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Saturday, June 09, 2007


by Frank Joussen

I am thinking of Bono for a minute
on the road to Heiligendamm, Germany,
to protest against the G 8 Summit.
How Bono was visible on TV last night
with one black man and the chancellor
but they hadn´t given them
the benefit of the sound.
So why should I give the leaders
the benefit of the doubt?
Haven´t they betrayed us before,
leaving Africa to starvation and HIV
and the whole planet to a rising fever?

I am thinking of Bono for a minute.
How he said on the march to Gleneagles
in 2006, after Live 8,
"Write us a chapter to be proud of."
He must have been working
on the assumption
that the G 8 leaders,
democratically elected as they are,
are bound to serve us, the people,
whereas the paradox is of course
that they could only become,
they can only stay our leaders
by serving other people´s interests.

But there is no time to be patient
in the face of imminent annihilation.
So unless they give us chapter and verse
on all our issues
we´ll march on
towards fever pitch at the fence -
afraid of the Black Block
plus the other militants,
in fear of the stones,
the tear gas, the water cannons
but even more scared by
the great indifference
live-or-die questions don´t tolerate.

I was thinking of Bono.
Now I´m one of the peaceful crowd again
trying to turn up the volume
and sing the leaders a song
about the saving of the planet
which we hope to reach eventually,
and now listen, lady and gentlemen,
to the words of Bono,
"with or without you."

Frank Joussen is a German school teacher, writing solely in English and published in print magazines, anthologies and ezines worldwide. His ezine publications include The Pedestal Magazine, Kota Press, Raving Dove (U.S.), The Poetry Kit, Caught in the Net, Dew-on-line, The Measure (U.K.) and others. He stresses that he is a very peaceful, politically interested person with relatives in the U.S., but friends in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to whom he thinks he owes this peaceful protest poem.