we live these days
with swabs up our noses
masks covering our faces
alcohol dripping from hands
that hesitate to shake other hands
we measure our distancing
we balk at embracing
we’re worried about breathing
for god’s sake
and everyone’s an expert
but nobody knows
what the hell is happening
or why or when
whatever we think “normal” is
will someday reappear
all i can say is that
every morning i go outside
and it smells a little bit
56 thoughts on “apocalypse now?”
My deepest sympathy to your John, you and all of those who love him.
There are no words i can offer or any comfort may I give. I will only say those who serve our loved ones whom require this care are a god-send and wonderful human beings. My hope is there is grace and comfort during this period for each of you.
Thank you for sharing this. I was thinking of the book on the London plague and couldn’t remember the name or author. I a long time worker in public health and environmental science, there is quite a lot a literature and research around this phenomenon throughout history.
Thank you for the poem. It puts words to my feelings.
A big thanks to you and all of your fellow volunteers!
Good for you Sen!
it takes all kinds – wonderful world we live in with great diversity among good people abounding therein 🙂
the worst thing?
that people so casually ‘accepted’ the intense suffering of covid 19’s victims as ‘a normal death’ when they might have worn a mask to spare folks of that hell but would not because ‘a mask would rob them of their freedom’ from responsibility for the carnage
don’t understand this
was it all to suck up to a tyrant, this act of ‘defiance’ by approving the placing of one another into harm’s way without any sense of personal responsibility for the consequential (and unnecessary) suffering?
tyrants demand sacrifices, but to sell one’s soul for such a man . . . . ?
“Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
Susan, we are here. We pray for you.
yes, Robert F
your our ‘poet laureate’ and this is a great poem in celebration of the preciousness of all life, that is existed for a while and we were witness to its existence and find in its remains something to honor
your poem so reminds me of a part of a poem written by the step daughter of a dear friend, this:
“Let me embrace all broken things–
the curled corpse of a rat,
my humanly perfect son,
my aging face–
Let me stop being that thing against which anything, everything, can break.”
Robert F., you have a gift of poetry and we have been blessed that you shared it with us here
Me ‘n Greta! Good choice Ted – laughing
The August initiation followed the next day by important announcements regarding development of the vaccine gives the impression that the plan to sell was prompted by inside information. Not one, but two sets of events bookending this trade, those in August and those this week, occur in close proximity to each other in a way that seems more than a little sketchy.
Seneca, you are one of my current heroes, right up there with Greta Thunberg.* Who’d have thunk it?
* I have other heroes too, but I tried to pick one that might annoy you. 🙂
It’s a good poem, Mike. What I get from it is frustration expressed in stream-of-conciousness, something like a Bob Dylan talkin’ blues—in that period when he was hanging out with Allen Ginsberg, most likely.
It was Pfizer’s CEO, with the 5.6 million dollar sale nailing the peak of Monday’s skyrocketing stock price nearly dead-on, after the announcement Monday of the vaccine. They’re saying it’s not insider trading, as the sale was initiated back in August for the November date, pending a target price, which was more than met. Why the announcement on Monday, same date as the sale? Could be innocent.
But the August initiation date is also suspect, because that was followed next day with other convenient announcements. It’s all a little too cynical for me. I had been thinking about investing a little in Pfizer, but not now, something’s rotten in Denmark.
I guess the Station Manager is an example of Eliot’s Hollow Men.
When I was in the initial stage of inquiry for the protocol, I asked if the shot contained the virus; not wanting to pass it on. My nurse manager said it does NOT contain the virus but it contains “instructions.”
I have no idea how all this works
They will continue to test my blood for the next 20 months or so.
And then some….
Mazel tov, senecag!
After the first shot I thought I had gotten the placebo; might have felt a little off the next day but I’m in my 70s. But the booster, I expected nothing but certainly ended up with some symptoms.
One of these days I’ll get an antibodies test but it’s not free. Pfizer tests me but they are NOT going to every tell me.
Yes, thanks Seneca. I’m inclined to trust this Pfizer vaccine, since the U.S government had so little to do with it. A little disturbed that one of Pfizer’s executive officers made a killing on the vaccine in the stock market in a way that might have involved a sophisticated form of insider trading, but I don’t suppose that would effect the quality of the vaccine itself.
Could be the nocebo effect, wherein the harmless sugar pill causes symptoms of illness.
Sisyphus gathers no moss.
Rick, here’s a good piece by David Brooks about the phenomenon:
I assume it was because he had post-vaccine symptoms.
How do you know if you are receiving the vaccine instead of a placebo?
Oh, I’m not sure I’d believe that narrative. The world was coming out of WWI, there was a lot of ugly death everyone had experienced world-wide, there had to be a feeling of “the worst is over,” then… WHAM! “Nope, you all get more death.”
It makes me think brutal reality of “more death” left a deep scar on everyone. Probably more of a global PTSD post-pandemic than “shame” at the response.
Even with all the communications media we have. Maybe especially with it.
If you’re referring to the post at November 10, 2020 at 11:32 pm, I agree. Wonderful post.
“The last word he pronounced was — your name”
Thanks for this promising report, Seneca! And thanks for your role in helping the testing.
Have you / will you get tested for antibodies?
Last week, being a Pfizer guinea pig, I had my second and last shot. I had a 30 hr reaction; aching, fatigued, not very hungry and then, VOILA, I was 100 percent okay. Then we hear this week that Pfizer’s vaccine is thought to be about 90 percent effective. Well praise God for that.
We are reminded of God’s common grace for all of mankind, such as modern medicine [ which is far from perfect of course but does save lives.]
As of this week, I certainly feel like the Covid Sword of Damocles is no longer hanging on a thin thread over my head.
I’m thinking about getting back on a plane and going to see friends/family.
I’m sorry about the dead. Really sorry. We’re all gonna die some day. Everybody here’s gonna die. Sergio’s gonna die some day, aren’t you, big guy? Don’t be so quick to run away from this, run away from reality. We gotta stop being a country of f*gg**s… Oh God, what a plateful for the press! A real banquet for that pack of vultures back there.
My money is on the second.
“Life is just a party and party’s weren’t meant to last….”
We have been here before
We might be here again
So, lets roll that boulder up the mountain,
Lest we sink deeper.
I’ve heard the same thing. I expect that to happen with coronavirus, especially given that many in our society and world already seem to have started doing this by contending that it’s really not as bad as experts are saying it is.
I’ve heard it said that very little was said or written about the 1918 flu epidemic afterwards because most people were ashamed at how they dealt with it.
Of course, “apocalypse” actually means “unveiling.” So maybe it’s worth asking what this apocalypse is revealing to us about ourselves.
What does it say about us that the people asking to bear the brunt of both the risk and the emotional burden of the pandemic are poorly paid and often disrespected?
What does it say about us that so many people have given in to hopelessness, no longer even trying to protect themselves, their families, or the vulnerable people in their communities?
What does it say about us that we, as a society, can’t act like adults for long enough for our kids to have a shot at a somewhat normal childhood?
What does it say about us that we talk about the elderly as if they’re disposable, if that’s what it takes to juice the economy?
The pandemic isn’t going to last forever, and when it ends we’re going to have a choice between taking a long, hard look in the mirror and repenting, or going back to business as usual to try to fill our lives with noise again so we don’t have to hear the voice of our consciences.
I see a red door
And I want it painted black
No colors anymore
I want them to turn black
“There’s something happenin’ here…”
The same Apocalypse Now imagery came to my mind…
“Please, no political comments today. Respond to the poem and whatever feelings it evokes for you.”
It’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an airplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid…
Approaching portentous. Know it or not, we are journeying up river. And our so-called leaders are out to kill what they consider a rogue superior.
On Friday my John will be examined for further palliative care
I am empty. No mask can hide my tears.
on the sidewalk a
dead lantern fly, as precious
as the morning star
“nobody knows what the hell is happening” is actually true all the time, it’s just that now it is excruciatingly, torturously apparent that that is in fact the state of affairs.
“and everyone’s an expert
but nobody knows
what the hell is happening”
a good definition of the present chaos, yes
unwelcomed memories from the sixties come back unbidden of days of tension when we KNEW something heavy would be going down,
and it did . . . it did . . .
I have just read the final comment by ‘anonymous’ in yesterday’s piece.
It is a beautiful summary
I can’t say I like it, but I can say it’s well written. Kinda like Schindler’s List.
Please, no political comments today. Respond to the poem and whatever feelings it evokes for you.