Time evaporates for me. I have so many visual and verbal irons in my daily fire pit, that I predictably miss addressing one of them. Clearly this is one. At the beginning of a new year, this thought sums up a not so positive glance ahead.

Charles Dickens delivered a presage to the tensions within his 'Tale of Two Cities,' by these most memorable lines that dramatically serve today to describe our own continental societal and cultural strains … “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

I suppose as I awoke from troubled sleep one day this week, the dark sides of those contrasts disturbed me enough that I composed this poem.


Innocent childhood and buoyant youth are unsustainable

I learned too soon as full-grown truths like thorns, burst bubbles.

My twenties during the Sixties weathered crushed dreams of peace

And I outlived five decades of global troubles.

Even now world leaders with bankrupt character spoil this present ten

As my time in this grid winds slowly down until I am no more.

Small wonder that a peace the world cannot comprehend

Attracts me and people of faith about to step on shore.

I don't need a weather report since the forecast is expected.

Warnings have come from books and movies, sermons and discourses.

Intelligent as our race may be we cannot seem to change,

Surely the solution is not to increase our armed forces.

My tortuous thoughts arouse me as the homeless somewhere shiver

Refugees grow ill, pending postponed benevolence,

Families grieve brave peacekeepers lost at home and far away.

No sum of retribution can restrain the world's malevolence.

© Ron Unruh, January 2019

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