Democracy Shall Cease Its Dominion

After Dylan Thomas’ “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”

And democracy shall cease its dominion
In hallowed halls and chambers respected
While alt-right extremists strive to curb equality,
And elected officials pervert the Constitution, turning
Backs on citizens, representation shall be none;
When Nazi flags unfurl on the Capitol steps
As congress members declare rioters, “patriots,”
Liberty’s bare bones thwart egalitarian principles;
Then democracy shall cease its dominion.

And Democracy shall cease its dominion
When stripped of meaning, bare ass politicians
Pontificate select platforms, fart in the face
Of electors, lobbyers, statutes, and honesty
Make common sense, choice, and critical thinking
Dirty words, ban books, narrow minds, redefine
Justice and equal rights as selective endowments,
Honor gun owners over mothers, children, families;
Then Democracy shall cease its dominion.

And democracy shall cease its dominion
When the pledge of allegiance to states united
Becomes a salute to delirium madness as supremacists
Stretch right arms—palm down—scream seig heil!
At 45 banners fueling hatred, encouraging deception,
Suppressing freedom—forcing stars and stripes to waver,
Flounder, then sink in a Sargasso Sea, hammered
To and fro by intolerant tides of ungracious losers;
Then democracy shall cease its dominion.

About the Poem

After a recent Ohio election, citizens overwhelmingly voted that a woman’s right to choose should be enshrined in the state constitution, yet immediately, the state’s dominant Republican congress began righteously expressed plans to thwart the will of the people. In the November 14, 2023 Daily Beast article, “Republicans Are Fighting a War on Democracy All Over America,” journalist David Rothkopt expanded on the issue and in turn, it inspired my poem “Democracy Shall Cease Its Dominion” (after Dylan Thomas’ “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”).

About the Author

An award-winning author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in many literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including POETRY LIFE & TIMES, SPARKS OF CALLIOPE, and ANTI-HEROIN CHIC. In addition to MASQUES: FLASH FICTION & SHORT STORIES, Warner has written NINE poetry collections including SERPENT’S TOOTH, and FLYTRAPS, HALCYON DAYS: COLLECTED FIBONACCI, and ABRAXAS: POEMS (2024) available via Currently, Warner writes, participates in “virtual” poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington.

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