for there be but the desperate, the hungry, the ignorant,
a few may indulge in guns there, sharpen machetes
but what proof are they to a few sacks of rice,
a yard of cloth, a hovel of mud:
quake not before them, quake not ever.
But dread ye the young minds in the coffee shop,
those that smoke leaning by the wall in the alley,
filled are they with words and promise,
with hopes and visions and the blind phantasmagoria
of tomorrow's noon brightly lit;
dread them ye, dread them with your soul.
They brew poisons of not arsenic but ink,
they fletch arrows of anger not curare;
they stand in the parks and march on streets,
they defile, they profane, they vituperate
the dear, cherished gods we hold to our bosoms:
fear them today, fear them tomorrow.
On them then the tanks, the rifles, the gendarme's batons,
for them the censor's knife, the inquisitor's iron lady,
to them the syringe of cyanide, the canister of gas.
For spared they multiply like snakes;
their bodies yes, and their idioms too.
Fear ye them, for now and forever.
(Published by Oxford Book Store, January 2012)