In Days of Pest – A Poem

‘Putrid vapors’ did the plague they bring?
Miasma fetid, stench that brings the blight?
Or was it God who cursed and brought the thing?
That robs us of our loves in dead of night.

From when it came, so sudden and so pure;
Invisible a force we thought we’d won;
So confident in world we were, so sure;
Those sanguine days of fearlessness are done.

We rush through markets, seizing what we need;
Surrounded, distanced by our dreaded peers;
Humanity we’d hoped a friend indeed;
Now silent shade companioned by our fears;

At home, inert observe one ticker rise;
Displays made wide and thin in days of means;
Beside the other watch our world capsize;
Panic thinking only of our leans.

What to do, against this new old foe?
Who interrupts our fete ungraciously;
To fill our moneyed misery with woe;
And spreads around the world so spaciously.

There is no recourse, lest you do believe;
That something else could save you from your fate;
No actor waiting for you to relieve;
No way to find reprieve in this dread wait.

Discriminate it cares not rich nor poor;
‘Tis this evokes gentility to shy;
Disease that ushers them to open door;
That they could too be ill and mightly die;

There must be means to live, their must be ways;
Yes modern world should moneyed to protect;
And keep us from travails of olden days;
Indignity should status not deflect?

And why oh why should we the mighty fall?
To sorrow now in days when we were great?
Does not our nation’s pow’r protect us all?
Is not disease for countries second rate?

Or was it fake, a lie, ephemeral?
How else explain can we so dread collapse?
An epic pantomime, banal;
And who are we to blame now for this lapse?

The answer, there are none ‘xept ourselves;
We, the bold begetters of our place;
Forgetting lessons stacked upon bookshelves;
Believed we were invulnerable to disgrace.

Nothing so befuddles man as this;
The questions, fears and hopes in days of pest;
Impervious to the world in angry bliss;
Mortality become had we to best.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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