Villain Farmer [Today's News Poem, January 15, 2011]
Sing of the barbed-wire and string me along it.
Break but don't bend, you must rake up my organs.
Pass me along to the grass and the insects.
Trade me for orchards—you made me a coffin.
Walk with me; hands graze the stalks of the barley.
Both of us harvest the oath of the planted.
Reap if you must, but to keep what grows wild;
Will it, uncover and kill, you must spill it.
"Shortly after Friday's massive demonstrations in Tunis, which reached a crescendo outside the hated Ministry of the Interior on Avenue Mohamed V, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country, taking refuge in Saudi Arabia. The army and security forces are trying to impose order in Tunis. Tanks and armored personnel carriers have been deployed on one of the capital's main thoroughfares, Avenue 7 Novembre (named after the date when Ben Ali assumed presidential powers in 1987). At midday Saturday I watched as two truckloads of soldiers pulled up on the avenue and began stringing out barbed wire."
—Ben Wedeman, CNN Senior International Correspondent, January 15, 2011 -- Updated 1817 GM
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