I met an old man in the park the other night,
And talked with him about the current news.
He listened, as I told him of the newest fright,
And then revealed his own unusual views.
“The greatest danger, you and I at present face,”
He whispered, as I strained to listen too,
“Is not from others joining in the nuclear race,
But from ourselves, from what we think and do.”
I scratched my head at this, and asked him to explain
What sense could hide in this bizarre surmise.
“Wake up, and see the world, with all its joy and pain!
Take off the comfort myths, for bare surprise.”
“Forget your wants and lies, and try, for once, to bear
With others as they speak. And listen well!
A bully gets his way a while, by being unfair,
But not respect, and may drag all to hell!”
All this he said, in voice grown weak and hoarse with age.
I listened, feeling anger swiftly mount.
“Why should we do these things?” I asked, with open rage,
“Are we not strong? All that, on what account?”
“And even if we were to buy your crazy plan,
And risk being bombed and overrun by Huns,
How should we go about it, pray, old stupid man?
D’you want us to use smiles instead of guns?”
He listened gravely, by my rage a bit perturbed,
And softly answered, “Yes, you have it right.
You shake your fist at me and shout – you’re quite disturbed.
Indeed, young man, you gave me quite a fright.”
“But these are just the questions, don’t you see,
You’ve got to think about – for brain, not might,
Is needed – and a heart! But now, I’ve got to pee.
I’m old!” he said, and walked into the night.
Arjun (Babui) Janah < email@example.com >
Bensonhurst Park, Brooklyn, New York.
The Daily Poet: http://journals.aol.com/sjanah/dailypoet
Arjun’s Poems (incomplete): http://members.aol.com/ajanah
Note added: These two links above are no longer functional, being retained for here record-keeping purposes.