TWENTY TONS OF TNT - Michael Flanders Poems


Poems » michael flanders » twenty tons of tnt

I have seen it estimated:
Somewhere between death and birth
There are now three thousand million
People living on this earth
And the stock-piled mass destruction
Of the Nuclear Powers-That-Be
Equals--for each man or woman--
Twenty tons of TNT.

Every man of every nation
(Twenty tons of TNT)
Shall receive this allocation
Twenty tons of TNT.
Texan, Bantu, Slav or Maori,
Argentine or Singhalee,
Every maiden brings this dowry
Twenty tons of TNT.

Not for thirty silver shilling
Twenty tons of TNT
Twenty thousand pounds a killing--
Twenty tons of TNT.
Twenty hundred years of teaching,
Give to each his legacy,
Plato, Buddha, Christ or Lenin,
Twenty tons of TNT

Father, Mother, Son and Daughter,
Twenty tons of TNT
Give us land and seed and water,
Twenty tons of TNT.
Children have no need of sharing;
At each new nativity
Come the ghostly Magi bearing
Twenty tons of TNT

Ends the tale that has no sequel
Twenty tons of TNT.
Now in death are all men equal
Twenty tons of TNT.
Teach me how to love my neighbour,
Do to him as he to me;
Share the fruits of all our labour
Twenty tons of TNT.