FIHEL ASIREM
YOU MUST ACT

One morning you awaken
and discover
That you have another day
To live in poverty
To add to the day before.
You discover that everything
Has become confusing.
Everywhere you turn
To make twenty
There’s still nineteen to go.
You seethe with fury-
Which path should you choose?

Wake up, shake youself
Two times rather than once
Until your worries
Come to an end.
You who sit doing nothing
You should neither sleep nor relax.
And the day when you will be broke
The water will replace the sauce on your plate.
Busy running here and there
Tighten your belt one notch
Try to keep count.
When you don’t have a penny
Then will you be humbled
And your head will touch the earth.

Like a crow soaring over canyons
Who abandons its babies
To anxiety and fear
You cry and scream
But still you get nothing to eat.
You cannot endure winter.
It’s true that the cold can kill
Without having the smallest of hopes
You have only the right to tears.
You turn around
The problem is everywhere.
In all directions
There is no solution.
The end is already at the doorstep
And tears cannot help.

If you worry, it will be in vain.
The facts are clear
And they are unassailable.
You have not found and will not find a way.
The poor will always suffer
Because the rich have made off with the spoils.
From the morning
They’ve taken their share and more
And you dare not hope for even a crumb.
Poor, oppressed, dreary,
Your poverty has been cruel
Your pitcher is hopelessly empty.
Don’t fool yourself
Don’t wait for a miracle
“Act now! Resort to revolution!”

One morning you awaken
and discover
That you have another day
To live in poverty
To add to yesterday.
You discover that everything
Has become confusing.
Everywhere you turn
To make twenty
There’s still nineteen to go.
You seethe with fury-
But I must say to you
“Act now! Resort to revolution!”