The second coming – William Butler Yeats vs. Wise One from the East


“Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

Kamuzu Central Hospital Congenstion
Kamuzu Central Hospital Congenstion

Wise One:

All over the place on ever-growing itineraries

The relief worker-in-chief cannot heed counsel of the wise;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Malawi, in anarchy’s merciless arms is being strangled,

Corruption, indecision and procrastination are everywhere

Shortage of essential drugs is no longer rare;

As one time human rights defenders man the praise crew

While children wonder what became of the mother they thought they knew.



“Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man”


Wise One:

Without doubt some sort of ‘Naija’ spell is in control

Undoubtedly the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When nightmares from the not so distant past

Haunt my sleep: come May 2014, save for divine intervention

An equally clueless and egocentric lot will besiege the nation!



“A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born ?”


Wise One:

A predatory behemoth worse than what we have had before,

Is moving its slow machinery, while all about it

Fly singing congregations of equally profligate supporters.

The darkness drops again; but now I ask:

Any chance that three decades of dictatorship

Were enough to hypnotize even the unborn?

To watch powerlessly and clap hands; as impervious mediocrity,

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