The Society of Classical Poets refers to the COVID-19 coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.



Flatten the Curve

by Rob Crisell

“Flatten the curve,” they say to me.
“Or we’ll destroy humanity.
Don’t go to work. Don’t go to school.
Don’t go to church. The golden rule
Is wash our hands ten times an hour.
If someone coughs, go take a shower.
Buy toilet rolls for 15 years,
Enough to wipe a thousand rears.
Avoid first bumps, no human contact,
No Chinese food, no social contract.
Let’s watch the news and stoke our fear.
Assume that Armageddon’s here.
Impress our friends with expertise
On how to fight this dread disease.
Then hide out in our little house
With restless kids and nervous spouse.”

But as we lay us down to sleep,
Let’s pray the Lord our soul to keep.
Let us our worser angels flout,
And good ones fire the bad ones out.



Communist Evil

by Russel Winick

The evil Chinese government
Exclusively desirous
Of maintaining its false image
Covered up the Wuhan virus.



Why I Value Toilet Paper

by Roy E. Peterson

My wife once used to laugh at
How much toilet paper I’d buy.
If it was January,
We could last until July.

You have to understand that there’s
A reason I conserve.
When I was once a youngster, we’d
No TP in reserve.

When you’re from a small farm
On the Dakota prairie,
The paper in the outhouse was a
Precious thing seen rarely.

The other option for us was
To use an old corn cob.
The problem with these wipers was
They made our bottoms throb.

One of the biggest reasons that
I loved to go to school
Was that their bathrooms had big rolls
And I thought that was cool.

In fact, most all the farmers then
Were paperless like me.
And having something soft to wipe
Was a fine luxury.

We had no paper napkins and no
Tissues for a nose,
We all used folded hankies kept in
Pockets in our clothes.

Now that we’ve had this crisis I am
Sitting here quite pretty.
I’ve plenty toilet paper, so my
Bottom won’t be dirty.



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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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12 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    Mr. Peterson — is that off-rhyme of “pretty/dirty” in you last line deliberate? Are you just trying to avoid the perfect rhyme of “shitty”? Is this simply a bow to public prudery?

      • Roy E. Peterson

        Dear C.B. I greatly respect the wonderful works of you and James Tweedie. I did recognize the opportunity, but I avoid scatological words completely.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      You caught me, Joseph! I avoid such slang words at all cost. I will tell you it is not because I am prudish, but because my mother was an English teacher and we never used such words in our family back then, or when I had my own family.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Rob Crisell,

    Only in a poem this funny could you get away with the double comparative “worser.” Such grammatical improprieties are the stuff of good light verse.

    • Rob Crisell

      Thanks, C.B. The last stanza is a Shakespeare reference. He used “worser” 21 times in his works. If it’s good enough for the Bard… : )

  3. C.B. Anderson

    Roy, I thought the traditional paper of choice in rural outhouses was the sheer pages of the Sears or Montgomery-Ward catalogs. As a young adult I lived in a place (a mountain valley in extreme rural Arizona) where an outhouse was the place to go. After the first one filled up, we dug a pit for another one several feet away. We did have store-bought toilet paper, though. But we always lifted up the seats to see whether any black widow spiders were lurking beneath.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      C.B. You are absolutely correct. Sears and Wards were in virtually every outhouse on South Dakota farms. My first thirteen years were spent on a farm there before moving to Texas. Every once in a while we had to move the outhouse on skids pulled by a tractor. I argued once with a Naval Captain about who had the poorer childhood. He won the argument because my dad built in a two-seater bench in the outhouse making ours a luxury. You are so right about checking for spiders under the seats!

  4. Phyllis Anderson

    Enjoyed all of these, especially “Communist Evil.”

    There may be a typo in Rob’s poem. I believe it should be “fist bumps” instead of “first bumps.”

    • Rob Crisell

      Good catch, Phyllis! I’ve read that poem a few dozen times and I missed it, at least on the version I submitted. Thanks. Hopefully, one of the editors can fix it.


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