Sometimes it takes an earthquake
to turn the world upside down,
other times,
a chain of ragged men,
wed to false nostalgia–
the obedient true believers and the deranged
crack the engines of progress, flatten tires,
apply the brakes

till the cracks widen and inequality grows,
it is simple arithmetic,

the slippery slope of beneficial deals,
the ahistorical fiction fed to a leader
and his brethren,
unfulfilled dreams—

there is no utopia.

In the aftermath, the masks slip
the enchantment vanishes,
the prince is a cockeyed monster, not dashing,
the wishes are merely that—
the men are still ragged, still waiting,
their countries shattered

ancient wishes spray the sky like clouds

and vanish.

I don’t typically write such political poems, but the random words that Jane generated—Oracle II—demanded it.

42 thoughts on “Shattered

  1. Random/Oracle II knows. And you know how to pull it out of the pile and put it into a more-than cohesive text. It’s not just your country in upheaval.. Well done!

  2. I’d say the words fit your poem more than mine. In a way, we both picked out a stormy theme, the risk of the world being turned upside down, and you end yours with a nautical allusion while I based the poem on it.
    We’re getting out election results in and they’re not good either. The presidential party has lot its outright majority, the combined left is the second largest party, the right has made a comeback, but the far right has done far better than even MLP hoped and is now able to form a parliamentary group. We’re in for a disastrous five years.

    • Yes, you’re right, we do have some similarities.
      You sent me to the news to read a bit about your election. I saw somewhere that over 50% didn’t vote in the first one. I suppose that’s when the extremists come out. It does sound like it will be a long five years. Is it possible that the other groups can combine enough to outvote the extreme right? I don’t know enough about your government. Sometimes I wish we had a coalition type government, but I guess that can be a problem, too.

      • The extreme right won’t be able to make any legislation and they don’t have a political programme anyway, but the centre right of the presidential party (relative majority) will be proposing legislation but will need allies to get a majority, and since Macron’s party has already absorbed all the mainstream right, he has only the left and the extreme right to call upon. Neither will vote with his party so nothing will get done.

      • The far right has no programme but they’ll vote against every piece of government just to try and bring it down and the idiots who voted for them will cheer them on, even though they have no workable propositions of their own.

      • It’s like the GOP here. The normal conservatives have been ousted. The Republicans vote down everything. They have no program either–except that now it’s get rid of abortion and LGBTQ people and rights. The Texas Republicans just agreed on a horrid, hateful platform.

      • It’s classic right wing populism. Provide no solutions to real economic problems just pick a divisive social issue and bang away at it, insinuating that if you get rid of Y everything will be like in the golden days of X, before we had Y.

  3. There is no utopia! Never were wiser words ever spoken. I read a book not long ago about an American born Finnish immigrant who ended up as a Russian spy. That was what he finally realized. There is no utopia. Sometimes people make wrong choices for not so good reasons. Excellent poetry, Merril. ❤

  4. Harsh but so true. I just looked at the words and I’ll see if they fit into anything again this week. Every day more bad news. I feel like everyone is so beaten down they are incapable of responding…(k)

  5. What a mess. Not your poetry, the politics happening right now.
    Will the ugly hearted cave people take us back to before women had the vote?
    There’s an old Steve Miller song with the line “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future”
    It seems now time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the past.
    Keep writing, Merril!

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