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dVerse — Meet the Bar — Unmasked

A ventilator tube attached to a dummy at the Vivantes Humboldt Hospital in Berlin, Germany. Photo: EPA


It began with a sneeze
clenched into a wheeze.
by breezy hazmat suit
clad orderlies to
the ordered chaos of
the vent.

No, wait – it began with a date,
obstinately maskless
face; my smile always wins;
not undotted eyes nor pate.

I lied, I lie shunned in
bright but unsunned
pincushioned, bruised
intubated half-life.

Clueless, haunted, raging
the red-capped fam
views my half-corpse
via closed-circuit tv
fear-wracked and venging,
pledge revenge.


Peter Frankis is today’s host of dVerse. Peter says:
OK soundsters – tonight’s right to write a poem with a focus on sounds.

Image link here.

58 thoughts on “dVerse — Meet the Bar — Unmasked

  1. Oh, wow, this is incredibly surrounded with darkness plagued with our current reality that you capture in mesmerizing, haunting, and vivid descriptions. There’s such a brilliant use of figurative imagery, which I really love in all of your pieces I have read–how you use and create imagery that provides such visual sense in my mind’s eye.

    “I lied, I lie shunned in
    bright but unsunned
    pincushioned, bruised
    intubated half-life.”

    This is haunting especially. Amazing piece written with excellent rhythm and sound. I loved how you read it as well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Many thanks, Bjorn. I think you’re right. I went to see my mom yesterday (who is a HUGE Trump fan) and she brought up she’d heard a bigwig in Grand Rapids (near where she lives) had just died from Covid-19. I said to her, “Mom, are you starting to believe that Covid-19 isn’t a hoax.” Amazingly she said, “I never thought it was.” where just a few weeks ago she was agreeing with my brother and his partner that it was. :::smh:::


  2. Thank you for the reading, Lisa. I was immediately hooked by the opening rhyming couplet. The second stanza was a surprise, and then you outdid that with the shock of the final stanzas. Covid 19 is a shocker.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a dramatic poem and your reading really added to that drama. It brings to life the horror of the current situation and how severe it can become for some people. The image really fits as well. A raw and visceral sound-poem experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ingrid, thank you very much. It is a horrific situation we face, each one of us, either from long-term isolation or for risking our lives to go out and about. No happy endings in sight as far as the virus goes 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes. Like others, thanks for your wonderful reading – I so like how your words/sounds shift in this – ‘I lied, I lie’ becomes ‘half-life’ by the end of the stanza; ‘sneeze, wheeze’ becomes ‘breezy hazmat suit’. And that last stanza is an incantation for revenge…for this unjust tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter, thank you. I also tried to capture the irony of the family seeking revenge upon the innocent for the actions of who they see as the victim (their loved one) when she — and others who refuse to take safety precautions — is the one who brought it upon herself by her actions.


    1. So horrific to know that each refusal has led to death for innocents. So helpless to do anything about it. The ex- I have written many poems at dVerse about is now in prison, trapped. Nursing homes and prisons are the hubs of the biggest outbreaks. I am not with my ex but am haunted by the idea of him trapped in prison where he’s helpless to fight against it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I have all five symptoms to be a Covid-19 victim. I am so paranoid, even when family comes to visit. So much so that for the holidays I will wear a mask for “all” company, and keep my distance. My doctor and my wife keeps me focused. Your dark and powerful poem shakes me to the core.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glenn, you are doing the right thing by staying masked. It’s a short term inconvenience (if everyone takes it seriously instead of letting their loudmouth egos rule instead of common sense) for longer life. It’s not rocket science, which astounds me that some can’t/won’t listen to.


  6. haunting and timely reminder of what too many face Lisa … well expressed, your voice is not as I’d imagined 🙂 Sorry your ex is ‘trapped’ …

    Do appreciate that so many of you are tech savvy to share a recording, adds to the drama, makes it very real!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, you might search for “voice recorder” on your computer, record it, then upload to soundcloud (creating an account is easy.) Once uploaded you can share it (they generate a link to drop into your document.) I’m not tech savvy so if I can do it you can do it.

      I actually hired a voice actor to record for me, so no surprise it doesn’t sound like me. (j/k)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Too many are discovering the truth of your words. And of course by then…
    If you’ve ever seen someone you care about on a ventilator for any reason you would not be so flippant about masks. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The re-start with
    No, wait – it began with a date,
    Was such a clever piece of poetry, and such a truth laden line. Hopefully more people will realise that it does begin with such simple things, a date, a coffee, a walk – obstinately unmasked. Thank you for a brilliant, if sobering, read.

    Liked by 1 person

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