Pestilence Killed Them by James Sale The Pestilence killed them So the Proverb said, And with that happy thought They laid down in their bed. The Pestilence killed them--- Who else could it be? They were not responsible: He came like destiny. The Pestilence killed them, Disease like death is certain; No complaints, just deep low moans And swish of one black curtain. Oh yet, another Witness says, Ten thousand victims then; But ten times more as Fear Reaped women, children, men. “D” is for . . . by James A. Tweedie The term, “Black Death,” a somber derivation, A reference to Europe’s denigration When deadly plagues brought death and devastation To populations doomed to decimation. Infested bodies suffered desiccation As kings and vassals fueled by desperation Abandoned hearth and home to desolation, Succumbing to despair and dissipation. A death within a church brought desecration. A boil on the skin met deprecation Red crosses were a plague-house designation, And victim’s graves bore little decoration. All history is marked by deviation. Of this, the plague provides a demonstration. No Tomorrow by Susan Jarvis Bryant Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow awaits its fate as dates are put on hold. An unseen foe of sling and poisoned arrow has murdered time and rendered marrow cold. I’m sitting in a pit of isolation just looking at the ever-changing sky for scorching, scarlet flashes of damnation and answers to the ancient question, “Why?” Yet birds still croon and preen as sunrise beckons. The moon still beams its magic through the black of twilight’s veil, festooned with starlight’s blessings in scenes that don’t look forward or look back. Perhaps I ought to ask not “Why?” but “How?” I overlooked the reverence of Now. A Stir-Crazy Sonnet by Susan Jarvis Bryant A rare occasion warrants something chic: a plush ensemble swishing in the breeze--- a sassy, silk sensation in a sleek and smooth cerulean blue that flows with ease, embellished with a natty little hat--- its brim trimmed with a graceful wisp of lace; and shoes, spike-heeled, not practical and flat, but teeteringly wild, not commonplace. This jaunt’s a chance to flaunt just what I’ve got--- such outings have become so very rare, I’m tearing out my hair and fit to trot my driveway’s length with mesmerizing flair… I’m aiming for a flash sartorial splash when taking out my weekly bags of trash. The Quarantini (a pandemic spirit-lifter) by Susan Jarvis Bryant A must for isolation is a curative libation demanding that it’s shaken, never stirred. This virus is a meanie, but it quakes if a Martini is quaffed in measures vast and undeterred. A tot of gin’s the fixer with a lot of tonic mixer--- let quinine in the cocktail do its trick. Just gulp until you’re slurring and your crystal vision’s blurring and breathing’s interrupted with a “hic.” It’s Agent Bond’s prescription for each dark and dire prediction--- the evils of the world and all that’s vile. Its side effects of laughter make you happy ever after while staving off disaster with a smile.