Drumbeat


Watts, unhappy Watts,
Remember? burn, burn, burn.
Heatred pulsing in the streets,
Unmerciful and pent up.
Now spent, on who?
Anyone not ours?
Where's it from, this growling thunder?
Mobs of it throbbing out of every pore.
Universal or local? Who's to say?
'Cept those who live within it day to day,
And wait a lifetime to flame up just once,
To pound the summoned drum,
Then fade to ashes from whence they've come.

Perhaps to spark again in some distant land,
A Venezuela, or Ukraine or Afghanistan,
Or as Christian antibalakas' who seek revenge on Muslim seleka,
Or some such other.
Heatred unextinquished,
And maybe never will,
Least 'til all the fuel is spent,
And the drumhead stilled.
Then, from the burnt-out shells
The cry repent! repent! cries out,
But falls too late on deafened ears
Of those who will not hear, nor heed.

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