Twenty Sixteen (or Seventeen!)


Dark clouds creeping

Common sense sleeping

Small-minded mentality

Dubious morality

Power in the wrong hands

Barriers between lands

Tense words spoken

Fragile peace broken

Realisation of fears

World drowned in tears

Cooperation wanes

Belligerency reigns

Decisions made in haste

Countries laid to waste

Lies and corruption

Death and destruction

Plunged into a black hole

Spinning out of control.

Emma H, age 25, 16/06/2016

I first wrote this poem back when I was being driven mad by the incessant, frustrating, pre-referendum Brexit debate last June (hence the 2016 title!), to express my fears at the direction the Western world appeared to be headed. Since then, the situation has continued to spiral alarmingly, both in the UK and the USA. Today, by signing Article 50, our unelected PM hurtles us out of a protective, stable and crucially peaceful Union into the Unknown, committing the most self-destructive act our government could achieve: severing vital economic, scientific, legal, and political ties in favour of division, semi-isolationism and masked xenophobia. It’s an historic but dark day for our country and who knows what the next few months and years will hold (although I’m a pessimist, so I don’t have high expectations for our government’s negotiation attempts). I can only hope that the results are not as bad as envisaged. No matter what, I will continue to think of myself as European, and no triggered articles will change that.

This poem also acts as my literary depiction of the Ludovico Einaudi song Experience – in my mind, the increasing urgency of this tune conjures thoughts of a negative situation snowballing out of control.

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