(for Allan Kimani)

There are two ways of living--love and fear,
Love is divine and open like a child,
Love is the dance of nature, free from guile,
Love trusts and suffers, love brings joy and tears.

Fear needs security, it's a lonely prison--
An armored fortress that we build inside--
Fear looks for enemies, fear often hides
Behind the cloak of "good sense" and "reason."

Love is communal, fear is division,
Love shares fully: "What is mine is yours,"
While fear locks all windows and all doors,
Fear is always narrow in its vision.

Fear buys a gun, a watchdog for its home,
Fear builds more bombs, fear won't walk at night,
Fear hides behind the walls and holds on tight
To every dollar, every cent it owns.

Love gives up everything, love gives no reason,
Love doesn't argue, doesn't answer why,
Fear contends: "Love is for fools who die
From being gullible," laughing in its prison.

And so as "prudence" and "good sense" create
More rapists, murderers and thieves to put away,
Fear once more can justify its way
Of wars and executions, greed and hate.

                                              October 9, 1993
                                           --Alexander Shaumyan