A wind of change is blowing through the desert streets,
and with it many voices can be heard,
but many voices also have been silenced,
gun-downed in those self same squares where once they shopped for ornaments or fruit,
by those whose job was, apparently, to protect them.
In nearby alleys, where moonlit lovers once strolled,
lie bloody injured, tended for by strangers and friends.
Is blood the only currency for change?
Is that the only way to turn a system,
when too much power is focused in one place?
How longsome have these voices been unheard?
That speak up now amidst the sound of a dozen civil wars?
What little we knew of the anger against their own leaders?
Presidents that pay with people's lives to cling to power.
That bring forth the sons and daughters as soldiers,
to look down the barrel of a gun at their sisters and uncles and mothers and brothers.
What did we know a month ago of the fuel that feeds this flame?
of the people's righteous ire? The injustice each one felt?
The Teacher, the Lawyer, the Grocer, the Nurse.
What was their tale, their own personal story?
That launched them in their millions onto the streets.
United by the internet with a half a billion other voices,
to ride the revolutionary wave.
And where to, will this flame burn, as burn it must?
How long and how intense, and to what end?
We have no thought of what will follow after,
for better or for worse no one can say.
I just hope that transition is a short one,
and few let be the lives that will be lost.
20th Feb 2011