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Poems for troubled times

by Philip Resnick

 

Making America Great Again

Once again the pollsters,

those diviners of auspices and entrails,

have been proven wrong,

and a wave of Nativist disenchantment

with the Beltway, the urbane elites,

the icons of Wall Street

rolls from the Deep South to the Rust Belt

and across the Plains,

upsetting the political applecart

and giving a new Magus carte blanche

to tear up trade deals

that hollow out factories and towns,

to keep foreign riffraff

from infiltrating liberty’s domain,

to turn the clock back to a time

when the Constitution in all its Second Amendment splendor

held full rein.

Where all this will end

only historians of the future will know,

but for the moment irresistible forces bubble up

from the subterranean layers

and ressentiment becomes the flavour of our era.

 

Europa after the rain

In its own inimitable way,

Europe undoes the stitches that bind its wounds,

north against south,

the frugal ones against the party-goers,

mistrust the flavour of the month,

disenchantment seeping through the corridors

where emissaries meet for negotiations without end,

Penelope’s thread unable to withstand

the constant fraying, the weatherbeaten elements,

for the continent has too many mountain ranges, verdant islands,

rivers pursing through its veins

to be a single integrated space,

and already the ghosts of Holy Roman Empires past,

Napoleonic conceits, and Congresses to spell an end to war

remind the chastened eavesdropper at the door

that dreams and nightmares are really twins

and fir trees and olive groves

splintered witnesses to all that came before.



About the Author

Philip Resnick
Philip Resnick is Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and a member of the Inroads editorial board.




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