• Nancy Dafoe

"Convocation of Politic Worms"


For four years, blistering words and wounds

broke open the skin of norms and ideals

until pustules formed, oozing out on a landscape

unused to such brazen corruption in the light

of day. Corpulent robber barons swung sharpened

axes as they emerged from inside the halls of power.

Racism lauded in the open and loosened like rats

from a burning ship. “Motherland Russia, Putin”

echoing forth from foaming mouth of Bigly

in the White House, mimicked by opening orifices

of Senators within punishing coils squeezing

vile lines from the damned in grip of half man

with large eyes and a hole in his snake mouth

—"the better to eat my constituents with,” it said

with wicked smile as it curled round and round

piles of money, this half snake, half human shape,

with poison dripping from white fangs, and they

praised him and the Emperor Worm,

even the handful of hollow women behind them,

soul-gutted on minimal power, clotting the blood

of the nation with lies in obsequious submission

to that naked hybrid half man installed

by greed and foreign powers, that emperor

without clothes or knowledge, without soul

or conscience, dictator-shaped, corrupt,

perverse, this bloated maggot crawling along

with inverted Bible for show, not on a shining hill

but behind walls and wire real and imagined,

beneath humanity and dignity in underground

bunker, turning out propaganda and poison

from the people’s house now emitting a stench.

The smell of rotting decency and laws meant

to protect now released to destroy and maim.

Rank decisions by ranked men as sniveling

collaborators like the Vichy government

before Hitler. Not an ounce of bravery

anywhere amongst them, gutless spawn

of a land built by slaves, and gilded

by unconscionable, unrestricted avarice.

Such pale men refusing to relinquish their hold

on slaveowners’ ill-gotten gains, pale men

with yellow bellies and yellow tongues

lying with complete and utter abandon.

Cheering on their toy soldiers dressed for war

who stand on the necks of the oppressed,

shouting “White Lives Matter” and other

obscenities raining down upon a land

where once heaven’s rain had fallen.

Americans still with a heart and conscience

cried and bled and took to the streets

to pull down unholy idols as they were beaten

and gassed. While sludge and scum oozed

from houses of power commanding obedience

and vengeance, striking down any who dare

to question their naked, pitiless, ignorant,

nasty, and foul, false Emperor Worm.

Insectoids crawl out of the ground as distortion

spreads through this plague of politik deception.

*”Convocation of politic worms” is a phrase from

Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Nancy Dafoe

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