Plague Presence

Planetary conjunction, behold catastrophe, o’ trembling earthquake
Afore thy outbreak, for terror has struck – omens of bad luck
Of rats aboard large ships of trade
Black Death, Black Sea, what becometh thee?
Rain of fire be seen, plague-ridden body on board
We have reached thy port, yet to attest, how plague affects
Swelling glands, pain of anguish, rats be driven away!
Your mere presence has brought such decay
As we whip, thy iron-tip, our atonement for sin
Carvened Danse Macabre
Such an illusion – dissolutions thee
Charms of protection, a defensive guard
Twas written, twas seen
O’ comet, striker of the sky, what do you signify?
Pepys can testify
Anger from above, epidemic take hold
Wagons rumble o’er cobblestones
Familiar cries, threepence my dear
Our streets form an open sewer, coins in vinegar, avid memoir
O’ do not tarry, empty thy cesspit
O’ waste
Watchers in haste
Yet beyond the square, our city of London, along the Thames
Statistics ever-rising – bills of mortality
Your curing touch, King healeth thee
O’ silent city, cross be marked
Doors marked red, as peoples fled
Orders for health, examine, oversee, Royal Society
Even physicians flee
Of herbs and spices, no cure for thee
A fire, so great as broken out, thy plague wiped out
As events unfold, we shall retain control

Written by Geraldine Taylor ©


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