Before the sixth day of the next new year,
Strange wonders in this kingdom shall appear:
Four kings shall be assembled in this isle,
Where they shall keep great tumult for awhile.
Many men then shall have an end of crosses,
And many likewise shall sustain great losses;
Many that now full joyful are and glad,
Shall at that time be sorrowful and sad;
Full many a Christian’s heart shall quake for fear,
The dreadful sound of trump when he shall hear.
Dead bones shall then be tumbled up and down,
In every city and in every town.
By day or night this tumult shall not cease,
Until an herald shall proclaim a peace;
An herald strong, the like was never born,
Whose very beard is flesh and mouth is horn.
I thought it would be easier. I thought
And thought that thought would be insight enough.
I thought that what was mine I’d always won,
That what was once forever would be mine.
I knew that feelings people knew were sad.
That what they wanted never had been had.
They told me they believed in all I was
And, further, that we’d all die for the cause.
I had the sense, on that one, that they lied;
It seems the joke’s on them for how they tried.
I said what needed saying, top of my head,
And paid them only what they should be paid.
I miss that life, the one that I could drive,
When what I said was not what I must live.
Oh animals, I wish that I were you—
Rutting in spring, the clash of antlers, teeth
That bare to show a pecking order, beaks
That tear a prize from earth, each sun anew.
What is it like to be a bat? It’s true
I couldn’t say what simple thoughts might leave
Your mind, might shadow flight, might give you grief
If only for a moment, but from my view
All moments now are something less than fresh,
The daily jockeying for rank, the earning
Of each slice of bread, the rain that won’t fall,
Each workday just the same, my tiresome flesh,
And most of all the ceaseless pointless yearning
To understand these absurd seasons’ pall.
Industry and progress wait their turn on Death row; medicine to cure the globe expires
The call-to-arms, yet rallies cry for green.
The death of knowledge must be met with ire;
Enlightened masses speak collective truth.
Hypotheses built shakily on lies,
These ill-conceived refusals condemn youth
To dwindling nature and its gas-choked skies!
Demand for reverence for facts unites
The physicists and priests alike. Unjust,
To kill all hope to grow a jobs sound bite.
The grassroots grow wherever causes must.
Denying evidence for bottom lines
Will make us all canaries in the mine.
Who thought let them eat cake would ever pale
Compared, as it does, to forgetting which
Country he’d bombed, but not the one detail
We didn’t need: the most delicious, rich
Piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen.
An ad for Mar-a-Lago’s best dessert,
So moist, so glossy-sweet, it took the sheen
Of missile-fire to finally divert
His guest’s attention. The weight silenced him,
While Trump just kept on eating, that dumb mouth
I’ve only seen open. Full to the brim,
It later couldn’t tell the country south
Of Syria, or what he’d really done—
His cake the center of his world of one.
The first one hundred days are almost done;
A period of time considered huge
For seeing how the president will run.
Now Donald scrambles; he must show that through
The messy start he’s had, to say the least,
He’ll have done something good. Something. Anything!
“Uh, hey, Jeff. I don’t mean to halt your feast,
But I think we’ve got an issue here. See,
I want to brag about my work in these
One hundred days, but I have not done much.
I need that wall right now! I beg you please
To make up some petty distraction, such
that it will just divert them ’till week’s end: Offend some island people, for your friend?” —SF
“A single strike” is all a snowball needs
To start to tip atop a lofty hill.
The comments escalate; we’re on the verge,
Mere inklings soon give way to deadly spill.
Trippingly, polite penmanship is gone;
Gut instinct is the world’s common language;
Formalities no longer buffer wrongs.
Good or ill, reality takes main stage;
Will seas turn foul as neighbors duck and cower?
Or are these not threats but empty guises?
Will Trump, or Kim, commanding, from his tower,
Begin blind watch, cold war, demise reprise?
Despite the fact that history repeats,
It seems the steps will always give cold feet. —PTL
In France, they know, and they don’t know. Savoir—
The first French verb I ever knew, connu
The way we all know the phrase tip of your Langue. Words found there could all be fast and new,
Pronounced chez pas (just like chez nous?) by natives,
Or maybe old, hard-won, protected by
Academies and smoothed from long-lost datives
Into reflexives, a certain navel-gazing I.
And now the Europeans vote again,
And no one looks to anyone to square
History’s spiral with the future. Then,
As good as now, were we doomed? Va savoir.
As Western civ runs out of savoir faire,
Its people know the future can’t be there.