The Patriot

Hasan S. Newash

A message to my friend,
Dances with the Wolves,
The American.

Dear Dances with the Wolves,

Among the thunderous deafening sounds
of relentless death,
I call upon myself
and find it pinned in wreckage,
Muttering in delirium:
Geronimo, Nelson Mandeta, Ali bin
Abi Talib, Palestine, Dances with the Wolves.

The iron rolls across the sands of Arabia
Hunting for its prey of terrified soldiers,
For the commander-in-chief
and the king of Baghdad
Are no longer pals;
And the Allies
amass their armor
for a ‘new world order’
South of the Euphrates,
Where heroes are made,
to bring the Emir
back his throne
And save the Saudis’
palaces, harems, their excesses and gold.
Slavery is legal, there,
But don’t send the Bible,
It’s outlawed still.
You can send some napalm,
Yes, you can send some napalm,
They can use it there,
for ‘the new world order.’

A duel of axioms, before my eyes unfolds

The message blares:
“Bomb the cities,
Keep the bombing around the clock
Till civilized behavior is back in Baghdad.”
What powerful leader
was Martin Luther King!
Roll the tanks on his birthday.

A duel of axioms before my eyes

Linkage to justice
is links portrayed
as a sausage of flesh
in a Free Press cartoon.
I, the victim, kneel before my captors
Schwarzkopf and Neil of the S&L

A duel of axioms before my eyes

Weighed and literate
Is warfare diction
in your giant chambers of government
Mine is broken English of a third generation
in a refugee camp.

Cheered your heart in glory
with the drop of every bomb,
While mine is heavy
with a 100,000 sorties.

Liberate,
bring back the Emir
Bring back the masters of Kuwait
In Tulkarim, extend the curfew;
And shut-in the people of Jericho,
They are your slaves, are they?
Geronimo! who are the heroes?
Dances with the Wolves, my friend!
Who are the Americans?

Defeated—my body
Defiant—my soul,
Let your prowess
comb the desert
for my remains
In the Arabian Peninsula
In the townships of South Africa
In the pueblos of Nicaragua,
I am Ali of the seventh century
I am Stephen Biko
I am Augusto Cesar Sandino.
Hunt for my remains.

Let the power saws,
in the name of progress and for profit,
Tumble the Amazon Forest
Turn the canopy of a million years
to a scorching desert.
—dhat dangerous global warming?
Never mind, it’s good for business…
In the clearing
Hunt for my remains,
I’m Chico Mendes
of the Rubber Tappers Union.
Defeated—my body
Defiant—my soul
Spirited and in love,
Hunt me in the galleries;
The talking pictures
I have captured of my passion,
Guernica too,
Rip them all to pieces,
lam Kathe Kollwitz,
Hunt my fantasies among the ruins.
Shut the galleries
a lesser priority
Than B-I bombers,
M-i A-i, S.D.I. and F-14;
And pay Shamir
Who gassed the children in Jerusalem.
Soup kitchens, seal them closed
And chase the homeless off the premises
Give them a taste of ‘the new world order.’

Dances with the Wolves, my friend!
Who are the Americans?
My friend the American!
You are a Nelson Mandela
towering, wholesome and defiant,
loyal to the children;
I am dying—not a legend,
Not a christ—I rest in His arms,
I am Ahmad A1-fallah
Spirited, loyal and dancing with the wolves
I lived, and loved you.
Let my dying give your life
an added meaning!
Now, Sister,
Bury me among the children,
Place a yellow ribbon on my grave!

May-June 1991, ATC 32