This year, high summer has cast
a tidal wave of rhetorical bullshit.
We swim in an ocean of it.
It’s smeared over every beach,
masking the sweet scent of sunscreen
with its bitter stink until nothing’s left
of August’s decadence.
Sunny holidays disappear
into autumn shadows,
night falls far too soon,
and the stench of decomposed
promises cannot be masked
by rotting leaves and wood smoke.
Looming out of morning mist and fog,
in every city and on every street,
is a long cold winter,
when politician’s fecal matter
will be the only source of heat.

Kim M. Russell, 20th August 2019

Image result for sewage on uk beaches Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Smoke and Mirrors, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

This Tuesday, Amaya is back with a pertinent question and three wonderful poems, one by James Galvin, my favourite poem by Rilke, and one by our very own Rajani Radhakrishnan.

She wants us to think about our own place within the ‘complex construct of empty rhetoric and doublespeak, optical illusion and obscure motives’ while remembering that writing poetry is a clear and simple form of rebellion against a world that is anything but clear and simple.

Amaya asks us to use whichever devices we have at our disposal in whichever poetic form we choose to write a poem about our own experience of ‘smoke and mirrors’.

57 thoughts on “Looming

      1. Italy is always on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but I don’t see much evidence of political meltdown here. The social media would have you believe there is social unrest on a massive scale here. It’s not true. They use the same old clips over and over. Bordeaux was a hotspot—the official count last Saturday was 40 Gilets Jaunes, old timers, having a picnic.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. WOW! Kim…an amazing write. These words “the stench of decomposed
    promises cannot be masked” and the idea of smeared like sunscreen lotion…It doesn’t get more damning than “politicians’ fecal matter” — in your country or mine.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Damn, so hard-hitting, like a jab to the throat. I love it when others of you finally get fed up, and go politico with your poetics which is my ballywick–come on in, the dissent is fine. Some excellent word-smithing here too. Rise up, we poets, chastise and rage on!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A hard read, Kim, and a long cold winter — that’s scary, Kim. I was hoping for an early spring. Politics now doesn’t mean the same as it did some years back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh that is a strong dissenting poem, Kim… very nicely done.
    And I saw in your notes that my poem came up on the prompt in Dverse… delighted! I had no idea! Thank you for the mention. I don’t have a copy of that anthology, but now, it appears I must!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Kim — the Brexit mess we view from America is a slow-motion nightmare of driving slowly and steadily straight into a wreck. But we are really watching ourselves in horror, you know, as the world is watching itself in horror in a shattered mirror of false human mastery. The ship of fools sails right at the iceberg, like a turd flushing itself out and down. Your poem is ripely true.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been getting news of Brexit from NPR and BBC America, and nothing I’ve heard sounds good at all. The Tories seem hell bent on going through with their madness, unfazed by the terrifying economic possibilities on the horizon. And Boris Johnson is a baffling figure at the head of all this. Sadly this does seem to be a global issue. The whole world knows about our Orange Overlord in the U.S. and his boundless capacity for reckless stupidity. I hope we can turn things around at some point. I am tired of wading through their feces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boris and the Donald are very similar, in hairstyle, arrogance and misogyny. Brexit is scary. My daughter, who has an Irish birth certificate and passport, is so worried that she’s applying for dual nationality. I should have stayed in Germany.


      1. Good luck to your daughter, and to you as well. Germany seems to be one of the few grownups in the room on the world stage.

        I am doing my best, going to protests and helping local people get elected who will stand against Agent Orange’s excesses. I just hope the efforts of all of us like minded folks here will be enough until the 2020 elections, because it’s clear no one is coming to the rescue until then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Rommy. I hope enough like-minded folks spread the word and the orange one is voted out asap. The question is, who will be next?


  7. Wow! Such a tonal change carried out in such a refreshing manner, Kim! This is so so good. The fecal matter of these politicians is going to stink even worse, it seems to me.
    I wonder how long we can dissent in our part of the world. Anyone can be imprisoned here now after some amendments to certain draconian laws and removal of some important provisions in such an undemocratic manner, and it has been done in such a sly manner that the entire world has forgotten to pay heed.
    I absolutely love your diction here: “It’s smeared over every beach,/masking the sweet scent of sunscreen/with its bitter stink until nothing’s left/of August’s decadence.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anmol. I’m not keen on writing when I’m outraged. but this time it seems to have worked. 😉 History is repeating itself, as far as I can see, the whole world over. , Politicians have always been sly and never listen to the people they are supposed to serve.


  8. The real problem is (IMO) no one on any side is listening. Just plowing ahead with their own agenda. Government doesn’t work well that way. Your poem is obviously very passionate and packs a punch with its metaphors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret. You’re quite right about politicians ploughing ahead with their own agendas – it’s happening here too. They won’t listen to us.


  9. SMiLes i live in the Thick
    of the Brown Matter You
    Describe thing is Trump
    Is Spoon Feeding all of it
    Precisely what it wants to Hear
    You would Understand if you came
    where i live and Listened in to the Actual
    Folks who Religiously Go to the Polls and
    Vote as far as they Will Go For Manure for their Mind crops…
    You Can Find them
    At the Fast Food
    Restaurants for
    Break Fast
    in the
    Angry Old
    White Men and
    their Underlings who
    do not understand Change
    is any Part of their World at all…
    Ripe For A Dictator of Words that Please their Fast Food Meal…

    Liked by 1 person

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