The Great Pandemic Poem 2020

by Jerry Ratch


First you had to have been there 

Because the air cleared up 

When the world stopped driving 

And the plants bloomed 

Bigger and brighter than we had ever 

Ever dreamed 

The sky was just a brilliant, pure 


Like when God was born 


Now for the bad stuff 

So, brace yourselves… 


Because now my hair looks something like 

Bob Dylan meets Albert Einstein meets Mark Twain 

Since I can't get a haircut from six feet away 

Maybe if they invented six-foot scissors 

We might be able to get somewhere 

Though I'd be worried about losing 

One of my ears to Van Gogh's ghost  


People are noticing animals in places and at times they usually don't 

Coyotes have meandered along downtown Chicago's Michigan Avenue 

Along the Miracle Mile, like a true miracle 

Also, near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge 

And a puma was seen roaming the streets of Santiago, Chile 

While goats took over a whole town in Wales 

Including the mayor's seat and a number of the city council chairs as well 

And they can now vote on nearly anything they want 


In India, already daring wildlife has become bolder 

With hungry monkeys entering homes 

And opening refrigerators to look for food 

And they began making lists for you to go shopping 

When they can't find particular items 

So, be careful what you're avoiding buying 

You don't want to make a hungry monkey angry 


Also, I overheard this coming from our own backyard 

Just this morning

“Quack, quack, quack 

Quack, quack, quack 

I'm a duck

And I don't give a phuck 

So, take that” 


I mean, what the ph…eck 

Is happening? 

Ducks who can talk now? 

Like some sort of bad Walt Disney movie? 

Or is this some new pandemic of bad behavior that 

We previously knew nothing about 

But maybe always existed 

Right under the great nose of Reality? 


They've got bear parties going on in Yosemite 

Though they don't have party hats on yet 

But just you wait 

They got wild boars crossing a road in Haifa 

In the crosswalk yet 

With their snouts down, sniffing the stripes 

Checking to see if this is really 

Just some version of Abbey Road 

But more like Piggyback Road 


International rock stars with names like  

One Egg and Manic Monkey 

Have come out of the International Closet 

Dancing they fat off 

While we all go around wagging our verbal finger 

At each other from a six-foot social distance 

When caught with our masks off 

While I bend my light for you around the planet 

Like gravity 


And we have fallen from a great height 

Fallen by the chocolate cliffs of memory and sanity 

Fallen like there's no better gravy in this life 

Than pure gravity 

When there really is no gravy in this life 

Other than gravity 


And now it's been reported 

That pigeons in New York 

Are fighting with pigeons from Boston 

They just can't all get along 

Must be the different accent that gives them away 

And begging has become so much more difficult 

That they are starting massive pigeon wars 


Now, I'm no open-faced liar 

So, when I lie, I turn my back 

And lie openly to the fields 

The clouds, and the cat next door 

Who hisses at me openly and skulks away 

Because I can't and/or won't pet him 


His name is Hortus, the hissing cat 

Because he openly throws hissy fits 

But I myself am no open-faced liar 

And I would never, ever lie to him 

Cause I can't stand to hear him hissing at me 


And now there's a bug hiding in every rose 

And you've got to look before you smell 

It's hard to tell whether this is being done on purpose 

And now we're even cleaning the 

Cleaning supplies, for God's sake! 

When and where does it stop? 


There's tarnish on the silver lining of 


And we're making masks 

Out of the new math 

Of elder bras

And there are more vapor trails 

Than all of God's lovely clouds 

While those who are ruling over us 

Are going nuts with their own egos and eagles 


The No-Solicitor signs 

Are fading from our building 

And now solicitors are 

Showing up en-masse 

Especially those who can't read 

So well, or those who are semi-blind 

Or those who just don't care 

Whether or not you want them there 


They are making loud begging noises 

All day long and halfway into the night 

And not a few of them have learned 

How to howl like wolves at the door 


To avert depression in these times 

How else to create order out of chaos 

But to do jigsaw puzzles? 


Of course, the whole country 

Has bought up the supply 

They have run out of puzzles 

Because of this Puzzlemania 

And the despair that comes and goes is here again 


We try tuning into the Good News channel 

But it keeps eluding us 

Life's other goal ought to be laughter 

Not any laughter, but the pure oxygen of laughter 

That which takes away the breath 

But sustains you anyway 


And now this, just in: 


Massive Herd of Goats Makes a Mad Dash for Freedom

To Show Town Who's in Charge 



As much of the world continues to socially isolate to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, a herd of some 200 goats has broken out from where they were sheltering in place 

The goats were being kept in a holding pen in a San Jose, California neighborhood, but somehow broke through an electric fence to make a run for it. Goats are regulars in the neighborhood, where they are invited to come eat the brush to clear it on a hill behind the houses in a bid to prevent fires 

Usually the fence holds, but this time the goats managed a jailbreak, knocking down the walls of their pen and pouring onto the streets of the neighborhood. They made for an unexpected sight that was captured on a video. All the goats had broken through the fence and were wreaking havoc on the street. In the video, the goats can be seen running down the road and seemingly having the time of their life 

Sadly, the goats' mad dash for freedom did not last, as they were rounded up quickly. They did make the most of their time out of lockdown, though, turning the neighborhood's potted plants into an all-you-can-eat buffet 


And then, then — I saw someone running down the road 

When suddenly it flew out of his mouth 

Ewww, joggerphlem! Oh, gross! Ewww 

Joggerphlem! Joggerphlem!