The Charge of the Right Tirade

(With no gratitude to Tennyson)

Half a tweet, half a tweet
A megabyte onward
All in the valley of Death
Chased by the hundreds
“Forward the Right Tirade!”
“Non-whites are the ones” he said
Into the valley of Death
They fled by the hundreds.

“Forward, the Right tirade!“
Was anyone dismayed?
Not tho’ the sane ones knew
‘twas fascists who thundered,
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to repeat the lies
While the poor of all nations die
Driven through the valley of Death
While liberals merely wondered.

Drones flew over them
Police cudgelled most of them
Marines killing the rest of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Stormed at with shot and shell
Cowardly taking out families
Weddings and birthdays
Turned into Hell.

Flashed all their simple homes
Flashed all by bombing drones
Blown into thin air
Villages once inhabited there
Charging with armies, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged into flames and smoke
For opium and a foreign yoke
Ignored every word they spoke
Afghan, Syrian, Libyan and Congolese
While sabres are sharpened
For Russians and Chinese

When can their glory fade?
When heals the mess they made?
Yet the world wondered.
Cowards and brigands all
Deaf to true freedom’s call
Ruled by the laws of Death
For the greed of the One Percent
Feigning pure innocence
Unlike the Light Brigade
No end to the Right tirade.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..