Black Swans

A Black Swan is an event so rare as to be unpredictable. Such an event was the election of Barack Obama in 2008, a man so completely unknown as to be someone from another planet, another dimension. I dreamed of black swans the other night, and in my dream there stretched before me the mirrored surface of an enchanted pond, upon which uncountable numbers of beautiful Black Swans moved effortlessly, in rhythm with the visible, shimmering, multi-colored music. As I watched, a tall, slim Black Swan detached himself from the rest and approached. Smiling, he said appearances were deceptive, that he was the only Black Swan, that the others were illusions, Black Swans in waiting, and that 2016 would see him in all his shimmering glory, the ultimate Black Swan, the end of everything Black Swan, the demise of the West and the rise of the Caliphate Black Swan. He smiled again, darkness closed in and the shimmering music faded into silence. I stood on the shore of the enchanted pond as his parting words came out of the darkness.

Black Swans, he said, both come and go
Affecting both the high and low
For no one knows when one will come
With death for many, life for some
The many swans upon this pond
Are mine, we form a common bond
For crises are our stock in trade
And only then are we displayed
I came unknown in year 08
I warned you of your coming fate
But listened well did none of you
And now the butcher’s bill is due
His voice trailed off, the darkness rose
To see the pond begin to close
Black Swans took wing in serried flight
And laughing, bade us all good night

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