(On the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the
Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989)

Berlin DDR with its quirky, mistaken structure,
abided by the fearful, breached by the brave,
fooled no one into believing its pretension.

And that Great Wall, from space even seen,
zigzagging and crumbling and lasting only
as a tourist attraction of national pride.

Oh, and the wailing at the Western Wall 
in Old Jerusalem, where religion and identity
clash like firing squad bullets and death.

People build these walls for security, shelter, safety,
prayer or isolation; four or more can make a house. 
Oh, but how fragile they sometimes are; how quickly they can fall.

And the wolf and three little pigs found out 
about bricks, and twigs, and straw. See, rice paper walls, 
boy, stand no chance against a gale-force world.

Like you boy-star, adorned in your prima donna barriers, 
tolerated by teachers, sneered at by peers, 
crashing your own pride around backstage, as if. 

So build it high, lay foundations deep. 
As the tide rises, the earth quakes, the masses rebel, 
watch it lilt sideways; stand forever askance.
1987. A wall of fear.
1987. The first wall of fear.


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