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What if
I unsettled the homeland?
Richter would set its scale
To shake lots of leaves from
The tree of public interest
In which many hide.
The bourgeois and the destitute,
Warlords and frontline troops,
Shepherds and faithful citizens,
Leaders and freedom-fighters.

What if
I unsettled mountains?
Rebels who lost their way
To the battle-front
Would look down from the mountains’ heights.

What if
I unsettled death?
Friends whom I had seen off for good
Would return one by one
To sit up all night
Around the table
Of life.

What if
I unsettled truth?
Many lies
Would fall from
Its folds.

What if
I unsettled silence?
A lot of clamour
Would bounce off its guts.

What if
I unsettled the left?
Party militants dreaming
Of the extreme right
Would peep from its sidelines.

What if I unsettled
Many fighters going to death
For the sake of a cause
That concerns
Only their generals
Would fall at the battlefronts.

What if
I unsettled heroism?
Great cowardice
Would emerge at its borders.

What if
I unsettled crime?
It would end up recognising
Its perpetrators.

What if
I unsettled the page?
A lot of war criminals busy
Planting kisses on the foreheads of victims
Would leap from its folds
And open

What if
I unsettled history?
Historians busy
Adjusting its frame
To the size of the state
Would look down from its heights.

What if
I unsettled love?
All the lovers
Who feign further losses
To realise the pain of love,
Would leap from its tales.

What if
I unsettled politics,
Men piling up their countries’ losses
To enter the Guinness Book
Through its wide gate,
Would jump off its notebooks.

What if
I unsettled the battlefront?
Generals stirring up more wars
To conclude a truce
Worthy of thousands
Of martyrs
Would emerge from its sidelines.

What if
I unsettled hell?
Angels who had lost their way
To Heaven
Would emerge from its maze.

What if
I unsettled certainty?
A large smile
Would light up the face
Of Uncle Descartes.

What if
I unsettled the wave?
Stories of sailors
Who got lost on the way
To treasures
That existed only in the heads
Of their leaders
Would bounce off its perplexity.

What if
I unsettled friendship?
A lot of enmity
Would fall off its banks.

What if
I unsettled age?
Children messing around with the stars
Would emerge from its wrinkles.

What if
I unsettled the ship?
A lot of opportunists
Seeking escape
And leaving the deluge
Would jump from its deck.

What if
I unsettled the Forties?
Little Rim
Would peep from the city’s outskirts,
While growing
To reach skies I have never touched
And mountains beyond the grasp of
My hands.

Translator's Note: Little Rim is the name of the poet’s daughter.