From poet member Murray Wilton (Toronto)
When all the guns and all the ships
And the missiles laden with hate
Are tied with ribbon like a mortgage paid —
Then burnt as a consecrate.
When all the Pentagons and all the Kremlins
And all the dictators soliciting salutes
Are told to take their uniforms off
And surrender their swords and boots.
When north is south and east is west
And goods are produced everywhere,
When privilege and pride of being top dog
Are titles that all will share.
When millions and billions of new human beings
Springing up from the fertile womb
Will know that no tariff or hydrogen bomb
May spell their certain doom.
When all the religions and all the sects
And all the mumbo-jumbies of deepest God knows
Admit that there’s more to the world around
Than their magic will ever disclose.
When all the masters of psychological hype
Leave the press and the airways at rest
And give us all a brief respite
To use as each thinks best.
When man sees man as a fellow man
Adrift on a raft in space,
Where there’s nothing to hold that raft afloat
Except for a saving grace.
For intelligence alone is not enough
What fools the intelligent can be;
The world is run by clever fools
Who resemble you and me.
from When, 1983.
ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)