The Patriot

Against the Current, No. 32, May/June 1991 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!