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on flooding that occurred on July 20, 2021

Each kingdom rose and then it fell;
__when bad, the gods destroyed it.
If you do not believe in Hell,
__there’s no way you’ll avoid it.

The Earth has reached its tipping age
__and communism falters,
Red China holds the center stage,
__from here all history alters.

Redemption and Destruction flood,
__the End of Days has started
For Bad’s the underside of Good
__until they can be parted.

Cars float like scooped potato skins
__though made of hard-pressed metal.
The Leader, absent, steams his sins,
__conceals the boiling kettle.

His Emperor’s clothes are firm as steel
__with wifi chained to wire,
His death toll numbers are unreal
__but who dares call him “Liar!”

Here’s tunnel visioned flood-filled roads—
__an underpass that’s buried—
Dropped vehicles with body loads —
__too heavy to be ferried—

For Bad’s the underside of Good
__until they can be parted.
Redemption and Destruction flood,
__the End of Days has started.

One whole year’s rain in just four days,
__who’d not admit it’s tragic
But the Party has its ways,
__believes in its own magic.

The CCP knows every car,
__the owners’ names, addresses
But trained police don’t travel far,
__aren’t asked to aid the messes.

Each kingdom rose and then it fell,
__when bad, the gods destroyed it.
When you don’t believe in Hell,
__there’s no way you’ll avoid it.

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Damian Robin is a writer and editor living in the United Kingdom.


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11 Responses

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks Evan. Before commenting on your comment, I’d like to make a comment — thanks for putting a stopper on my first draft of this poem – a kind or gurging of turmoil and trope.
      Then after I added the universal context, you also tidied up the overstretch.
      I know you do similar for others on this site.
      This site is more than the sum of its parts due to you raising a lot of poems beyond their own mistakes – some mistakes being brief, some cor-blimey, I’m sure.
      And I know little of what you do behind the scenes with competitions, journals, and events and promotions.
      Jiāyóu — as the Chinese say, ‘power to your elbow’, as I say.

      Re The Second Coming. As T.M. Moore says about himself in his clear essay, I too was taken by the power of Yeats’ poem in youth. And I have quoted it in at least one poem and referred to it in another. However, the closeness was unconscious here, though the poem could be a back-sound to aspects of contemporary big life.
      It was here on SCP site
      https://classicalpoets.org/2020/05/31/a-poem-for-the-george-floyd-riots-the-second-coming-by-w-b-yeats/
      but has timed out. A skillful video and reading by Rob Crisell.
      Luckily, it’s on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDEnIR5ziHI

      Reply
  1. Margaret Coats

    The repeated lines underscore the ominous tone of the poem. Also emphasize the sadness of the situation, where many who may be good suffer because they can’t be parted from the bad.

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Thanks Margaret. You always have useful insights into poems.
      The good may suffer now but we can say “it is for their own good”. Buddhist say all life is suffering — we’ve not got any remembered experience of what is beyond it so we label some human experience as happy.

      Reply
  2. Yael

    Very catchy rhymes; I love the pace of the stanzas as they trot along quickly, head held high, like a tall horse pulling a light and sporty cart down a wide open road. This could be my favorite evening news format.

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Ha ha, thanks Yael. I could imagine a very short news show. Perhaps with a beginning and ending round up stanza — delivered by someone in ancient greek robes.

      As a teenager I had a recurrent image that I wrote up as:
      “Like the lamp of a bicycle bobbing through the night
      On roads progressing through cities of cars.”
      I still remember that but nothing else around it. A sense of persistence.

      Reply
      • Damian Robin

        Hi Yael, I’ve rounded it up

        Like the lamp of a bicycle bobbing through the night
        On roads progressing through cities of cars, my hope
        Goes on regardless through thin metal gaps and fright
        Until I can rest and go on next day and cope.

  3. Yael

    Damian, ancient Greek robes would be very fitting, I like it.
    One thing I meant to ask:
    is the last word of the last line in the ninth stanza supposed to be “messes” as spelled there, or did you mean “masses”, as in “masses” of people?

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      It’s meant to be “messes” — the police aren’t allowed to do (the good part of ) their job and fix messes of the masses, the messes caused by the CCP and the messes people can get themselves into. They aren’t allowed to help people. I used the word expecting the reaction you have.

      Reply

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