Photo from Wuhan, China.A Covid Halloween Poem: ‘Halloween, 2020’ by Cynthia Erlandson The Society October 31, 2020 Coronavirus, Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Humor, Poetry 21 Comments Is this a werewolf’s trick, or witch’s treat? A devil’s joke? Humanity’s defeat? Who would have thought we’d live to see the day When people would freak out to see a face— A friendly human face—in public places? Mouths and noses never seemed risque Till now: they’re monstrous—threatening—a disgrace. What’s happened to the courteous commonplaces Of social discourse? Anti-social distance Has canceled handshakes. What was once polite (“Hello, how are you?” “Back up!” “Sorry I asked.”) Is seen as rude. No closeness must be risked. We’re warned to fear an open countenance, Or spoken words unmuffled. What was right Is evil now—so smiles must be masked. When greetings in the market are a blunder, Civil civilization is six feet under. We’ve veiled (by choice) our faces once a year. Now tyrants force us, every day, to wear Dehumanizing disguises meant to scare Us into needless, never-ending fear. I think I’ll dress up as myself this year. Cynthia Erlandson is a poet and fitness professional living in Royal Oak, Michigan. She has had poems published in First Things, Modern Age, Measure Journal, Anglican Theological Review, The North American Anglican, Forward in Christ, and the Anthologies The Slumbering Host (ed. Clinton Collister), and A Widening Light, (ed. Luci Shaw) NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 21 Responses Joe Tessitore October 31, 2020 This is as comprehensive a statement about our dehumanization as can be written. God bless you for this, Cynthia. Your closing line is simply brilliant. Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Thank you very much, Joe. “Dehumanizing” was the word that came to me very early on when our Brave New World culture took away our freedom to show our faces. Reply Theresa Rodriguez October 31, 2020 I agree with Joe, “Dehumanizing disguises” is so true. This poem captures our current predicament and frustrations perfectly. Well done, Cynthia! Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Thank you, Theresa. I’m grateful for your comment, and for your poem, too. Reply Sarban Bhattacharya October 31, 2020 The ‘unnatural’ has taken over the ‘natural’; what was erewhile right, is now wrong. The CCP pandemic has demonised human values of kindness, compassion, geniality, camaraderie and faith in humanity. The mask is a figurative suppression of the free will. Well done, Cynthia. This is the poem that Halloween 2020 craved for. Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Thank you so much, Sarban. I think you are right — it is as if “they” are trying to make us into less civilized beings. The sinister sense the mask gives me, makes me wonder how people have given in so easily. Does it sound arrogant to say that we poets may be able to “see” things like this, that others can’t “see”? Reply Sarban Bhattacharya October 31, 2020 If speaking the truth is ‘arrogance’ , then we will be happy to embrace it. As for ‘seeing things’ as they are, your words reminds me of Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor’s clothes, which were invisible to laymen. Covid-19 pandemic is more of a political crisis than a medical crisis. Everyone knows there’s a big conspiracy looming large on humanity and an invisible Covid Empire ( comparable to the Emperor’s invisible clothes?), but no one ( especially the so-called progressives who behave like doctors and proclaim Covid as the most fatal disease in the history of mankind) dares to blurt out the obvious machinations behind this pandemic, the greatest conspiracy we have ever seen, or for that matter, the most heinous methodical backstabbing during a modern cold war. So, yes, ‘seeing things’ matters, and as long as poets like you can ‘see’ things and write about them fearlessly, as you did today, humanity should not lose hope about a possible rejuvenation. Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Sarban, thank you so much for your second comment, about The Emporor’s New Clothes. I think that’s a brilliant analogy. Maybe you can write a poem along that line. I’ve tried to explain this to people with a “covid curtain” analogy (which I’m sure has been thought of by many people), in which covid (though of course it’s real) is the curtain behind which many much worse evils, like tyranny, are being hidden. Reply Sally Cook October 31, 2020 Dear Cynthia – This didn’t just happen overnight. We have been carefully conditioned to be docile, guilty, and unpatriotic. What is this thing about “hate” speech? We used to have a sense of humor. Now we hardly have comics; we have liberals who get their laughs from attacking what used to be thought of as mnainstream ideas. Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Thank you, Sally; I totally agree. Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 31, 2020 It’s becoming clearer every day that the dhimmi mask serves no real medical purpose, but is part of a larger political agenda to condition the population to OBEY DEEP-STATE ORDERS UNTHINKINGLY. Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 Yes; I’m sure you are right, Joseph. Reply Leo Zoutewelle October 31, 2020 Very well done, Cynthia. Your last line is a treasure! Thank you. Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 31, 2020 You are welcome, Leo — and thank you! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant October 31, 2020 Cynthia, I am sure many discerning people will relate to the message of your considered and admirably wrought poem. For me, your second stanza together with the hard-hitting ultimate line says it all. Your word “choice” rings out loud and clear… none of us have that luxury in today’s draconian society. I am hoping the result of this election will turn that around. Thank you and very well done, indeed! Reply Dave Whippman November 1, 2020 You’re right Susan. This clever poem struck a chord with me: I recently posted a piece on a facebook writers’ group, suggesting that lockdowns etc may in the long term be doing more damage than the virus itself. Most of the people who responded actually agreed with me; but I was amazed by the vitriol of those who disagreed. If Joseph is correct, and there’s a deep state agenda, a lot of people would actually willingly trade their freedom for the illusion of complete safety. Reply C.B. Anderson October 31, 2020 O TEMPORA! O MORES! You nailed it, Cynthia. I did wonder, however, why you put what seems to be an extra foot in the last line of the first stanza. If you had written: Civil civilization’s six feet under. (trochee-trochee-iamb-iamb-iamb (with a feminine end rhyme)) Then the line would conform with most of the other lines. Not that it must — but such an easy fix! Reply Cynthia Erlandson November 2, 2020 Thank you so much, Susan, and I am hoping the same thing! Reply Cynthia Erlandson November 2, 2020 Now that I look again, I see that that’s a good idea, C.B. Thank you! Reply David Watt November 2, 2020 Cynthia, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this poem. I can’t get over the number of people wearing masks in an environment where we don’t even have any current cases. I’ll take your sage advice and continue to dress up as myself. Reply Cindy Erlandson November 2, 2020 Thank you so much, David. One day we will all have a mask burning party. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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