Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Bell is Tolling Death: The Covid Time

The Plague Doctor circa 1650 Edinburgh, UK (Carole Di Tosti)*
The bell is tolling Death, oh do you hear?
Or are you deaf to others' mournful cries?
Has arrogance so driven you to jeer
And obviate the truth to welcome lies?
Then sadly you do bow to folks on high
Respect the rich, decry the poor and hate
The weak of body, vulnerable to die
Susceptible to heartless, fickle fate.
Eschew that soul sick attitude of Hell
Align yourself with Christ's Love and His Grace
For we are unified, our lives do dwell
Beneath one sky, enjoined in earth's embrace.
So when one dies, diminished are we all.
Hear the tolling bell; reject Hell's call.

*When I was in Edinburgh last year for the International Festival, I toured the underground streets of the Old Town. The guide brought us through the warren of living quarters and featured the small spaces where the poor lived. The Bubonic Plague visited Europe then and one imagined how miserable the inhabitants of the old Old Town were. After the tour I purchased a slate tile in the museum shop with the Plague Doctor featured. The Doctor visited sick victims and did what he could in the quarantined home. He wore our equivalent of a hazmat suit covering him from top to toe. Gloves were on his hands and in the mask's beak were herbs thought to prevent him from inhaling the foul, contagious air.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid 19 Crucible: Stand in Christ

The Plague Doctor circa 1650, Edinburgh (Carole Di Tosti)*
This virus targets humans but be strong.
Christ's hollowed out our souls so He can fill
The emptiness inside that needs His song
Of Grace and Peace and Joy to do His Will.
Throw down material treasures on this plane
Throw down the castled, gem-filled pleasure domes
Embrace Christ's spiritual Love? That must obtain
To take us through this hell to reach His throne.
We live for just a blink and then we pass
Into His realms then fuse within His plan
A greater purpose learned will not surpass
The glory if upon His truth we stand.
So quarantine your hearts to worship Him
In Beauty and in Faith new life begin.

*The photograph is of a tile I purchased last August in Edinburgh after a tour of the underground streets of the old city in the 1700s. Old Edinburgh suffered through the Bubonic Plague caused by the fleas on the rats. Those with money left the filth and the vermin. Others sheltered in quarantine and rode out the disease building up immunity. Others died and their bodies burned in a trench outside the town. The Plague Doctor visited and did what he could to aid his suffering patients. The gown is the equivalent of today's hazmat suit. The mask at the tip of the beak held herbs of lavender and rosemary which relaxed the nervous doctor and focused his breathing away from the molecules that if inhaled infected him with contagion. His presence, his prayers and his attempt to decompress and guide household members to not touch the victims went a long way to mitigate others from catching what only the patient's immune system could either conquer or succumb to. With Covid 19 we have a few more therapies than this and testing, and not much more. Then as is true now, the plague was daunting until humans built up an immunity and recovered from it, additionally learning to clean up their living spaces and kill the rats that brought the flea vector.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Plague, March 2020

The Plague Doctor, circa Edinburgh, Old Town, 1650s
This is a holocaust for humankind!
So do you think that God is punishing
The greed, the selfish solopsistic minds
That eat the innocent devouring:
The love we hold for truth and righteousness
And peace among all races, ethnic folks?
And will this scourge bow us to self-confess?
Make us admit we've erred, God's greatest joke?
Then we will know humility and grace
That though "advanced," a toxic one-celled thing
Can fell the great and small with nar'y a trace
And flay us with extinction's death toll ring
It's in our need to kill ourselves, our kind.
Christ strengthen our Love and make the sighted blind.