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“I’m Your Spy” by Mordechai Vanunu

A poem by Mordechai Vanunu

Mordechai Vanunu, Israel, was a subordinate nuclear technician at what proved to be a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Following his convictions he delivered evidence to a London newspaper, the Sunday Times. Israel’s secret police abducted him to Israel, via Rome, in grave violation of the territorial integrity of both Britain and Italy. He was sentenced as a spy to 18 years in prison. He wrote «I’m Your Spy» early during the first 11 1/2 years he was held in strict isolation.

I am the clerk, the technician,
the mechanic, the driver.
They said, Do this, do that,
don’t look left or right,
don’t read the text.
Don’t look at the whole machine.
You are only responsible for this one bolt.
For this one rubber-stamp.
This is your only concern.
Don’t bother with what is above you.
Don’t try to think for us. Go on, drive.
Keep going. On, on.
So they thought, the big ones, the smart ones,
the futurologists.
There is nothing to fear. Not to worry.
Everything is ticking just fine.

Our little clerk is a diligent worker.
He’s a simple mechanic.
He’s a little man.
Little men’s ears don’t hear,
their eyes don’t see.
We have heads, they don’t
Answer them, said he to himself,
said the little man,
the man with a head of his own.
Who is in charge? Who knows
where this train is going?
Where is their head? I too have a head.
Why do I see the whole engine.
Why do I see the precipice —
is there a driver on this train?
The clerk driver technician mechanic
looked up.
He stepped back and saw — what a monster.
Can’t believe it. Rubbed his eyes and — yes,
it’s there all right. I’m all right. I do see
the monster. I’m part of the system.
I signed this form. Only now I am reading the
rest of it.
This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me.
How did I fail to see, and how do the others go on
fitting bolts. Who else knows?
Who has seen? Who has heard —
The emperor really is naked.
I see him. Why me? It’s not for me. It’s too big.
Rise and cry out. Rise and tell the people.
You can.
I, the bolt, the technician, mechanic —
Yes, you.
You are the secret agent of the people. You are
the eyes of the nation.
Agent-spy, tell us what you’ve seen. Tell us
what the insiders, the clever ones, have
hidden from us.
Without you, there is only the precipice.
Only catastrophe.
I have no choice. I’m a little man,
a citizen, one of the people,
but I’ll do what I have to.
I’ve heard the voice of my conscience
and there is nowhere to hide.
The world is small, small for Big Brother.
I’m your mission. I’m doing my duty.
Take it from me.
Come and see for yourselves.
Lighten my burden. Stop the train.
Get off the train. The next stop — nuclear
disaster. The next book,
the next machine. No. There is no such thing.

2 Responses to “I’m Your Spy” by Mordechai Vanunu

  1. searching April 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Great poem.
    In a way we, an average/common people, are little ,meaningless bolts, in a big machine of history and civilisation.
    But ,as a great philospher Blaise Pascal once said “Man is nothing but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.”
    We are “thinking bolts”. We all have minds, hearts, souls. We are an independent and inter-depended human beings. We rely on others in our life but ultimately we are, alone responsible for our decisions, dircetion in which our life may turn.
    We are part of a big machinery , in which those, who are on top , so-called Ruling Elite, should lead us towards the Truth, Peace and Justice.
    And they don’t.
    It is clearly visible and noticable they they entered , a long way ago, the paths of lies, deception, manipulation, desire to destroy, humilitate, desire to dominate and rule. They do whatever it takes to realise their plans and dreams. At our cost. By letting them doing it, by becoming “useful idiots”, the “bolts ” that are not supposed to think and act on their own, we give them the power they need to achive their devilish plans.


  2. searching April 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    a beautifl song for anybody who care to listen.