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Poems about the Coronavirus


yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #1
by michael r. burch

plagued by the Plague
i plague the goldfish
with my verse



yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #2
by michael r. burch

sunflowers
hang their heads
embarrassed by their coronas

I wrote this poem after having a sunflower arrangement delivered to my mother, who is in an assisted living center and can’t have visitors due to the pandemic. This a poem about living with the fear, uncertainty, isolation, loneliness, alienation and depression created by the pandemic.



homework: yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #3
by Michael R. Burch

dim bulb overhead,
my silent companion:
still imitating the noonday sun?



yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #4
by Michael R. Burch

Spring fling―
children string flowers
into their face masks



New World Order (last in a series and perhaps of a species)
by Michael R. Burch

The days of the dandelions dawn ...
soon man will be gone:
fertilizer.



Spring has come:
the nameless hill
lies shrouded in mist
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I'd leap into the torrent!
― Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Grasses wilt:
the braking locomotive
grinds to a halt
― Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Come, investigate loneliness!
a solitary leaf
clings to the Kiri tree
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


An empty road
lonelier than abandonment:
this autumn evening
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Winter drawing near:
my neighbor,
how does he fare?
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Let us arrange
these lovely flowers in the bowl
since there's no rice
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Death
stood at the end of the hall
in the long shadows
― Watanabe Hakusen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Tonight I saw
how the peony crumples
in the fire's embers
― Katoh Shuhson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



The new calendar!:
as if tomorrow
is assured ...
― Inahata Teiko, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated ...
― Buson Yosa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Our life here on earth:
to what shall we compare it?
It is not like a rowboat
departing at daybreak,
leaving no trace of us in its wake?
― Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



This World's Joy
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa early 14th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter awakens all my care
as leafless trees grow bare.
For now my sighs are fraught
whenever it enters my thought:
regarding this world's joy,
how everything comes to naught.



Fowles in the Frith
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The fowls in the forest,
the fishes in the flood
and I must go mad:
such sorrow I've had
for beasts of bone and blood!



Ech day me comëth tydinges thre
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th to 14th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each day I’m plagued by three doles,
These gargantuan weights on my soul:
First, that I must somehow exit this fen.
Second, because I cannot know when.
And yet it’s the third that torments me so,
Because I don't know where the hell I will go!



You Were My Death
by Paul Celan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You were my death;
I could hold you
when everything abandoned me―
even breath.



Epitaph for a Little Child Lost
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.



Not Saying the World Revolves Around You, But ...
by Michael R. Burch

The day’s eyes were blue
until you appeared
and they wept at your beauty.




Imperfect Perfection
by Michael R. Burch

You’re too perfect for words―
a problem for a poet.



Stormfront
by Michael R. Burch

Our distance is frightening:
a distance like the abyss between heaven and earth
interrupted by bizarre and terrible lightning.



Splintering

An unbending tree
breaks easily.
―Lao Tzu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Autumn Conundrum
by by Michael R. Burch

It's not that every leaf must finally fall,
it's just that we can never catch them all.



Laughter’s Cry
by Michael R. Burch

Because life is a mystery, we laugh
and do not know the half.

Because death is a mystery, we cry
when one is gone, our numbering thrown awry.



Childless
by Michael R. Burch

How can she bear her grief?
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight
of one fallen star.



I Pray Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

I pray tonight
the starry light
might
surround you.

I pray
by day
that, come what may,
no dark thing confound you.

I pray ere the morrow
an end to your sorrow.
May angels' white chorales
sing, and astound you.



For a Little Child Lost, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails, when thunder howls,
when hailstones scream, when winter scowls,
when storms compound dark frosts with snow?
Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

Please tell me, dear child;
lead, oh, and I'll follow,
for surely, my Angel, you know ...



Neglect
by Michael R. Burch

What good are your tears?
They will not spare the dying their anguish.
What good is your concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?

What good, the warm benevolence of tears
without action?
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?

Before this day is gone,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, wasted limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?

I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of their souls departing ...
mournful, and distant.

How pitiful our "effort,"
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.



The Octopi Jars
by Michael R. Burch

Long-vacant eyes
now lodged in clear glass,
a-swim with pale arms
as delicate as angels'...

you are beyond all hope
of salvage now...
and yet I would pause,
no fear!,
to once touch
your arcane beaks...

I, more alien than you
to this imprismed world,
notice, most of all,
the scratches on the inside surfaces
of your hermetic cells ...

and I remember documentaries
of albino Houdinis
slipping like wraiths
over the walls of shipboard aquariums,
slipping down decks'
brine-lubricated planks,
spilling jubilantly into the dark sea,
parachuting through clouds of pallid ammonia...

and I know now in life you were unlike me:
your imprisonment was never voluntary.



Update of "A Litany in Time of Plague"
by Michael R. Burch

THE PLAGUE has come again
To darken lives of men
and women, girls and boys;
Death proves their bodies toys
Too frail to even cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Tycoons, what use is wealth?
You cannot buy good health!
Physicians cannot heal
Themselves, to Death must kneel.
Nuns’ prayers mount to the sky.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty’s brightest flower?
Devoured in an hour.
Kings, Queens and Presidents
Are fearful residents
Of manors boarded high.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

We have no means to save
Our children from the grave.
Though cure-alls line our shelves,
We cannot save ourselves.
"Come, come!" the sad bells cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

NOTE: This poem is meant to capture the understandable fear and dismay the Plague caused in the Middle Ages, and which the coronavirus has caused in the 21st century. We are better equipped to deal with this modern plague, thanks to advances in science, medicine and sanitation. We do not have to succumb to fear, but it would be wise to have a healthy respect for the nasty bug and heed the advice of medical experts.―MRB

Keywords/Tags: coronavirus, pandemic, COVID-19, plague, illness, death, fear, pain, rhyme, uncertainty, isolation, loneliness, alienation, depression, masks, social, distance, distancing, mrbcorona, mrbplague
Gabriel Aug 9
The first plague that sunk into us told us how to see red,
the anger, either alien or overfamiliar, turned inwards
into our stomachs, acidic and bubbling until we choked
on the waters, and still we begged the Nile
for relief, ******* salt from our tears.

And then there was discomfort, slipping into our beds at night.
The women, familiar with the dissimilarity of abject slime
merely sighed in the expectation of their husbands,
but the sensation screamed of newness to the men, and they ran.

When lice came, we scratched ourselves raw and there was redness again,
until the streets were serenaded by shrieks, and long fingernails became fitting
for women who sewed new clothes when the others ripped theirs apart.

The wild animals were like old friends who tore apart already broken bodies;
this was the time that the women sang each other to sleep,
all we could do was offer meek comfort to each other,
telling stories of how this would never have happened
were it not for the pride that never touched us.

Women worried when pestilence came, unforgiving and without discrimination
to our livestock; without food, we starved ourselves intentionally,
hoping with fragile limbs that there would never be enough meat
on our bodies to substitute for sustenance.

Pained enough, we thought we were used to it when our bodies turned against us,
without anger this time, only vile sores that burst in the dead of night;
we soothed each other’s wounds, our hands familiar with battle scars
and hoped that it would be enough.

The end of days could not come faster than when the fire rained down on us.
Some brave women, tired of being sacrifices, ran towards the flames,
either weary and half-finished already, or aching to find a burning bush
through which salvation may lie for those who did no wrong.

An attack on our senses droned into nothingness as locusts fell,
their bodies used to punish us, a concept of which we wept for,
we knew intimately, and sobbed not for the chess board
but for the pawns who must always fall first.

It was strange, how much darkness felt like reprieve,
in those three liminal days where our songs were unburdened
and rang free across the devastated plains;
oh, those days we sang so loudly that it was almost over.
They were almost free, and we were almost able to go back
to how we were different before.

But tragedy seeps slowly in the night on the burning wings of angels,
and our firstborns were stolen.
I, still young, did not bear the grief of mothers, but I was the third child.
It’s harder to be going than to be gone.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Venice was
wet with
tears but
upon bearing
the compass
in ambulatory
and Oz
to shape
*** ran
inside the
track of
darkness that
pseudonym guided
Pedro's plumage
now Audubon
in time
for vaccine
Jordan Gee Aug 2
A swollen sun descends upon us.
small children at play with painted faces.
time is not an endless tick, one and then another
(the plague nearest our dwelling)
but a single broad and present moment stretching
out and on forever.
sometimes i feel my heart will burst
scattered about, then gathered up in a world of rag and bone.
seeds for the great harvest are but a payment for a
karmic debt -
a purple heart sacrifice of my broken hand -
a slice from stem to stern.
my eyes they sink into my head.
the world is a deep grey beneath the deep stars.
the constant chatter in the skull -
a fallen angel named Moroni.
my sunken eyes watch me lift the bad hand
the heathen of my good intentions -
the purple heart of a bad apostle
the shackles of my station
the facing of certain destruction within the grim Hallway of Anubis.
a single moment stretching on forever and a balancing of the heart.
a swollen sun descends upon the third circle of Hell -  a place where I no longer live.
written 27aug2018
Marri Jul 26
When my kid asks me:
Mama, where were you when the coronavirus pandemic hit?

Well, sweet child, mama was out there exploring the world. I climbed mountains, sailed seas, and fought pirates. Mama was a warrior. She was a healer. She was something else. Mama was making history.

Really, Mama?

No, baby.

I stayed inside trying to finish schoolwork. I put together every puzzle at least 3 times. I ate the same meal twice a week. Baby, mama was robbed. Mama never saw her friends, mama never went to prom, mama never fought a pirate.

Was that all, mama?

No, love.

People died. Too many people, too many people died. We were too stupid, we were too busy, we were ignorant, love. We were destructive, we were killers of our own kind. We were monsters, love.

But, sweetheart...

Yes, mama?

There was beauty in it. Such beauty. We died so the world could live. Flowers bloomed, fish swam, and nature thrived. We could feel the sunshine, we could feel the rain, we could hear the birds, sweetheart. It was beautiful.

Weren’t you scared, mama?
Weren’t you lonely?

My child, yes, I was once. I was scared and I was lonely, but I learned something, my child. In fear, nothing grows. In isolation, there is solitude. But In hope, we flourish. In solitude, we find peace.

My child, my sweet child, we were just beginning to awaken.
Now, we’ll never sleep again.
Chris Saitta Jun 1
From the first, the fluid-filled sacs of stars,
The yolk of yellow lightning and oily rain,
Then the placental storm, birth-giver of roads and oxen loads,
Witch towers made from silk hair and the peasant sucklings of plague,
Whelped there by the milk of the river Arno, by turns pacified or stern.

The Dark Ages is a storm nesting in the sky, built by posthumous stares,
Piece by piece, a raven’s birth from eyes and saliva of roads and rivers.
Of the woman who gave birth, the sway of leaves where once fell hair,
Only her lips hover in the air of warm sun,
Like a fountain in the bare palace courtyard
Suspiring, flowing, extolling…
As absurd or self-serving as it is, I shine a sun on my own poems because this site is broken; you can literally post something that no one will see, but every other post is seen.
yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #1
by michael r. burch

plagued by the Plague
i plague the goldfish
with my verse



yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #2
by michael r. burch

sunflowers
hang their heads
embarrassed by their coronas

I wrote this poem after having a sunflower arrangement delivered to my mother, who is in an assisted living center and can’t have visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.



homework: yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #3
by Michael R. Burch

dim bulb overhead,
my silent companion:
still imitating the noonday sun?


yet another iffy coronavirus haiku #4
by Michael R. Burch

Spring fling—
children string flowers
into their face masks



New World Order (last in a series and perhaps of a species)
by Michael R. Burch

The days of the dandelions dawn ...
soon man will be gone:
fertilizer.



Epitaph for a Little Child Lost
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.



Not Saying the World Revolves Around You, But...
by Michael R. Burch

The day’s eyes were blue
until you appeared
and they wept at your beauty.



Imperfect Perfection
by Michael R. Burch

You’re too perfect for words―
a problem for a poet.



Stormfront
by Michael R. Burch

Our distance is frightening:
a distance like the abyss between heaven and earth
interrupted by bizarre and terrible lightning.



Splintering

An unbending tree
breaks easily.
―Lao Tzu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

It's not that every leaf must finally fall,
it's just that we can never catch them all.



Laughter’s Cry
by Michael R. Burch

Because life is a mystery, we laugh
and do not know the half.

Because death is a mystery, we cry
when one is gone, our numbering thrown awry.



Childless
by Michael R. Burch

How can she bear her grief?
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight
of one fallen star.



Love Is Not Love
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Love is not love that never looked
within itself and questioned all,
curled up like a zygote in a ball,
throbbed, sobbed and shook.

(Or went on a binge at a nearby mall,
then would not cook.)

Love is not love that never winced,
then smiled, convinced
that soar’s the prerequisite of fall.

When all
its wounds and scars have been saline-rinsed,
where does Love find the wherewithal
to try again,
endeavor, when

all that it knows
is: O, because!



The Beat Goes On (and On and On and On ...)
by Michael R. Burch

Bored stiff by his board-stiff attempts
at “meter,” I crossly concluded
I’d use each iamb
in lieu of a lamb,
bedtimes when I’m under-quaaluded.

(Originally published by Grand Little Things)



The Folly of Wisdom
by Michael R. Burch

She is wise in the way that children are wise,
looking at me with such knowing, grave eyes
I must bend down to her to understand.
But she only smiles, and takes my hand.

We are walking somewhere that her feet know to go,
so I smile, and I follow ...

And the years are dark creatures concealed in bright leaves
that flutter above us, and what she believes―
I can almost remember―goes something like this:
the prince is a horned toad, awaiting her kiss.

She wiggles and giggles, and all will be well
if only we find him! The woodpecker’s knell
as he hammers the coffin of some dying tree
that once was a fortress to someone like me

rings wildly above us. Some things that we know
we are meant to forget. Life is a bloodletting, maple-syrup-slow.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Keywords/Tags: haiku, epigram, epigrams, coronavirus, epidemic, pandemic, plague, mother, child, family, social distancing, life, death, numbers, numbering, mrbepi
Tony Luxton May 10
The sun is shining, games not played,
only the dog walkers parade,
morale declining, children pining,
this is the plague decade.

Key workers nervously,
bravely give service,
while others wait
to discover their fate.

Watching wretched news,
numbers are rising,
much elegising,
loves no one would choose.
Corona Virus
Fheyra May 8
In the swirling zephyr,
The grass dances weakly
I heard an escort,– Awaits my way to the Wolf Hall.

A triumphant sinister;—
My broken pleasure,— How lovely to see thy scraps again..
Such a bounty hunter
What the gods want now?

Doth not turn me around!—
Doth not hang me!
If thou loose my ties,—
Thou wilt be a murderer of all vines!

Spare me!— I am not thy prey;
I am not one of Greek's peccant,
Please, off loathing my purity!

This predator devoured me..
The ****** of his dark matter, stabbed me..

The mob held me captive,— by net traps
The culprit lies next to me—
Acted one alike raw; then I was sacked,
I felt the bethel was mocked,—
But my Lord won't despise me.

A paralyzed arrest screeched me
I was stroke— by a vermin quenched for meat..

Thou art the most cherished
It is still me..
Scattered with mud,
Dressed in a blanket;
Hoping to kiss thee
Bend for belief,— and not forgiveness
Wherefor thy body shivers?
Thy cup is condensing,
Lips ill-looking;
Red flames changing blue—
Am I still the hue?
I sensed—
Thou fell into the pit
My shreds, thy lust
The roots art on the tip of thy nails!

An ancestral plague poisoning whoever sits,—
And bridesmaking is a promiscuous habit—
To grasp a braided hair,— for an accessory
Behold, the lineage of romantic paintings,
Whence the bonds turn to heist
Looting innocence and staying in history...
In this 4th sequence, the queen met her former lover, but it turns out to be a nightmare rendezvous. He ***** her, for a reward, that she could be dethroned. He made it look like thaf she made love with him by making her unconscious, and after, some people saw it, and thought she committed adultery. Her husband was there when the people saw his wife and the man. Who would ever thought himself, the king, planned this, for he has another woman. The last stanza reveals the political and immoral ways of monarchy.
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