The screen is life,
The screen is king,
The screen is now
Our everything.

The place we learn,
The place we meet,
The place we go
When friends we greet.

Our church on-line,
Our school remote,
Our office closed,
Just emails wrote.

What did they do
In days long gone,
When plagues arrived—
They sang what song?

They had no screens
To hide behind,
Retreat from life
Did not divine.

What lessons now
Do we take up
When future times
Present this cup?



Michael Charles Maibach began writing poems at age nine.  Since then he has continued writing poems, and sharing them with friends.  His career has involved global business diplomacy.  He is a native of Peoria, Illinois.  Today Michael resides in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  More of his poems are found at or on Facebook.

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One Response

  1. Margaret Coats

    As Mr. Maibach has had a day to answer, but has not done so, I will tell how I understood the questioned words. Retreat from life [hiding behind screens]/[They] Did not divine [to be a way of dealing with deadly plague], in answer to the question of the previous stanza. The inversion can be problematic because the subject pronoun is so far away.

    Substituting past tense for past participle is usually no problem, because in regular verbs they are the same (walk, walked, walked). In irregular verbs, there are sometimes two past participles (smite, smote, smote or smitten–acceptable current usage according to the Shorter OED). This is how I understood line 13. However, for the verb “write,” I find that the past tense is “wrote” and the two past participles are “writ” and “written,” so the objection is valid.