See, we’re the virus. We’re the plague rats scuttling
from place to place, consuming and consuming –
it’s our hungriness, our greed, our endless need
to have and have and have, it’s our stampede
from store to store. Just click to buy. We click
and click and click, and make the whole world sick.
We look for comfort. We bite, we scratch, we swallow –
we eat it all, but still feel like we’re hollow.
We are the plague. We’re killing everything –
burning the grasslands, suffocating
the great wide ocean. We’re the rats
that scurry everywhere, spreading a plague that’s
almost untreatable. We should quarantine
ourselves. Self-isolate. Stop reading magazines
that tell us that we need to self-improve,
buy more, just treat ourselves, equate self-love
with brand new lipstick, one more pair of shoes.
Update your living room! Be a consumer, choose
this, choose that, choose everything. Don’t be satisfied
with what you have. Come on. Just buy.
Buy more. Devour it. Come on, now, you rats,
stay on that wheel. Run fast. Keep running fast.

This week’s Earthweal challenge is to write a pandemic poem. I don’t normally rhyme much, but I wanted to do something pounding, and the rhyming kind of fitted.

12 thoughts on “Plague

  1. “We look for comfort. We bite, we scratch, we swallow –
    we eat it all, but still feel like we’re hollow.”

    You give no quarter here, but tell it straight. Powerful writing!
    As we are the plague, may we also be the cure.


  2. We see from the entire parking lots jammed with people lined up with their carts to go in and empty the shelves how addicted we are to Stuff. Capitalism has groomed its people well. The cost of consumerism is coming due. I hope we finally learn something from all of this. Hard hitting and well-written Truth here. We need all the truth we can get! SO glad you are at earthweal.


  3. You stare right into the great mouth of this disease, which is all about Devouring — pangolin stir fry, Prada pumps, take-out grease, ten bottles of hand sanitizer. Maybe this explains the mania for toilet paper. Hard reckonings are the essence of this pandemic, something people are doing globally and under the knife of possible unemployment and an abrupt end to consumptive mayhem. The virus may have been sent by the gods to quiet us toys. Well done, Sarah, and thanks for bringing it to earthweal. – Brendan


  4. But will we do about it, other than our foot stomping on the Internet, which pollutes more heavily than vehicles or aeroplanes or PanMax shipping as energy is created and burnt to power us along.


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