Preparing for Revolution

5 Nov



To be human

            is to be


                                    before and after

                                                                                    the law


To be protected

            if ever

                        if at all

                                    only by

                                                the decency

                                                                                                of others


And when unprotected

            abused neglected

                        there are

                                    dark clouds

                                                in the sky

                                                                                    of the citizen


He who seems proud

            only when



            paying bills on time

                                                            this code of his:

                                                                                    ‘virtuous obedience’


My code

            is learned

                        (if ever learned)

                                    only by moonlight:

                                                                        ‘disobedience is love’



            the heart

                        in hard times

                                                even amid strangers

                                                                        even on crowded streets



            helps also

                        until the time

                                                finally comes

                                                            and when it does—

                                                                                                            it will




            to do to undo

                                    to act

                                                ready to kiss one another

                                                                                                            ready to die



12 Responses to “Preparing for Revolution”

  1. brother November 5, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    For the fresh air
    And solidarity
    From afar
    Brother with arms
    To embrace, to create
    A new world founded upon

    • Richard Falk November 5, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks for this convivial poetic response..part of the Tahrir re-orchestration
      of the music of the spheres..

  2. Lester Ruiz November 5, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    Thank you, Richard, for your inspiring poetry.

  3. Claudia November 5, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Thank you for this stirring poem. It really grabbed me. It brings to mind my family’s experiences in World War II Germany and ties those to other experiences past, present and future with unfortunate firmness. Will we ever learn?

  4. Ann Nevans November 5, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    We are all waiting to live that better part of ourselves, waiting for the paradigm shift, wanting to jump into the unknown………that time can be anytime, that time is now. Thank you for this lovely poem.

    • Richard Falk November 6, 2011 at 12:32 am #

      Thanks, Ann, and yes, liberating ‘our better angels’ as Lincoln expressed it long ago. I have just been at the Occupy site in London where I experienced this potentiality in the energy and living
      engagement of the young people gathered before St. Paul’s Cathedral. Richard

  5. monalisa November 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Dear Richard,
    right to the point of our times is your poem !

    Hope is the key
    which reminds me on broken doors and millions of orphans created by a false banner

    Thank you


  6. Judy Deutsch November 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Hi Richard — I recently put together script for a prisoner here in Canada, victim of Islamophobia here and in France, in a case with many parallels to the Dreyfus case (secret evidence, fraudulent handwriting analysis). I included several excerpts from other prisoners whose words resonate with yours. Here’s a poem by Leonard Peltier:
    Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
    But silence is impossible.
    Silence screams.
    Silence is a message,
    Just as doing nothing is an act.

    We are your own conscience calling to you
    We are you yourself
    Crying unheard within you.

    Let my unheard voice be heard.
    Let me speak my heart and the words be heard
    Whispering on the wind to millions,
    To all who care,
    To all with ears to hear
    And hearts to beat as one
    With mine.

    Put your ear to the earth,
    And hear my heart beating there.
    Put your ear to the wind
    And hear me speaking there.

    P.S. I met you in Toronto several years ago when you were speaking about Gaza.

  7. Guenter November 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Dear Professor Richard Falk,
    may I keep your wonderful poetry for your legacy for myself?
    I thank you for this gift.

  8. Sandra Twang November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    stirs belief…..and hope and love…..thank you ….


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    […] A poem by Richard Falk […]

  2. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Preparing For Revolution - November 14, 2011

    […] Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His most recent book is Achieving Human Rights (2009).Go to Original – richardfalk.comClick to share this article: facebook | twitter | email. Click here to download this article as a […]

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