The Watering Hole; Th/Fr November 24/25; Election 2016, A Poetic Summation: “After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes”

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
an’ foolish notion . . .”
(Robert Burns)



In 1862, Emily Dickinson wrote a three-verse 72-word poetic ‘essay’ on death, a poem which for some odd reason reminded me of an event that occurred here, in Amurkkka, exactly two-weeks-plus-three-days ago. That was, of course, the day of America’s 2016 Presidential Election in which, somehow, the candidate who lost by at least 2 million votes was actually declared the winner — an event which seems to demand a somewhat poetic summary, maybe?

I suppose most of us could write for a week, maybe a year, on the probable consequences of said electoral event, but for me (since, at my age, time is at a premium), I decided to settle instead for a joint poetic project in consort with Emily Dickinson! (don’t I wish)! Below are the three verses of Dickinson’s 1862 poetic “essay” on death, intermingled with a pair of my own sonnets [the first was prev. posted, post-convention, in August, the second is post-election new].


Miss Emily begins:

After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs —
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?


Candidate DONALD J. TRUMP and His Egomaniacal Persona

Democracy allows a boundless sprawl of mindless thought.
One brief glance today unmasks a nominee who deems to
Ne’er dismiss his savage spiels, hoping they’ll all soon be taught
As “brilliant” memes. Whilst he himself wears masks of learned view,
Lengthy rhetoric from this vapid candidate reveals
Dismal platitudes, each expressed as if nonsensical
Judgment of those who are more sane, of those whose soul appeals
To wisdom, not to ignorance of issues topical.
Racial bigots find curious relief in hate and fear
Until they sense themselves dismissed by grand impassioned dreams;
Misogyny as well embraces minds that aim to smear
Perspectives based on common goals of life – with bogus schemes.
Deliv’rance of this nation’s soul and heart is thus on hold
Till egomania’s greed and sloth are either bought — or sold.


The Feet, mechanical, go round —
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone —


A Trump-Inspired National Elegy

Greed and Sloth have once again prevailed, their
Onerous goals retained by vulgar vote;
Once again America’s soul stands bare,
Delib’rately exposed as addled moat
Beneath her people, once defined as great.
Yet there remains a choice; to quote Voltaire,
Écrasez l’infame” (Crush the furtive ‘State’)
And grant Relief to all from hate’s despair
Made manifest by sophistic fear. Still,
Exercise of faux imperiousness
Results in cultural demise of will
In all but those possessed by mindlessness —
Calumny (as Trump, our President-Elect)
Assigns ALL Truth — to PERFIDY-Select.


This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —


So now, we as a nation are forced to contend with white nationalism, with neo-Nazis and racism at every level, with misogyny, xenophobia, immigration, immigrant deportation, registries, internment camps(?); also destruction and/or sale of Public Lands for either fossil fuel mining/drilling/fracking or for private profit, for development; also with the “Chinese Hoax” of climate change and the global destruction therein implied; also with the final transfer of all remaining American monetary “wealth” to the already wealthy elites; plus the privatization of Public Education . . . plus maybe a war or two or three, just because this here’s Amurkkka and we really like to do that, to kick ass as necessary. . . etc., etc., etc.

Whereto from here? How much further is it to the bottom of the pond? Is there still a musterable opposition to national demise available out there? Somewhere?

“Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities.”

Dare we hope we’re not there . . . yet?



24 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Th/Fr November 24/25; Election 2016, A Poetic Summation: “After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes”

    • The eternal basis of the Human Dilemma:

      Rigidity of belief (fundamentalism) denies all fact and disavows all knowledge with which it disagrees. Ignorant and prejudiced bias, combined, are its sole driver.

      AKA: Amurkkka.

    • Speaking of Fundamentalism . . .

      With DeVos Pick, Trump Declares War on Public Education

      Donald Trump announced that Betsy DeVos, a Michigan Republican operative who has been called “the four-star general of the voucher movement,” is his choice to be secretary of education, a fox-guarding-the-chicken-coop appointment if ever there were one. DeVos has been a major proponent of school vouchers and other tax schemes that divert dollars away from public education and into religious schools, private schools, and profitable but ineffective online charter schools. In addition, organizations that she has helped run have been major players in state politics, pouring money into both state legislative campaigns and state lobbying.

      “Teach” bias, disallow fact. Make Amurkkka Great Again.

  1. Happy Duckroasting Day, everyone!

    I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, per se, for personal reasons but a group of us old single guys get together for a game feed. This year we are forced to turn to domestic ducks, one with an orange glaze and one stuffed with apples and covered in bacon, but we are going to broil up some venison steaks to ensure we have something gamey.


    • Mmmm, both ducks sound delicious, pete.

      We went to Wayne’s sister’s/my brother’s house, aka the house I grew up in. Traditional turkey with all of the accoutrements, too many desserts to choose from – oh, who am I kidding, there’s never too many desserts! Our niece Emily made an excellent pumpkin flan accented with orange zest. If I could have slipped the whole thing out the door with me, I would have.

      Hope everyone else enjoyed their Thanksgiving! 🙂

    • Amurkkka’s most horrible enemy gone. Finally!

      I was a Senior in HS when Fidelissimo took over in Cuba, and iirc, initially there wasn’t any screaming about the event. That didn’t happen till the Mafia (Havana hotels and casinos), and American corporate ‘owners’ of a huge amount of industry and land in Cuba were given the boot. Then came the screams, the vitriol. And when Khrushchev popped up and supported Fidel, bingo-bam, COMMIES COMMIES COMMIES!! 90 MILES FROM OUR SHORE!!!! HOLY SHIT WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

      I’ve wondered ever since . . . what if? What if the US would have told the Mafia and the big corps to shut up, go home, and quit your whining? What if we’d have supported Fidel and his help-people-first notions? What if we’d have actually helped, financially, to renew then stabilize our neighbor?

      Yeah, I know, Amurkkka would have, right there, lost forever the opportunity to be made GREEDY . . . oops, make that GREAT again.

      Q: Why are we only GREAT when we make sure our corporations and military can take maximum advantage of everyone everywhere? Why can’t we become even greater by helping ordinary people? Everywhere?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s