with reference to Macbeth V,5

So bleak and dreary, like a stormy day,
The world a whirl of whorls of endless rain
And wind, with crash and flash from out the fray
As cannonades exchange defiance and disdain.

Our foe an alternate reality
That spews forth pyroclastic ash and smoke
To better wield its masked brutality
While trading truth and light for being woke.

To-morrow, and to-morrow we shall vest
Our sound and fury full-upon the stage.
And then shall truth be heard no more? As sets
The sun shall darkness be our proffered wage?

New truth declaimed by Lorelei whose singing
Lures with lies while signifying nothing.


James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.

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10 Responses

  1. Evan Mantyk

    Thank you for the poem, Mr. Tweedie! “Pyroclastic ash and smoke” indeed!

    The day is yet undecided, so I say:

    “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.” (Henry V)

    • Joe Tessitore

      On top of everything else, don’t let them steal your peace of mind, Sally.

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Brilliant work, James!
    “… Lorelei whose singing Lures with lies …” is a gem!

  3. Margaret Coats

    James, isn’t Macbeth the play for our days! It is my favorite among Shakespeare’s dramas, and you use these allusions so well as comparisons to dreary current events. To my mind, your words reflect the entire play, and I pray for the ultimate victory of truth in our beleaguered country, earned as it was in Scotland by King Malcolm Canmore, and given by God.

  4. C.B. Anderson

    I loved the careful blend of modern and archaic diction in a well-conceived & well-wrought sonnet, but, alas, the final couplet did not truly rhyme. But that’s okay: dealer’s choice.

  5. Damian Robin

    I also like the combination of blend of modern and archaic diction.

    Thanks a good commentary on our sad reality.

  6. James A. Tweedie

    Thank you all for your comments, which are a small, but welcome consolation under the circumstances.


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