moment
and while that doctor
is certainly correct
about the multitude
of viral threats we face
covid is certainly still one of them.

*

My father loved
to repeat the advice
a kind man had given,
namely: that one
should look
for the helpers.

And though
my father never told me
how to find or recognize
such people
sometimes when I look
I still see someone
wearing a mask
and for a moment I think:
there is a helper.

*

Based on the number
of empty desks
it seems that when
given the choice
between bringing back masks
and
bringing back the virus
my employer has chosen
to go with the latter.

*

My uncle assures me
that he still wears a mask
though only when he goes
to the supermarket
or to the pharmacy
and because I know better
than to expect more from him
I do not ask
if he only wears a seatbelt
when driving on some roads.

*

If you make use of
an expired test kit
it may not work quite as well
as it would have
earlier in the pandemic
and while this may frustrate you
remember
most things are not working
quite as well as they did
earlier in the pandemic.

*

I have heard it said
that at this point
a mask
is a fashion statement
and I suppose it is
it states:
I am trying
to survive
this pandemic.

*

Should a day arrive
when you cannot find me
here
remember please
that this
was just a spot where we
occasionally gathered
we will leave this place
but not each other
for we shall still be together
struggling to survive
here
in this pandemic.

*

I fully understand
that quality masks
decent health insurance
and being allowed
to work from home
are luxuries
unavailable to many.

Yet in this moment
there is no greater luxury
than being able
to ignore the virus.

*

If you are waiting
for the end
to be loud and sudden
you will just be disappointed
after so many years
of plague
you should know
that the failure
of the things you rely on
does not resemble a crash
but a steady degradation
we playfully joke about
so as to hide our lonely fear.

*

When I sneezed, my grandfather
would respond by saying:
leben zolstu
which he told me meant:
I hope you survive this,
and though he would say it
with a playful smile
as this may be
the last time we speak
I say it to you now
with sincerity:
leben zolstu
I hope you survive this.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

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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 librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com @libshipwreck

One comment on “Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Fortieth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Ninth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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