The Fear, a poem by Omar Musa

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Canberra/Queanbeyan writer Omar Musa wrote a poem today which we thought worthy of sharing given the emotions of the moment.

It appears here with the kind permission of the author.

The Fear (unfinished)
by Omar Musa

It was said,
“be afraid.”

And the people became afraid.

I stood,
a dwarf in a petrified forest,
watching them dance the ancient dance —
there seemed joy in their terror,
& laughter, too.

People baked bullets into their bread.
They chopped up newspapers
& fried them
with sliced onions & sizzling steaks.
They stroked surveillance cameras
between their legs.
They treated TV screens like wells,
dipping buckets into them,
filling teacups
& offering them to neighbours.

At times it held the shape of mirrors & men,
but mostly,
the Fear spread across the waking earth
as if it were gas

& gas expands to fill
whatever vessel
it is put in.

Today,
A man would not serve me at the supermarket.
A woman crossed the street to avoid me.
An anonymous email wished death upon me.

I, too,
became afraid.

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