apocalyptic year

2020 was a year that no eight-ball saw coming. I want to be able to remember the highlights of our collective societies through a fun-to-recite poem that sings like a nursery rhyme. This is it. The apocalyptic year summed in 658 words.


“the apocalypse, the apocalypse!
the apocalypse is near!”
I recite the news headlines
of the apocalyptic year

“bushfires in australia
kicks off brand new decade!”
the wildlife and the victims
the world quickly rushed to aid

“protests in hong kong
are strongly raging on!”
voices through streets
pleading for injustice to be gone

“harry and meghan
both step back from royalty!”
the media vultures circle
preying for gossip tea

“the trial of harvey weinstein:
convicted of rape!”
women sigh: “finally,
the rapist can’t escape!”

“a helicopter crashed!
two bryants found in peace!”
may both of them rest well
may his legend never cease

“the pandemic is official!
stay home and quarantine!”
speculations this is punishment
until our world gets clean

“brexit has happened!
the withdrawal is sealed!”
boris johnson claims impending
national change is real

“trump’s impeachment trial!
president acquitted!”
after obstruction of congress
in the white house he remains seated

“stock market took a plunge!
the dow fell sharp!”
biggest drop since ’87
a definite stab in the dark

“warren and sanders
drop out of the race!”
god, it’s up to trump or biden
to win and save the day?

“help yemen! help lebanon!
a proxy war, another blasted!”
humanitarian crises strike
could this have been forecasted?

“a black man dead in florida!
unarmed and asphyxiated!”
not the first time it has happened
not the last to be ill-fated

“there are signs and petitions,
chanting ‘black lives matter’!”
hold your grounds and stand with them
don’t you dare falter

“kenosha man shot seven—
times in the back!”
police brutality continues
racist killings in packs

“china’s re-education camps
holding uyghurs forcefully!”
remember world war two?
another page from history

“female soldier dead!
it’s military misogyny!”
for men to take us seriously
is going to take eternity

“women abused and killed
in mexico by men!”
I wonder why they’re scared of us
wonder when this will end

“trump’s banning tiktok!
what will gen z do?”
crazy is our normal
we’ll be sure to fight it through

“there’s a fire, no, several!
burning hills and taking lives!”
all across the golden state
looms ominous tangerine skies

“trump becomes the nobel
peace prize nominee!”
nominator claims president
urged peace in the middle east?

“osaka wins the U.S. open!
a mask for each round!”
she donned the names of black lives
proudly like a crown

“ginsburg passed at eighty-seven!
fought for women’s rights in action!”
supporters boo the president for
quickly appointing replacements

“first presidential debate
was nothing short of childish!”
we sat and watched as one of them
failed to denounce supremacists

“harris versus pence
didn’t stoop too low!”
but the smallest little fly
well, he stole the show

“nigeria filled with protests
voices from the anguished”
SARS is profiling the youth
of them should be abolished

“barrett confirmed to court
dodged questions in confirmation”
they replaced RBG
with one who will reverse the nation

“The vaccine’s finished!
Pfizer distribution underway!”
will there be side effects
or will we see tomorrow day?

“poland tightens abortion laws
argentina legalizes instead!”
if it’s not your body, shut your mouth
some fires have to be fed

“biden-harris elected,
alas, trump is gone!”
americans look to democracy
hoping for brand new dawns

yes, the year’s been tough
so we look to the people in power
they hide behind bombastic words
‘hind empty promises they cower

the manual couldn’t be clearer
yet failed leadership reigns
if you don’t care about our future
give young people the reins

i ask that you remember:
clothes have no gender
black lives always matter
forced deaths equate murder

keep it in your mind
the policies that were signed
how the government thinks we’re blind
to every block they’ve lined

stop digging our own graves
there’s too much that we crave
some storms have to be braved
to fix the human race

“the apocalypse, the apocalypse!
the apocalypse is near!”
oh, will I see the end
of the apocalyptic year?