The End of History, and Warhead

The End of History

1989, when the fall of Berlin's wall
chiselled away loose masonry,
brought promise for humanity,
as tank man stood tall in Tiananmen Square.
Dignity seemed worth more
at the end of the Cold War than ever before.
Lovers kissed for cameras, which made
every photograph special, like a bouquet,
while wires that held the whole shebang
upright were hidden well away.
They placed white carnations in rifle muzzles.
They dumped Klashnikovs for bumpers of champagne.
They waved banners and the snare drum beat.
They climbed to the top of decline and fall.
The fix was in, nothing for it but to swim.
1989, when the world-wide-web's pipedream lit up;
telexes hiccupped, telephones tittered, faxes coughed,
though so many were soon to return
in coffins from whatever war was next.
Some had paintstripper to remove the pain;
some smooshed their wonted ancient grain.
Sir Galahad rode in with leather apron on,
making light of the massacre, the heavy weather,
the forked lightning, the stacks of stooks
in summer stubble, scorched for yonks.
Choppers prepared for evacuation.
Citizens rejoiced in satellites, holding hands,
blindly high on their own resolution,
across the ocean and down in the deeps,
whose dungeons opened and released the Fates,
in bubbles of oxygen that seemed herculean.
Yesterday's progress ended and was rebooted.
Deplorables became renewable; edibles became incredible.
Assemblies clanked through flung-open gates.
And you will know us by our toppled hopes,
the flogged scars and stripes that bless the bloody flag.
We were going forward, the damned, on our five-year plan,
in spirit of prayer to stardust of paradise,
with lassoed monuments and new statues raised;
but hope is the thing that scatters,
through tarred and feathered streets,
as tear-gas arrives and water cannon swings.
There were human pyramids and plagues
of new missiles; jogging shoes hung from gallows.
The blow-up globe was punctured and hissed
with escaping breath as another dream
began to count down to lift-off;
and then we were stuck in the 1990s,
with a long night coming on,
and very few left to sing revolution's song.

— David Eggleton


Say no to the Mad Emperor of the Russians,
in thrall to his own truth-flubbing trolls,
and his judo-player skills and his steroid flushes.
An unholy fool, dancing like a very angry bear
on the hot coals of burning Ukrainian cities.
Let him be deposed and shunted to a far-off gulag,
drowned like Rasputin, stopped like Trotsky with a pick-axe.
Let him not die in his bed like the monster Stalin,
for he is one of those tyrannical jerks,
photo-shopped all ripped veins and vascular,
as bigged-up as Josef Stalin's Collected Works.
What Pootin doesn't know isn't knowledge,
because Pootin went to KGB Spy College.
He's a rabid mole who has swallowed a wasp;
a death guru with a cobra's cross-eyed stare,
who flicks his forked tongue out to test the air.
A total mass murderer as Mister Anonymous,
a radioactive creature from a toxic lagoon.
Sputnik space-case they should have sent to the moon;
makes like he's in a North Korean restaurant: dog eat dog.
Expressionless face of a long-term drunk,
he's a breezeblock Brezhnev, a pisspot Lenin;
he's in a rusted suit made of the Iron Curtain;
he's the skull and crossbones on a bottle of poison.
Everything he touches turns to smashed-up melamine;
he wears a fake tan like his pal Trumpentine.
He's an old-shoe Communist, placed as People's Tzar,
in an oligarchical Formula One racing car:
leads the pack with World Domination blah blah blah.
Pootin be like the psycho comrade in wolf's clothing,
he's the very dead soul of serfdom resurrected,
another well-known germophobe, always well-protected.
A barren rock, a cement mixer mixing a dunce's lies;
a minuscule human blob with rage-filled eyes;
a villainous Marvel figurine: Incandescent Vlad Puteen.

— David Eggleton

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