Into The Darkness

On November 9th 2016, still in bed, almost blind with disturbed sleep and terrified disbelief, I posted this:

“Woke in the darkness to The Darkness. Everything is tumbling….stocks, hopes, pesos. The lights are going out all over the world.” “The Dark Ages” “The Dark Times” is now how our future – and particularly that of America – is described. 

This Sunday, January 15, birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., writers will gather across the United States in a public expression of resistance against the inauguration as their president of DJT. “America’s poets, novelists, journalists and storytellers will raise their voices against the rising clamor of intolerance, greed and cruelty that threatens to define this nation’s next four years (and beyond.)” The main event in New York City will feature former poets laureates along with writers, artists and many more in a united show of resistance to the incoming administration. “Writers Resist” has invited contributions from across the US asking writers what resistance means to them. “Lit Hub” is currently publishing a selection of the poems. 

Ghazal: The Dark Times
Marilyn Hacker

Tell us that line again, the thing about the dark times…
“When the dark times come, we will sing about the dark times.”

They’ll always be wrong about peace when they’re wrong about justice…
Were you wrong, were you right, insisting about the dark times?

The traditional fears, the habitual tropes of exclusion
Like ominous menhirs, close into their ring about the dark times.

Naysayers in sequins or tweeds, libertine or ascetic
Find a sensual frisson in what they’d call bling about the dark times.

Some of the young can project themselves into a Marshall Plan future
Where they laugh and link arms, reminiscing about the dark times.

From every spot-lit glitz tower with armed guards around it
Some huckster pronounces his fiats, self-sacralized king, about the dark times.

In a tent, in a queue, near barbed wire, in a shipping container,
Please remember ya akhy, we too know something about the dark times.

Sindbad’s roc, or Ganymede’s eagle, some bird of rapacious ill omen
From bleak skies descends, and wraps an enveloping wing about the dark times.

You come home from your meeting, your clinic, make coffee and look in the mirror
And ask yourself one more time what you did to bring about the dark times.



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