COVIDTRY Poem 09 (#staytheblazeshome)




There once was a land called Nova Scotia
Which’s Premier asked the people not to roam
In pandemic times of new corona
This is their tale to #staytheblazeshome!

To prevent the spread of CoViD-19
They had to stay inside, with some, alone
Until it was gone or came a vaccine
They all would have to #staytheblazeshome!

They could still explore the world, see others
Through Firefox, Facetime, Facebook, Skype, Edge, Chrome
Each one on their own, or all together
Connect with tech and #staytheblazeshome!

There were lots of other things to do, though
If folks did not have internet or phones
Arts, crafts, books, games, writing, music, puzzles
So much to help them #staytheblazeshome!

Now, of course, they had to go out sometime
But far too oft, and always with their phones
Through which Google tracked them day and night time
To show they did not #staytheblazeshome!

When the Premier saw this, he was livid
He got on TV, his mouth frothed with foam
Scolded those ignoring laws on CoViD
And told them all to #staytheblazeshome!

Right away, the message resonated
The world made memes, beers, songs, shirts, all things known
Ev’ry thing with what the Premier stated
His catchphrase hashtagged, #staytheblazeshome!

But unlike the virus that went viral
His scolding’s biggest impact was in tone
Worse and worse, the situation spiraled
Folks yelled, but did not #staytheblazeshome!

So he sent police to ticket people
For being where they’re not allowed to roam
Or too close in public, or too social
When they know well to #staytheblazeshome!

This worked well, and things reopened slowly
Each step with rules, enough to make a tome
To avoid more peaks and waves that’d only
Return them all to #staytheblazeshome!

So did Nova Scotians follow plenty
Enough to rid of CoViD from their home?
Will there be a Tales from CoViD 20?
One called You Did Not #staytheblazeshome!

Meh! For now, heed Nova Scotia’s screw-up
As detailed in this cautionary poem
To diminish such pandemics’ wallop
Right from the start, ye #staytheblazeshome!


04.18.20 – 05.17.20



Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

It’s been over decade since I’ve written anything resembling long form verse with rhyme scheme and meters throughout, but unusual times like now leads to unusual activities. This is Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 story so far, set around our Premier Stephen McNeil’s s plea one day for people to “stay the blazes home” during our COVID-19 state of emergency lockdown, when the first Google mobility data report showed we were doing terrible (worst in Canada and even US states by a margin from my analysis that you can see for yourself for any jurisdiction for which there’s data).

Lots of people have done things with the Premier’s “stay the blazes home” meme, but my motivation was my love for the idea that Samuel L. Jackson had to turn his reading of Go the F*ck to Sleep, into Stay the F*ck at home. I had commented on how I’d pay to see a politician do something like that to help get the message through for some people. I deleted it because the video of it I embedded from someone was taken down by Disney (copyright bastards tbh). Anyway, I wanted my own Stay the F*ck at home poem to read, and when our Premier came out with this more socially and politically acceptable version, I wrote around it instead.

The poem has an alternating trochaic and iambic pentameter to it. There’s a few places where it may not feel intuitive to read it that way, but I’ve tested it and know it can be without sounding funny. I went with the alternation on the thought of sonnets being of iambic pentameter throughout, with all lines being of the same “feet” (double syllables). It struck me odd with the “feet” association since we don’t go around with the same foot on every step, so I made my poetic “feet” like my real life “feet”, with the odd numbered lines being of trochaic pentameter. Meters are the same as feet are the same otherwise. Odd lines also got its own rhyme, while even lines rhyme, or were assonance, of the the rhyme to “home”, around which this poem was based.

I hope people will like this, but if not, I’m just taking delight in the fun had trying to cobble together the rhymes, and the relief to know I can still do it for writing long form verse after so long. 🙂

Please click here for more poems in my COVIDTRY series.


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