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The End Begins

a rondeau redoublé

Now the end begins, do not despair.
It’s meant to be. What better battlecry?
It’s time for positivity and prayer.
The unjust try to justify… then die.

The mighty state’s a castle in the sky.
“Survival of the fittest”—just a snare
To capture thinkers in a thoughtful lie.
Now the end begins, do not despair.

Is God our King and ruler? Does He care?
These issues swirl around the who and why.
Watch the how at Armageddon’s where.
It’s meant to be. What better battlecry?

What better backing than the hosts on high?
The sound of victory is the trumpet’s blare.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” is nigh.
It’s time for positivity and prayer.

Don’t fall for any fairy tale or scare;
The evil prosper as the good comply.
Remember, hell is riding, then prepare.
The unjust try to justify… then die.

A happy warrior is allowed a sigh,
But then gird up your loins, yes, grow a pair.
Rejoice! Don’t cry when those four horsemen fly.
The garden earth, it beckons. Be aware!
Now the end begins.

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Hacking Harari

“We don’t have to wait until Christ’s second coming in
order to overcome death. A couple of geeks in a
laboratory can do it if you give them enough time
and money”
— Yuval Noah Harari

Technocracy is beautiful.
You’ll live forever in a pool
Of ones and noughts in android land
Where every thought and dream is planned.

Every one of you will be
Adrift upon my cyborg sea
In blind obeisant ecstasy
And ever grinning infancy.

Whatever happens, rest assured
Your fear of death will soon be cured.
When my cyber scheme’s unfurled
You’ll surf my algorithmic world.

All that I demand you do
Is ditch the old, embrace the new,
Adore your Techno-overlord,
Genuflect then climb aboard.

I hunger for a taste of YOU,
Sweet meat of my transhuman stew.

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Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.


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20 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Bravo for you on this one, Mike, though I’m
    Not one of those inclined to spend my time
    Asserting the end times are just ahead,
    Just wish that souls today were better fed.
    (It’s spiritual nourishment I mean;
    Most modern verbiage reeks of the latrine.)

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks, Julian… and your poem is just right. I don’t talk about the end of the world much either.

      Reply
  2. Shaun C. Duncan

    This is fantastic, Mike. If you hadn’t labelled it a rondeau redoublé I might not have even noticed, so skillfully have you weaved the repeated lines through the poem. There’s some memorable turns of phrase scattered through it too.

    It’s an important message too. It’s often said that every generation believes themselves to be living at the end of time but whether we are or not, how are we to respond to this feeling? Our current anticulture fosters nihilism and misanthropy, and suggests a willful – even joyful – self-extinction is the correct response. Positivity and prayer sounds far nobler to me.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks, Shaun. The thing I like most about form is the way it seems to guide me to a satisfying end. The rondeau redoublé form is like an outline that helps to organize my thoughts… something I definitely need! I’m not surprised that many people of whatever time period might feel they are living in the end times, because in a very real sense we really are… we die way, way too young. Thanks, again.

      Reply
  3. Yael

    These are not only good poems, I think they are astute observations too. The first one is my favorite, as it deals with some of the most important issues of our time, skillfully woven together into a demanding poetic format. The second poem is very entertaining too as it is reminiscent of a photo-negative shadow cut-out of the first poem. It’s what could happen if one were to totally misinterpret and misunderstand all the important realities which were addressed in the first poem.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks, Yael. It’s funny because Susan said almost the same thing about the contrast between the poems. The first is my favorite too.

      Reply
  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    These are brilliant, Mike! The extremely clever wordplay of “the unjust justify” and “To capture thinkers in a thoughtful lie”; the use of “who/ why/ how/ where” in the third verse; “But then gird up your loins….” and the rest of that unspeakably funny line! (LOL!) which fits in well, in my opinion, in spite of the sudden unexpected burst of humor — are just some of my favorite parts of “The End Begins”. And your virtuoso use of all of those technology terms — and the phrase “transhuman stew” — in “Hacking Harari” are beautiful things!

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thank you, Cynthia. I’m glad that line made you smile. When I first wrote it down, I thought I’d remove it in editing but then I said, “Nahhhhh!” and left it in.

      Reply
  5. Brian Yapko

    Both of these are terrific and terrifying, Mike. I enjoyed your rondeau redoublé and know very well how difficult it is to create and to pull off. You do so admirably — the heavy shadow of doom which looms over this poem is actually supported by the repetends which offers the reader no escape.

    Hacking Harari has a nice science fiction/Brave New World quality which hammers home the inhumanity of elevating technology and inviting it into our collective soul. Both poems are shocking and possibly prophetic visions of our future. How will I sleep tonight?

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thank you, Brian. If you find it terrifying, just imagine how terrified I feel. I have to walk around with this in my head all the time! I never sleep! 🙂

      Reply
  6. jd

    I think both excellent, Mike – a real dose of poetic reality. I
    especially love the final line of the 2nd which is quite as
    disgusting as they are.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks, JD. Yeah, that last line disgusted me too, though I can hear the ghouls of the WEF proclaiming it.

      Reply
  7. Norma Pain

    Love, love both of these poems Mike, especially Hacking Harari, which satisfies my “wake up everybody” silent screams. I will copy and paste your rondeau redoublé, into my ‘learn how to write poetry’ file to see if I can learn to write a poem in this style. Thank you for these.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks, Norma… I’m sure I’ll see your rondeau redoublé soon.

      Reply
  8. Adam Wasem

    Good job, Mike. It’s something I often wonder myself, whether I’ll be ready in spirit for Armageddon, terrifying as the events described in Revelation are. As far as rallying cries go, “The End Begins” is quite galvanizing, if not exactly comforting, with its unconcluded question about “Is God our King and Ruler? Does He care?” I suppose those of us that think about the end times can only pray He does.

    And well done on the use of tetrameter in “Hacking Harari,” which quite successfully conveys the creepily antic enthusiasm of these tech nerds as they push all these weird supposed solutions to our current problems. And congratulations on the concluding couplet, which so wittily and creepily takes such tech nerd enthusiasms to their “Soylent Green” logical conclusion.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thank you, Adam. I had a lot of fun with this. I’ve been watching Harari for a couple of years. His ‘Sapien…” is a catechism for the woke religion. Now he has become a kind of creepy mini me of Klaus Shwab of WEF fame. God save us from these self-appointed saviors.

      Reply
  9. David Watt

    Mike, the forms chosen for each poem suit the topics extremely well. The shorter tetrameter lines in the second piece convey the cold and sterile manner of Harari. It makes me wonder if characters like this came from
    normal traditional families. I watched a Harari video clip, and “ditch the old” in favor of some transhuman future is definitely his mantra. Well done.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thank you, David. Sorry it took so long to get back to you…

      Reply

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