Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
—William Butler Yeats from “The Second Coming”
Strange and frightening times, these times we live in. As of this morning, nine pipe bombs, delivered by mail, have been retrieved by law enforcement. People targeted were all atop the list of famous Democrats or Trump critics—the Obamas, Clintons, George Soros, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Robert De Niro, Joe Biden and the CNN headquarters. We are told that this may be the tip of an iceberg. Expect more to follow. That no bomb has exploded yet could be due to faulty bomb making, a hoax, or a miracle.
What are we to make of this?
What are we to make of a smiling and snarling President of the United States egging on his angry supporters who shout, “lock her up!” every time he mentions Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi or Diane Feinstein? What are we to make of his calling major newspapers and reporters “enemies of the people” and “fake news”? What about his buddying-up with dictators like Kim jon-un, Putin, Erdogan, el-Sisi, and Mohammed ben Salman while trashing Macron, Trudeau, Merkel and most European leaders? His tacit approval of neo Nazis and hate groups? His disrespect for women? Could he be responsible for creating the most hateful and divisive spirit this country has experienced since the Civil War or is Trump the product of our divisiveness, not the cause?
What are we to make of the fact that the once great and proud Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, is now the Party of Trump, afraid to challenge any Trump action or statement regardless of how hateful it is or the damage it will do to people or the environment?
What are we to make of the challenges that call into question the survival of human life on this planet as we know it? What will happen as global warming causes seas to rise, engulfing most major coastal cities? As mega storms multiply and wipe out cities? What will happen when Bangladesh, a country of 160 million, finds itself underwater?
What about the vast migration and displacement that is happening before our eyes at an unprecedented pace– the boat people from Africa desperately trying to make it to Europe or the 5,000 refugees from Honduras getting closer each day to our border with Mexico? Those displaced by the Syrian civil war? What will happen to them?
What will happen in Yemen in the next few months if the civil war continues and world relief is not expanded big time? Experts tell us to brace ourselves for the greatest loss of lives due to famine in world history with over 14 million people at risk right now.
What will happen when rogue states or terrorists get their hands on atomic weapons?
What will happen? What will happen? What will happen?
Yeats goes on to conclude his poem:
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?