POST IMPERIAL BLUES

A terrorist gets his way by violence.

Like Alexander,
he would prefer a city to surrender peacefully.
Like Alexander,
he will destroy it if it doesn’t
and enslave its population.

A successful terrorist,
like a successful leopard,
does not change his spots.

A pugilist can break jaws
but not repair one.
A terrorist can destroy old laws,
but not administer fair ones.
A hunter can kill lions
but not create them.

In Parks Road they kill the innocent
but cannot reinstate them.
(A don can bleed a student’s life to death,
but not give him the kiss of breath.)

The endless chronicle
of massacre and poverty,
ethnic violence and crime
across the map of Africa
reveals the footprints
of successful terrorists
and the statistics
of nine million dead.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia.
Zimbabwe, Rwanda,
M’gabe, M’beki, M’ndelia.
Nigeria, Uganda,
Liberia, Congo,
Kenyatta, Omar Bongo.

A leopard cannot change his spots.
A terrorist cannot wash the blood
off his hands.

(from OXFORD BLUES)

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