Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Armageddon before Aramis

image from pinterest.com

Armageddon before Aramis

“Anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse.
Democracy is in danger, and truth is being
swept away.”--from THE GUARDIAN

For three years we’ve watched Democracy
suffering ten thousand cuts, and now the old
war horse can barely stand up,
       her tack is shredded,
       her muscles are severed,
       her eyes have cloudy cataracts,
       her ears are beaten flat,
       her heart beats berserkly
with both arrythmia and tachycardia,
pounding against her broken ribs.

Then an Asian bat bit a Norwegian rat, who bit a
Siamese cat, who bit a Chinese farmer, who coughed
on his wife and deadly drops of Covid-19 were
unleashed, and it spread to every corner of this planet
with 10G lightning speed. The global map turned red,
and Death began having a field day, piling up bodies
faster than all morgues, mortuaries, and cemeteries
could accommodate them.

So here we are, by the billions, sheltering in place,
endeavoring to slow down the inexorable Corona
spread. In 1918, it took two years to control the
Spanish flu. In them days, pretty much everyone
caught it, and you either beat it, or it killed you.”

We stare out of our double-paned picture windows
fashioning face masks out of silk scarves and red
bandanas, listening to the media blare out the
terrible toll a hundred times a day, waiting for those
government checks, begging for extended due dates,
as Commerce grinds to a halt and the stock market
becomes schizophrenic, knowing that the rent is 
still due, as we are banished to basements 
constructing a psychic chrysalis around ourselves.

When we hear the “all clear” and we emerge from
our gym-sock cocoon, will we all sprout some
beautiful wings, only to find that one ecstatic week 
later we will clog the clouds with a global rapture?

Maybe the Four Horsemen are already among us,
maybe the dark prophets were correct,
maybe the End Days are upon us, or
maybe not,
maybe the hysteria will subside with the virus,
maybe we’ll be better prepared for the next
pandemic, and the next, each worse than before;
maybe this is Nature’s tough love, global pruning,
maybe the survivors will have acquired wisdom,
and they will correct the tilting earth’s axis
and banish nationalism, partisanism, populism
and Fascism,
maybe kindness, compassion and love
will override, overcome, overwhelm
greed, cruelty and stupidity, yeah
but I doubt it.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub


Jade Li said...

Brilliant in every way, Glenn. You have taken the pulse of the moment so well.

Frank Hubeny said...

I didn't know it took two years to get over the Spanish flu. By that measure we have just begun.

indybev said...

Glen, you are surely the Prince of Doom! Even at the bottom of Pandora's box there was hope!

Grace said...

I pray we will all learn from this, separating what is essential and not. Appreciating more our health care professionals. Maybe we will learn nothing and go back to what was. But this time, we are forever changed.

Dwight L. Roth said...

One thing is for sure we will never again be the same carefree, invincible folks we used to be. Looking death in the eyes changes everything! Just ask a soldier!

Kim M. Russell said...

Dark, heavy and full of gloom, Glenn. I feel sorry for the old war horse. The second stanza reminds me of ‘this is the house that jack built’, but with deathly undertones. The only glimmer of hope is that our medical science is more developed and able to cope than in the days of the Spanish Flu, so we still have some hope that it won’t take so long to develop the necessary drugs. I believe this is ‘Nature’s tough love, global’.

Alexandra said...

You have captured our anger, and our helplessness, and our hope all in one.

Alexandra said...

I have to add, when I opened your page I thought "Ok, Glenn, wow me" and you did.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, well said. I want to believe that will be the case, that we have learned something. But I doubt it, too........the wet markets were closed at the beginning of the pandemic - but re-opened the minute lockdown was lifted. Even amid cries from world experts that they be closed "to prevent the next pandemic." Oh how my heart sank when I read those words.

brudberg said...

I doubt it too... and what I doubt it because of the willingness with which we have sacrificed democracy so easily. Not how the already known autocrats react, but how we let police and military probe our homes for breach of rules...

We should be trusted to do what's right... we just need facts and advice.

Christine said...

This whole situation makes life seem dark right now.

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

"constructing a psychic chrysalis around ourselves. Apt words for what we are all doing.

Let me admit here, Glenn....as I have to others this morning. I postponed reading these posts....and I think, other than a select few more, I shall not read anymore. I have enough fear which I try to control rather than to ignite. I choose to concentrate on the positives and land on hope....that when we are all unmasked, we will appreciate smiles and we will find ways to build more hope. I've taken up meditation again....something I did every day for two years after my husband's 6 minute cardiac arrest in October 2013. I feel the need for it again. It centers me....helps me concentrate on what I can change and what I can do rather than ruminate on numbers I have no control over. I am not nor have I ever been a member of AA, but their Serenity prayer and saying One Day at A Time have always resonated with me.
May you stay safe my friend. And my the doubt at the end of your poem be banished and replaced with hope.

lynn__ said...

I doubt it too...this one is shadow boxing, time will deliver the knock-out punch.