Apocalypse Ballade – Araxie Haldane


Sometimes you need to take a break from hope songs to be sad and scared and take refuge in needlessly complicated poetic forms.

The portents come like they did yesterday.
By now it isn’t much of a surprise.
Waves crack the land, two-headed creatures bray
And ice and fire storm down from the skies.
The people shuffle past and shield their eyes
Grumbling about the Furies in their way
And how much noise the dead make when they rise.
The world’s supposed to end again today.

Soothsayers put their runes and bones away.
Street-corner prophets cease their end-is-nighs.
The seers and augers take a holiday
Their heads dragged down by heavy silent sighs.
For who can bear to mark out each reprise?
What is the worst thing that their work could say?
We live the doom that they would prophesize.
The world’s supposed to end again today.

And doom drags slow, and doomstruck so, we stay
To sure to run, too unsure for goodbyes.
Imprisoned by the slow weight of delay
Normalcy is the only sane disguise.
So mothers use their talismans to prise
The lids from bunker rations, as they sway
Soothing their babes with broken lullabies:
“The world’s supposed to end again today.

Prince, do you hear the wings of butterflies?
They say they bring the thunder, but they may
Fill us with lighting and spark up our cries.
The world’s supposed to end again today.”

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