Yes, Mr. Bush, there is a "new world order"--
   the "order" of lovers gently embracing in a sunset
   and people smiling at each other without
   suspicion or fear of guns, bombs or bullets,
   where there are no dictators or policemen,
   where there is only one Nation of HUMAN BEINGS,
   without flags, without slogans,
   without laws and empty rhetoric to defend these
   flags and slogans,
Yes, yes, Mr. Bush!
   there is indeed a New Order
   where there are no boundaries between peoples,
   where there are no wimps and no bullies,
   where people can express themselves freely and openly
   without fear of censorship,
   where they don't have to wear gas masks or antiseptic
   smiles of TV commercials, where people have a sense of
   humor and are not afraid to ask questions,
Yes, yes, Mr. Bush,
   the New Order where blacks don't have to act like
   whites, where whites don't have to act like blacks,
   and everyone is one race--the Human Race!
   where there are no crooked politicians, no laws,
   no constitutions, no experts with endless lists of
   titles and dissertations, where everyone is just as
   much an authority as anyone else,
Yes! I agree with you completely, Mr. Bush--
   the old world is coming to an end, the time has come
   for the Earth to renew itself and give birth to new
   flowers and to clean up the oceans, the land and the
   air from all the toxic wastes and the dead ideas of the
   "old order,"
   and it now bursts in the storm of explosions, earthquakes,
   hurricanes and tornadoes,
   and the rushing waves rage and swallow cities and
   beaches, yes, yes!...
I'm talking about the New Order or a rebirth, if you will,
   after all the deaths and disasters,
   after all the mindless killing over
   territorial disputes and religions
   in the name of Zeus, Jehovah, Osiris, Allah,
   and other deities of all the polytheistic,
   monotheistic, pantheistic, atheistic,
   Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian,
   Judaic, Hindu, or some other esoteric pagan or voodoo
   believers and nonbelievers,
It makes no difference any more, Mr. Bush,
   not even the oil of the Kuwaitis or the Iraqis or
   the Saudis--that too will run out like the billions
   of dollars that fill the pockets of kings, emirs,
   sheiks, shahs, popes, tycoons, gurus, presidents (yes,
   even presidents!) and all the other riffraff that we
   still worship,
Their palaces, mosques, cathedrals, churches, mansions,
   temples, and mausoleums will turn to rubble, and TV
   evangelists will get off the air,
   and the common folk will no longer watch television,
   for life is too precious to be wasted on television or
   on wars over oil prices or lingerie or computers,
Yes, Mr. Bush, there is a "new world order,"
   if you take the time to smell the roses, if you take
   the time to look at beautiful women instead of spending
   all your time in the Oval Office playing war games with
   your military advisors, if you take the time to ask
   the children if they like ice cream more than MX
   missiles or cruise missiles or Scud missiles
   or some other toys that the military
   likes to play with,
   if you and Saddam Hussein take the time to read some
   poetry out loud of beautiful Arab maidens who fell in
   love with American sailors in the clear starry sky of
   the Middle East,
Yes, yes, Mr. Bush!
   There is still time to act silly and fill the pages
   with laughter and tears, and there is still time to say
   "I love you" to a pretty girl who works at a check-out
   counter in a supermarket,
   for life is too precious for any silly military
   maneuvers--"desert shield," "desert sword," "desert
   storm," or whatever,
What about "desert love", Mr. Bush?
   Yes, I know, it's just a silly poet speaking, and
   I have no plans to run for office or join the military,
   and I have no plans whatsoever in this meticulously
   organized world of yours or anyone else's,
And I don't want to deliver ponderous speeches or holy
   litanies or sing commercial jingles advertizing war or
   a soft drink or toilet paper,
    No, no, Mr. Bush,
   I don't even want to give reasons for going or not
   going to someone else's insane war,
   I don't want to write slogans like NO WAR FOR OIL or
   FREE KUWAIT or some other propaganda,
   I don't want to convince anyone of anything--
   the whole thing is ridiculous anyway!
   I just want to write this poem amidst all this
   craziness because I don't want to be bombarded by TV
   and radio commentaries on some absurd unreality,
   when the real people are right next to each other--
   lonely, sad and bewildered--
   hungry for some human warmth and affection
   that television can never satisfy,
Yes, Mr. Bush, there is a "new world order,"
   but it will take some time and a lot of tears
   before we begin to see it...

                                               January 18, 1991
                                          --Alexander Shaumyan