April 2014        

Psalm 5 (a paraphrase)

Ernesto Cardenal

Translated by Robert Marquez

Give ear to my words, O Lord
Hearken unto my moaning
Pay heed to my protest
For you are not a God friendly to dictators
neither are you a partisan of their politics
Nor are you influenced by their propaganda
Neither are you in league with the gangster
There is no sincerity in their speeches
nor in their press releases
They speak of peace in their speeches
while they increase their war production
They speak of peace at Peace Conferences
and secretly prepare for war
Their lying radios roar into the night
Their desks are strewn with criminal intentions and sinister reports
But you will deliver me from their plans
They speak through the mouth of the submachine gun
Their flashing tongues are bayonets . . .
Punish them, O Lord,
thwart them in their policies
confuse their memorandums
obstruct their programs
At the hour of Alarm
you shall be with me
you shall be my refuge on the day of the Bomb
To him who believes not in the lies of their commercial messages
nor in their publicity campaigns nor in their political campaigns
you will give your blessing
With love do you encompass him
As with armour-plated tanks.

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