Enantiodromia (1)

Michael Peach

("running contrariwise")

When a charismatic TV preacher
Of family values and Christian faith
Is seen in bed with his daughter’s friend;
When an exiled poet, a former pacifist,
With sword in hand returns to plunge
His liberated country into civil strife;
When the divided post-Soviet nations,
Sick to death of anarchy and terror,
Resurrect the Russian Empire;
When the citizens of Western Europe,
Unified by single currency and law,
Form into warring fascist tribes;
When a people that for centuries bore
The cruel blows of persecution
In turn oppresses another race;
When a chaotic and Godless world
As if by blind compulsion drifts
Into the sphere of theocratic rule –
Then like Heraclitus one must conclude
That all extremes become in time
Their diametric opposite.

2 February 1992

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