BSH1 MEMORIAL PROFiLE PiC PiCK of the WEEK No. 29: PRO-VAX = PRO-LIFE

Author: oromagi ,

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 'Twas such a manner of disease, 'twas such
Mortal miasma in Cecropian lands
Whilom reduced the plains to dead men's bones,
Unpeopled the highways, drained of citizens
The Athenian town. For coming from afar,
Rising in lands of Aegypt, traversing
Reaches of air and floating fields of foam,
At last on all Pandion's folk it swooped;
Whereat by troops unto disease and death
Were they o'er-given. At first, they'd bear about
A skull on fire with heat, and eyeballs twain
Red with suffusion of blank glare. Their throats,
Black on the inside, sweated oozy blood;
And the walled pathway of the voice of man
Was clogged with ulcers; and the very tongue,
The mind's interpreter, would trickle gore,
Weakened by torments, tardy, rough to touch.
Next when that Influence of bane had chocked,
Down through the throat, the breast, and streamed had
E'en into sullen heart of those sick folk,
Then, verily, all the fences of man's life
Began to topple. From the mouth the breath
Would roll a noisome stink, as stink to heaven
Rotting cadavers flung unburied out.
And, lo, thereafter, all the body's strength
And every power of mind would languish, now
In very doorway of destruction.
And anxious anguish and ululation (mixed
With many a groan) companioned alway
The intolerable torments. Night and day,
Recurrent spasms of vomiting would rack
Alway their thews and members, breaking down
With sheer exhaustion men already spent.
And yet on no one's body couldst thou mark
The skin with o'er-much heat to burn aglow,
But rather the body unto touch of hands
Would offer a warmish feeling, and thereby
Show red all over, with ulcers, so to say,
Inbranded, like the "sacred fires" o'erspread
Along the members. The inward parts of men,
In truth, would blaze unto the very bones;
A flame, like flame in furnaces, would blaze
Within the stomach. Nor couldst aught apply
Unto their members light enough and thin
For shift of aid- but coolness and a breeze
Ever and ever. Some would plunge those limbs
On fire with bane into the icy streams,
Hurling the body naked into the waves;

-Lucretius

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A Litany in Time of Plague

Adieu, farewell, earth's bliss;
This world uncertain is;
Fond are life's lustful joys;
Death proves them all but toys;
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade.
All things to end are made,
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen's eye.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Swords may not fight with fate,
Earth still holds open her gate.
"Come, come!" the bells do cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth death's bitterness;
Hell's executioner
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste, therefore, each degree,
To welcome destiny;
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a player's stage;
Mount we unto the sky.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

-Thomas Nashe


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The Virus

Dubbed undetectable, I can’t kill
The people you touch, and I can’t
Blur your view
Of the pansies you’ve planted
Outside the window, meaning
I can’t kill the pansies, but I want to.
I want them dying, and I want
To do the killing. I want you
To heed that I’m still here
Just beneath your skin and in
Each organ
The way anger dwells in a man
Who studies the history of his nation.
If I can’t leave you
Dead, I’ll have
You vexed. Look. Look
Again: show me the color
Of your flowers now.

Jericho Brown


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“wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good.”

― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

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One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.


Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.


Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.


I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.


I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.


—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

-Elizabeth Bishop

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Soliloquy XVI

Now calumnies arise, and black Reproach
Triumphant croaks aloud, and joyful claps
Her raven wing! Insinuations vile
And slanderous spring from pestilential breath,
And tongues thrice dipped in hell. Contagion foul
Steams from th’ infernal furnace, hot and fierce,
And spreads th’ infectious influence o’er his fame!
Then each unworthy, ignominious fool,
Each female basilisk with forky sting,
And outward-seeming, heart-unmeaning tear
(Offspring most loathsome of Hypocrisy,
The vile, detested, double-damning sin:
Confusion and perdition overwhelm
And blast them, execrable, into ruin!),
Chin-deep in malice shoot their bitter darts
Of mockery and derision: adding, sly,
Th’ invidious wink, the mean, contemptuous leer,
And flouting grin, ‘emphatically scornful’.
Nor less th’ insidious knave, supremely dull!
Mixture of monkey, crocodile and mole,
Yet stupid as the ostrich, ass and owl;
In high redundance of Typhonic rage,
With harsh stentorian tone, disdainful, flings
Unmerited reflections, vehement, long,
Nonsensical and noisy. Vain, he struts
With domineering insolence replete,
And, lordly, tramples on distress in anguish.

-Mary Latter

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Lockdown

And I couldn’t escape the waking dream
of infected fleas
in the warp and weft of soggy cloth
by the tailor’s hearth
in ye olde Eyam.
Then couldn’t un-see
the Boundary Stone,
that cock-eyed dice with its six dark holes,
thimbles brimming with vinegar wine
purging the plagued coins.
Which brought to mind the sorry story
of Emmott Syddall and Rowland Torre,
star-crossed lovers on either side
of the quarantine line
whose wordless courtship spanned the river
till she came no longer.
But slept again,
and dreamt this time
of the exiled yaksha sending word
to his lost wife on a passing cloud,
a cloud that followed an earthly map
of camel trails and cattle tracks,
streams like necklaces,
fan-tailed peacocks, painted elephants,
embroidered bedspreads
of meadows and hedges,
bamboo forests and snow-hatted peaks,
waterfalls, creeks,
the hieroglyphs of wide-winged cranes
and the glistening lotus flower after rain,
the air
hypnotically see-through, rare,
the journey a ponderous one at times, long and slow
but necessarily so.

-Simon Armitage

9 days later

TheUnderdog
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--> @oromagi
I think the federal government should encourage people to get vaccinated, but this can't be by force.  We also should vaccinate people in other countries to build foreign relations; something we are going to need against China.
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--> @TheUnderdog
-->@oromagi
I think the federal government should encourage people to get vaccinated, but this can't be by force.  We also should vaccinate people in other countries to build foreign relations; something we are going to need against China.
I don't think there's much chance of force.  FOX News has figured out that they're killing their electorate and have changed their tune on vaccinations.  This should free up the Trumpists to follow their own judgement for a bit regarding vaccination.  The progress of this disease suggests that it won't stop until the whole world has antibodies, either from a tiny infection by vaccination or  by bad infection by increasingly virulent variants.

We should help vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to keep the disease from mutating into something much worse.