November 25, 2020

apocalypse now?

apocalypse now?

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
like napalm


  1. Please, no political comments today. Respond to the poem and whatever feelings it evokes for 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.

  2. I can’t say I like it, but I can say it’s well written. Kinda like Schindler’s List.

  3. I have just read the final comment by ‘anonymous’ in yesterday’s piece.

    It is a beautiful summary

  4. “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 . . .

    • “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.

  5. on the sidewalk a
    dead lantern fly, as precious
    as the morning star

    • 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–
      unlimbed spiders,
      the curled corpse of a rat,
      drug-addicted mothers,
      my humanly perfect son,
      my aging face–
      with tenderness.
      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

  6. Susan Dumbrell says

    On Friday my John will be examined for further palliative care

    I am empty. No mask can hide my tears.

    • Susan, we are here. We pray for you.
      Sending hug

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. “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…

  9. “There’s something happenin’ here…”

  10. I see a red door
    And I want it painted black
    No colors anymore
    I want them to turn black

    • from Auden,

      “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.”

  11. 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.

  12. Klasie Kraalogies says

    We have been here before
    We might be here again
    So, lets roll that boulder up the mountain,
    Lest we sink deeper.

  13. senecagriggs says

    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.

    • Michael Bell says

      Have you / will you get tested for antibodies?

    • Thanks for this promising report, Seneca! And thanks for your role in helping the testing.

      • Yes!


      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • Clay Crouch says

      How do you know if you are receiving the vaccine instead of a placebo?

      • I assume it was because he had post-vaccine symptoms.

        • Could be the nocebo effect, wherein the harmless sugar pill causes symptoms of illness.

          • senecagriggs says

            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.

    • 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. 🙂

    • Good for you Sen!

  14. senecagriggs says

    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.

  15. Thank you for the poem. It puts words to my feelings.