Annus Horribilis

We’re only halfway through this year of crises
that has stolen so many memories,
sprayed terror like graffiti in our cities,
and ravaged lives like blossom from spring trees.
We cling to a glass cliff as our world falls apart,
stunned by the contempt of presidential farts,
the hatred and violence that’s breaking our hearts.
What a relief it will be when this an[n]us horribilis finally departs.

Kim M. Russell, 6th June 2020

For this week’s earthweal open link weekend, I have resurrected an old poem from 2016 and rewritten it.

I am far away from the ‘marching, protests, projectiles, pepper spray, low blows, speeches, burning cars, funerals, tear gas, posturing with Bibles, invectives, rhetorics, theories, cell phone videos, baton crunches, curfews, solidarity, despair and hope’, but that doesn’t mean haven’t seen, heard or felt it. It took me back to the summer of 1964 and the shocking footage on the television screen. Nothing much has changed. 

25 thoughts on “Annus Horribilis

  1. you are right there! Am a huge fan of CSNY 🙂

    We have had tens of thousands out protesting this afternoon across Australia … we’ve had far too many deaths in custody and the police have no independent monitoring. They [cops] tried to stop our protests but an appeal overturned their decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was very much active in the streets, back when that Kent Stater wept over her comrade. Less street now, but just as adamant, just as vocal. (I thought Nixon was loathsome–and he WAS– but this jerk beats him by miles.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife and I said that last year, and the year before … how much higher the glass cliffs, the piquancy of presidental toots? (Great word choices there.) Who knows, but I think we better keep buckled up. Thanks Kim – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My father and I didn’t speak for weeks after Kent State. He changed his mind eventually about Nixon and the war–I often wonder what he would have to say about Trump. There seems to be no point low enough. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoops, I laughed at the eschatological humor. This is serious! You are a master of simile–and then you added the glass cliff and the farts. May we hold on. We can make it different this time–deeper change, longer lasting. What is happening today has learned from the last 50 years of one step forward and two steps back. Now we have evidence, too, due to pocket-sized mobile cameras.Though I am at home and not in the crowds, I hold them in my hearts.


    1. Thank you, Susan. Across the world, people are showing solidarity, even in the face of the virus, and crying out for change. We just can’t comprehend how Trump is still president. Maybe the virus will get him soon, it’s had plenty of opportunities.


  6. Aargh! This week, month, year (decade?)has been insane. I think this week of protests shows us that hope lives a little – that we want better than this systemic injustice. That perhaps and maybe and hopefully we really want to live the change.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is a terrible year and we governed by fols and despots. The future does look bleak and it is easy to despair. The natural world still holds beauty and through that a kind of fragile hope emerges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The last three months or so have been so bleak, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away. Even the weather is awful here at the moment. There has to be a silver lining somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. I can relate to that. My recourse at present is to do things I enjoy as often as possible but some days are just plain hard work just to get through!

        Liked by 1 person

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