As the Lights Go Out – the Last Limerick

“The night cometh, when no man can work.” John, 9:4

by Joe Tessitore

I can tell there will be no escape
From this hellishly chilling landscape
Born of hatred and panic
And of darkness satanic—
Oh how well we’ve been whipped into shape!



A Coronavirus Fairytale

by Evan Mantyk


In each of us there is a tiny kingdom
Where the sovereign looks much like you,
But unlike you his job is government,
The minutiae of what a king must do.

It came to pass within your course of state
Affairs, in order to secure some wealth
(The finest fashion, quickest transport mode,
And most advanced techniques to ensure health)

That certain foreign traders were accepted,
Spared no honors, given every priv’lege,
Despite their evil nature—godlessly
They violate man’s sacred role and image.

Your common people were, of course, irate
Despite enjoying what the traders brought,
Which left you in a vast predicament:
Should poverty be felt or war be fought?

But keep in mind this world’s post-nuclear;
Thus war was not an option to endure.


Your common people wanted trader blood,
What could you do? You took their weapons first
Then made them sit in classrooms where they learn:
“For righteousness it’s better not to thirst…

In fact there is no righteousness just shades
Of gray and sets of laws that keep things running.”
No need for Heaven, nor a God, just rules.
The transformation in them all was stunning:

They lost their sense of right and wrong and beauty,
The sense of their own people’s history
That magic code that links the generations
In a flowing, living tapestry.

Then when the traders brought their poison products
And hawked them from new camps that spread like plague,
The common people saw no need to act:
The traders followed rules, though some were vague.

Now helpless you must watch your kingdom crumble.
Some die. Some cough. Some ominously stumble.


Back in the “real world” that we call this one,
Now you are sick just as your people are;
So here’s a word on what might truly cure:
Be warned that Goodness is a rising star

And wickedness shall fall away from Earth.
The slimy deals you’ve made with communists
And soulless socialists of any stripe
Are poison that a healthy gut resists.

Let reverence for Heaven touch your lips
And say you’ll try for faith and will repent,
Then from these words shall weapons made of light
Descend within your inner firmament

And fall into your common people’s hands;
Awakened from a century-long dream,
They see the foreign traders everywhere
Who’ve grown so passive as to fail to scream

When judgment swings upon them in a flash
And swoops down like a phoenix clear of ash.



“Song and lyrics to raise spirits during these difficult times.” 

Lyrics by Horatio Spafford, submitted by Mike Bryant

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.




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7 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    The real racism underlying the panic?

    Aside: You say this disease
    is from the Chinese?


  2. Leo Zoutewelle

    Mr. Mantyk,
    Your poem is so exact, so precise (on the mark), it is scary!

  3. James Sale

    Very potent stuff. More than ever we need values in our life, not any old relativistic and secular ‘morals’, but transcendental principles. One consequence of this dreadful virus may be the coming to one’s senses of whole nations. Thank you: very powerful writing.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Mr. Mantyk’s poem is a genre that we do not see much these days: an extended allegory. And like all good allegories, it is sometimes clear, sometimes suggestive, and sometimes indirect.

    Some of the indirection in this poem is rooted in the word “traders,” which in English pronunciation is very close to the word “traitors.” This closeness adds a new dimension to the allegory, since foreign “traders” are outsiders who come into a country, while “traitors” are internal enemies. The suggested linkage between these two groups resonates ominously in this poem.

    • Evan Mantyk

      Mr. Salemi, thank you, you raise a good point. I think people may very well mistake “foreign traders” as xenophobic, which has become a popular PC label. Given what the allegory is saying, the “foreign traders” worked the best and I decided it was necessary to ignore the mindless PC label, especially because of the “traitor” resonance you identified. There are indeed pathogenic traitors who seem to act as a virus, attacking our body politic. I hope they can truly wake up.

      An Australian Member of Parliament recently put it well:

      “I have no problem with Chinese people, whether they be here or in their homeland. My issue is with the communist Chinese Government that lied, covered up and allowed the Wuhan virus to kill not just its own people but engulf the world. Despite the best efforts of communist shills, my position is VERY clear: Chinese people – good; Chinese Government – bad. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.”

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Yes, you are quite correct. No sane person can blame the Chinese people as a group for this Wuhan flu virus. The Chinese people have been the luckless victims of an insane Communist ideology for over seventy years now. Millions of them have been slaughtered or starved by the CCP. The thousands of deaths from this virus in China are the direct fault of the Communist regime there.

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