Susan de Sola : Apocalypse When?

"Harold Camping, a Christian radio entrepreneur and biblical soothsayer who stirred consternation, ecstasy, complaints to the Federal Communications Commission and widespread ridicule by repeatedly prophesying the end of the world—twice in 2011—died Sunday at his home in Alameda, Calif. He was 92. The cause was complications from a fall . . .  New York Times, 17 December 2013.

It's said that pride precedes a fall,
and Camping had the wherewithal
to make us think the world would end–
not once, but often. He would send     
out radio news of flood and fire,
predictions grandiose and dire,
and all with enterprising flair,
an Armageddon on the air.
Believers rushed to rail: "Repent!"          
while others saw their savings spent;
they quit their jobs, or even jumped.       

But Camping's errors left him stumped  
as doomsday passed and missed its cue,
and soon his many millions knew
him for a crazed, hubristic clod              
who claimed a nearer place to God.
So cheerful! As if certain doom
alleviated care and gloom,
until he lost his numbers game,               
his own the one he couldn’t name.
Now, with only Harold gone,
the world is safe–and it goes on.