(In the Plague Year 2020)
We lingered palely, house-bound, deadly tired,
Blue flames from tripods hectored, then expired,
The sickness hot, the master quit for fear,
His office, and he left no staffer there.
In the rooms the plague-scare came and went,
Breathless about the window and the vent,
Pressing talk of destruction and pandemic
And the pressing need to ‘not to panic’.
From wise mouths we’d heard so much about:
Pedantry and oppression, shrill calling-out
Of the heterodox. We strove to find the silver lining,
The voice of the Swedish-Doom-Goblin, declining.
Planetary plague, hung o’er a high-viced city,
Poison in the sick air, necks all dirty and pretty,
A shadow fell and stayed, all life felt small,
Darkness and Decay held dominion over all.
Neither plague nor its strains, which disappear:
Rather, our Masters, busy pushing fear.