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Rubies In The Stream (Narrative Workshop Poem)

- Life is full of possibilities that may not be realities. —Hank Bruce

A tech decided he was
against his bosses
too much Commie...
and not enough ism.
Turned off the freezer in the P4 lab
spoiled the vials
virus’s woke up from a deep, cold slumber
in the Chinese Institute of Virology.

Disposing of the microbes
was supposed to be
done in the hell-fires of protocols...
one SARS-CoV2 vial went home in his pocket.
Leaning over the Crucian Carp
a good luck lunar new year’s fish
in the fish kiosk his boss’s Cousin ran...
Boss was sure to choose from in Wuhan’s wet market.

He dumped the entire vial
added a unknown flavor to the carp
now there’s a smell in the kiosk
then a stink in fish cart.
That tech went home
grinning at what he’d done
yet sickened
and collapsed at work.

One of the Docs saw the light
diagnosed him with virus disease.
The running brook of cases
turned into a swollen creek,
then a raging river of disease.
Cousin fish seller fell behind his cart
only found dead the next day
in the wet mart.

By then so many others were sick
the Central Commitee didn’t know what to do.
Li Wenliang was the doctor
that helped the fallen tech
and lit the signal fires like in the days of old
to his staff at the institute.
The Central Committee censored him
arrested him for making false statements.

Just then he got it, too
the SARS-CoV2, he died like all the rest.
Not like all, Dr Li died twice
his death reported, then retracted
then reported again on a different day.
The public outcry over the lies told
When the Central Committee couldn’t get
the story straight, that concocted dupe.
The question asked by many, what was
the lab doing with that virus anyway?

What had been a small running brook
morphed into a tsunami
washing humanity’s shorelines with waves of crashing illness’s,
no-one listened to Dr Li until too late.
People got on airplanes
flying both hither and yon like they usually do
spreading unwittingly
a seething infirmity.

Wether intentionally or not
the Chinese unleashed
calamity, peril, death
by biological warfare.
On The World
On Humanity
So many people now wearing
their overcoats of earth.

There are no rubies in this brook
no sapphires in this creekbed to be discovered
in flood stage is the now raging river, going to the sea
boats can’t float in a tsunami wave.

There are no rubies in that brook
no garnets or emeralds there either
diamonds lie buried in the river’s onslaught
amethyst covered by tsunami mud.

You can imagine
what happens next
just by turning on
our news of today.

You can only imagine
the what, and how, and who should
be held accountable
by those of us that survive.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
This a poem about ONLY ONE POSSIBILITY just food for thought...
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


you sure do cover a lot ground with this piece! I like your title, and how you wove it into the poem. I don't watch or listen to news programs because I am clinically depressed, and watching the news makes it worse. I showed your poem to my husband, Steven, and we both agree that it is a great informative poem and very well written, right now my senses are in shocked overload. a hard-hitting and articulate piece.

*hugs, Cat

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:

This gave me shivers!

Certainly a hard-hitting narrative and not an easy topic to tackle. Well done.
I actually found it difficult to read, probably due to my despair and heartache concerning this global chaos.

My thoughts are with you on a personal level as well, having read your comment in Workshop.

Sharonlee Imageweaver

I appreciate your reading my work.

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