Poetry is dangerous

Just by transcribing
Words onto paper
They become dangerous
Says the government
This is not new
It’s as old as time

How wonderful, I say
How refreshing
Every day I am surrounded by words
Dry verses of IRS code
Suffocating syllables of corporate jargon
It is easy to forget
That words still hold power
To give or take life
To move, to quiet
To change the world

And poetry
Is the most dangerous of all
Says the DoD
Coded messages
Instructions to insurgents
In iambic pentameter

I think their true fear is this:
The captive poets still believe in their god
And cry out to him for help
And no matter which side you’re on
It is the same God
And he will judge both prisoner poets
And government censors
By the same standards

How have we treated our fellow man
How have we loved one another
So simple
So dangerous

*Check out The Poems from Guantanamo, University of Iowa Press, August 2007

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