July 21, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Tanja Heffner



I.B. Rad






Just as you can’t simultaneously

determine momentum and position

of subatomic particles,

you can’t simply focus

on one aspect of sociopolitical reality

without losing sight of another;

for example, it may seem ideal

to live in a global village

where your first allegiance

is to the human race

rather than to a particular nation;

for, if we’re swearing allegiance to sovereign states

with their incessant conflicts

and steadily growing lethality,

how can we escape annihilation?

Nonetheless, despite trade, cooperation, and coalitions,

the current world of nation states

is more like a zero-sum game

than a “family of nations;”

consequently, not sufficiently furthering the interests

of your own country,

which serves both as a home and lifeboat,

can result in its relative diminution

or even its subsequent foundering.

Yet, as societies are ever evolving,

perhaps we can escape that trap;

perhaps through increasing economic integration,

travel, and immigration, abetted by social media,

a need to surmount common challenges

like climate change, pandemics,

expanding threats from nonstate actors,…

we’ll unite and avert our presumably inevitable tragedy.

And, if that merely seems like wishful thinking,

could pre World War II French and Germans

have foreseen a European Union,

and who foresaw the end of the “cold war?”

But even so, one’s left wondering

how we can become “citizens of the world”

when we can’t even get beyond identity politics

with its self-enforcing political correctness

and stress on particularization

rather than on shared humanity;

when, for instance, skin color

isn’t just a matter of pigmentation

but through guilt by racial association

can actually be a crime!





I.B. Rad

I.B. Rad lives in New York city with Mrs Rad and their valued canine companion. He is widely published with much of his work available on the internet. His book, “Dancing at the Abyss,” was recently published by “Scars Publications.”


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