Collective Unrest

 

Mob Rule

February 27, 2019

Consider this sea of movement, the multitude in waves.
Now, deceptively calm, until by a mysterious wave
of a demagogue’s hand, it shall arise tidal
to sweep and ruin everything in its path.

Then, what crimes in whose or what name
will be committed?

And history is replete with precedents
which lessons we refuse to learn
or have unlearned:

A hundred flowers bloomed,
a thousand flowers crushed.

First they predicted a fire,
then they started a fire.

(Last night, I taught my children to weep in secret
because the predators,
when they see tears,
smell blood.)

In the name of superstition, religion.
In the name of science, revolution.
In the name of one man.

It shall be another spectacular but unbeautiful release.
A pyrotechnics of collective anger.
A cause righteous or unrighteous
but without doubt waged
virulently—violent
and vicious.

We’ll run away to survive,
only to perish
at borders.

 

Karlo Sevilla’s poems appear in various literary platforms, and one of them is nominated by Ariel Chart for the 2018 Best of the Net Anthology. A runner-up in Submittable’s 2018 National Poetry Month contest, he currently studies creative writing in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. His poetry collection, “Metro Manila Mammal,” was published by Soma Publishing in May, 2018.

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