The Overlord: A poem on the rise of Donald Trump

By | | comments |
(Image via iconnectdots.com)

A poem on the rise of President-elect Donald Trump, by Dr Laurence Keim.


The Overlord surprises all and comes to power,

Ranting, recanting all he said before,

The arguments are barely worth considering,

Popular things like endless wealth, where wealth has ended,

And happy streets of smiling children, Caucasian and white.


The arguments are barely worth recanting,

The courage to express a lie with confidence,

The courage it takes to hoodwink your very nation,

The wink underneath the hood of growing anger,

Hardly matters, when temples begin to burn.



Where did the Overlord belong before?

He was a child, an infant spurned, enfant-terrible,

Who, pugnacious in his later teens, studied war

And disguised his treatment at the hands of other lords,

Overlooked, laughed at, mocked, opaque


Sometimes a filthy mist still fumes his mind,

And the good family that mixed with other families,

On the East coast of Arcadia, shallow thoughts

From schools of thought, shared in the shallows

Where minnows darted for their life;


Sometimes Fatherlord appeared before him,

Full of that angry advice, wiping away the spittle

From his protruding eyes; it chilled his charm

And still sometimes dampens his TV manner,

Which made a nation laugh, at last, at reason.



History aside, the Overlord in the Oval office,

Is just another voice commanding power,

Marshalling talent from Arcadia days, otherwise

Authorizing missives to search out and destroy,

Or build a case, to get at, what is rightly yours.


He won, you see, when really democracy

Was not his suit. The inner elf keeps shaking hands

With its self. Be care now, prepare, Fatherlord’s

Instructions as a boy, be prepared to make your enemies

Every time they press the flesh


Imagine, in your hand a dagger, and smile;

It’s not a case of eggs and omelette, but rather

To impress, over those you want to be,

As for the others, you must learn to repress,

If necessary, violently.



The world bounded by horizons, the limits

Of a moving feast, often catches leaders by surprise.

One moment all the jugglers know the script,

Acrobats sublime, and yet the next

The tent’s on fire and you, who must control events


Will burn before all the rest, unless

You temper your anger with effigies of duty,

And learn by heart as well as head that exits

Are disaster points, people movers of pressure points.

For stubborn leaders usually wake up dead.



If you struggle a bit with modern horror,

Each evening brought to you by drones,

Remember the algorithm is simply this:

Power does, what power can, to whom,

Even the powerless find the power too,


An infant de-legging flies, or the swift sharp kick

Underneath the table to quieten what

Or whoever is there. Power does, what power can

With whom, the option like a jewel, stands within,

Of all the options, one stands out,


Only power has this option. Sadly so

It is the option of what really goes down;

The rest is pomp and privilege and policy,

Power can be extremely cruel because it can,

The Overlord is but a test of this.

Dr Laurence Keim is a poet and author. His most recent volume of poetry, Writing on Air (Purling Brook Press) is available here.

(Trump 1984 from Nick Acosta on Vimeo.)

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

Monthly Donation


Single Donation


Support the arts. Subscribe to IA for just $5.

Recent articles by Laurence Keim
Review: 'False Claims of Colonial Thieves'

Dr Laurie Keim reviews a new, rich book of poetry and, within it, he traces the ...  
POEM: Homeless

Homeless, a poem by Laurie Keim.  
The Bigots

The Bigots, a poem by Laurence Keim.  
Join the conversation
comments powered by Disqus

Support IAIndependent Australia

Subscribe to IA and investigate Australia today.

Close Subscribe Donate