Blessed your light

Blessed your light that helped us through to dawn.

Cold and shivering, you helped us survive.

Your reward was unjust, they stole your life.

Which is why we owe repayment to them.

You were our hero, savior, brightened days.

A life worth allowing to live through time.

You gave us hope when the gamblers went broke.

Attrition, submission, never gave up.

You fought for victory, never accede.

With us in mind, you knew we deserved more.

You would bring us the stars, the sun and moon.

Never forget to lead the way humble.

They thought we’d forget you in time. Maybe.

With no shelter, we remember, regret.

Merciful to shed light and provide shade.

Now our eyes are burning. Where have you gone?

Bulgarian revolutionary G. Angelov and his cheta

Our inspiration to see the next day.

One full of clouds, illusion reigns supreme.

They miscalculate deeds to make it rain.

Torrents of lies, no truth purveyed to us.

Our conditions remain, memories false.

We remember the one who stood up tall.

Shouted to them and said, “We will return!”

Who is here to carry on? No one left.

Someone not taught to shoulder the burden.

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The Heroism of a Life

Monumento al Che Guevara en Santa Clara (frag)

Enduring heroes don’t need victories.

Highly romanticized, over-valued.

Their job is to inspire who comes next.

They represent an idea, a notion.

That it is possible to change the world.

Actions and circumstance lead us to war.

The status quo has not been overturned.

It’s been challenged. That is enough for now.

Someday a hero will come to save us.

For now we rely upon those who’ve failed.

Look at what they tried to do. They came close.

Young one, pick up the flag where they left off.

Embrace the struggle. Let yourself be changed.

Generations before you set the fire.

Now it is on you to make the flame burn.

You may not remember what started it.

You know it continues. Fight on, strong one.

If you stumble now, we will pick you up.

So that you may inspire the next ones.

You may not remember the interviews.

Or the speeches. The frustration lives on.

Give your all. More than victory is hope.

A martyr or a victor remembered.

Either way, you set the stage. Erase fate.

Show us the way. We will not live condemned.

Death too Soon

Part One: Tribute

A hero to all, enemy to none.

Invincible; who we wanted to be.

But life was too much for your soul to bear.

You warned us, told us it would happen soon.

Then claimed innocence when you failed at first.

Who would’ve guessed that success was failure?

That fulfillment was hollow and empty?

And of course, who did you have to turn to?

Who could be a rock to hold a boulder?

So many questions. God without answer.

The labor we would trade was unfulfilled.

Others surrounded to create the hole.

So you sought an exit from the vacuum.

Consume, consume, the leech and parasites.

Then it is done and you were left without.

So something else filled what should have been.

Something so precious, but not meant to last.

Disparity known, but eyes closed shut.

Live in the moment, flip off the future.

Abrupt halt before hurdling forward.

It wasn’t for you, should have chosen else.

Chart showing he circumstances for suicide in ...

Part Two: Forgotten

Yet you’re not alone, not the very first.

Brother who held hands at the mountain peak.

A troubled past that was, came uncovered.

Or the sickness that destroys what you were.

Stealing your identity, missing whole.

Being better doesn’t mean being best.

Expectations held, always above you.

The ones you hurt the most are your regrets.

Erasing the past can’t fix next Thursday.

Ever seeking, but the system hides it.

That thing that would make us better people.

Sometimes life was over when mistakes haunt.

Little things that eat away every day.

Some of us never make it to the top.

Our God a cruel child, loving misery.

To weigh the burden, yet never make it.

Sometimes your promises meant all too much.

The system has left you misunderstood.

Frustration lies where fruit doesn’t harvest.

Heroes, unlike me

Teardrop on Fire

Tears unsurfaced, I make my final plea

Ask the heroes who were supposed to be

What went wrong? Why did you abandon us?

Now we suffer. Your promises have died.

You were supposed to save us, make things right.

Failure. Evil in this world has prevailed.

The monsters still live underneath our beds.

The demons haunt our minds when we’re awake.

They take all our money and claim it’s best.

A savings plan for the rich to survive.

They torture us and claim that’s how it works.

They claim the strong survive; no others should.

Then where are our heroes, the ones from past?

Where did you run to when it all went wrong?

They killed you, claimed victory when you died.

What are we supposed to do with life now?

I am not strong enough to lead the way.

Please just come back. That is all I’m asking.

Fulfill your promises, and you can go.

It’s been too long, and your people suffer.

None gifted with the strength to pull us through.

Am I the only one who remembers?

That the struggle was once ours well in hand.

Until you left and we all fell apart.

We turned our backs and became more like them.

The History of the World: Respect for Elders

Beijing :: Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

 

 

 

 

 

The hero was born; a farmer again

Joined the revolution to lead the way

Victorious, he left still young at heart

Scholar to be revered in days ahead

But the struggles intrigued, so he studied

He discovered how to share and joined peers

Attended discussions on how to be

Represented them at conferences

Interests rekindled for the uprisings

Worked for the nationalists with wisdom

Uprising, because you won’t kill them off

Weakness to women, but not yet suffer

Lesson learned, go find another to love

Growing influence councilled those who share

A little brother that would end up more

Growing force supported by the people

They were hungry, because others had naught

Victory yet not, they return to base

Warlord conspires to end the conflict

Knowledged experience is practical

Fragile allies broken by treachery

Time to rectify within the circle

The Hero sat on a chair to speak thoughts

The treacherous arrive to assess him

Occupiers alike must face defeat

The Hero defeated, chased them away

The People laid siege to the cowardly

The nation established for the People

He shaped the nation for them with his will

Changes were made, and traitors were removed

People celebrated and were happy

But he knew the culture would have to change

He told the secessionists they should stay

Then the treacherous tried to stage nearby

Years later they would come pay their respects

But the treacherous elements pervade

And it became tough when the allies changed

So he created a plan to outpace

He counted every man to leave none

Through the collective, everyone would win

Replaceable, never regretting loss

And those who cause suffering shall be gone

Momentum and progress brought a new plan

He saw the allies grow and had to try

Paying respect to elders the whole time

And he said the treacherous could not stay

The treacherous said that he shouldn’t share

But second-rate he would not let them be

And he knew that forward was the future

Sacrifice and ethics were all the same

But they marred his name because of progress

The treacherous counted deaths as products

Playing with numbers to maim the Hero

He wanted to share, live by principles

Rather than the treacherous principal

He asked for faith to speed by thievery

To feed every mouth was the implied task

Farmers, industrialists; contribute

And natural disasters combated

And he fixed it so no man was hungry

He paid the elders and fed the allies

Others decried that food was not enough

The Hero needed to educate them

How to become strong the Hero well knew

Even if others were not yet convinced

The People needed to change to see it

Greed has no place in a society

And other things the Hero said were truths

Then he said the People had changed, progressed

Number games made losses seem apparent

So the leaders divided, unconquered

New allies formed and reconciled ideas

Until the unthinkable became truth

The People would be forced to let him go

The Hero solely kept in memory

New leaders must now guide the collective

While the treacherous continued campaigns

Successes questioned by those who weren’t there

Yet the image of the Hero remained

The History of the World: Farmer's Rebellion

Image of Sandinista mural, NicaraguaNot one to allow the pawns every move they make, he was aggressive with them, perhaps too aggressive, because eventually he had to leave his home to spend his energies working abroad, safer then he was. His poor mother. But not to worry her little heart. He would soon return, learned and cultured from abroad, yet not foreign to his cause. Schooled in matters, now free from the close eye of the law. He returned home, a facade of normalcy for him and his family. For this is when he built his peasant army. The pawns would no longer make dangerous moves against him when the aggression of the masses was upon them. But the pawns sought to stem the flow of aggression from the source, separate the leadership, cut off the head. The pawns moved to attack the base of his mountain. But they shouldn’t try to move mountains immovable. So instead, they just stayed in wait. Occupied, uninvited and unwanted. And while they waited, they ate all of the bananas. When they left, they made sure to have eaten them all. Greed. That is why we are poor and they are not.

But before they left, they tried to attack the base of the mountain again. Immovable, and the earth shifts to crush our enemies and protect our hero with his cause, in time. Safety beckoning, he left again. And he spoke to the beast with his own words, the Truth he learned when he saw the Light. Maybe this could weaken the beast, enough to allow for some of its puppet strings to snap. But the beast was strong, and it pursued, hunted. Ever thinking itself victorious. The hero escaped every hunt, though, for now, and even managed jabs with each sidestep, goading the beast to incite violence. Every thorn he pricked into the beast’s side reminded the beast that the hero’s battle was far from over, as it had prematurely assumed. The beast’s effort would have to either continue or halt altogether.

Eventually when the beast left, it pretended we were equals. Lost lives, lost humanity, and at the end of it all, we both made scratches on paper to pretend everything was okay. Other allies arose and responded to the artificial papers. “Solidarity,” came the cries from the other side of the board, where every piece made up the whole, and not all pawns worked for the king. Even the pieces who cared not for the peasants and workers, those who would have become the beast had history’s righteousness not slain them, even they paid their respects to us. But the true beast asked opinions with his puppet strings. It put on a puppet show, with the pawns claiming victory for the beast, and claiming the defection of the hero. The beast even went so far as to pull the puppet strings of the hero’s mother. “Please surrender,” she danced, lifelessly. But he never did comply. And since the beast disrespected his mother, now the beast’s blood must redden the land. But not without guns. Guns are the voices of the voiceless. But people can be fickle, and relationships that bring weapons sizzle. And there went the guns. When guns no longer speak their volumes, leaders must speak with their voices. And they lead campaigns. But campaigns can’t be won without generals. The beast’s pawns stole their positions. Compromised. So the hero, without guns, without a voice, without his generals, he led a new campaign. He wrote, to gather support, revitalize the war against the beast and its pawns. So he wrote of his vision, the re-unification of the banana lands, this time victorious where we witnessed others fail. But not our hero. His plan would work.

But not before the beast hunted him again. Wolves, and their like, hunted the hero, chased him abroad to safety once more. But from afar, the hero’s campaign cannot be won like the beast’s, because he controls no pawns.  Only oppressors wield the power of others. And the puppet strings were pulled again. He was betrayed.

The pawns had become followers, leading the hero’s information warfare campaign. But they were weak to the beast, and informed the hero’s position. So hard it must be to hide and remain seen.

So the hero went again, and he wrote from afar. Seeking conciliation of victory, the hero again let his visions speak through his words. Through every sense, he conveyed the Truth, what truly mattered. And as succesful men must do, most of all, he spoke with action, showed that he would not take the fight out of the fight, even with all his words.

Eventually the hero won enough battles that the war was cancelled. A victory for perspectives, but betrayal more to come.

To verify the conditions at hand, the hero asked the people which victor they preferred. And they answered, “one of our own, and not an entertaining puppet.” So the beast left, like a good neighbor that mustn’t overstay its welcome. Blood and artificial victories for all, and for none a good knight. But as all fighters must learn, betrayals are oft when loyalty can be bought. As soon as the hero smiled and shook hands, the pawns stabbed him in the back. But because heroes represent more than themselves, more than anyone, because of visions and ideas of Light or Truth, the hero did not truly die that day, though we did mourn. Though history so rarely rewards the righteous, the hero’s bittersweet legacy remained. In his name his people still claimed victory over the beast. And after another life-span, the hero was finally recognized as the true victor, the man who stood up and spoke the Truth because he saw the Light.

Invisible

The span of the San Ivan River is a rich wildlife habitat that some claim as the most fertile region in the world. Its source is a spring at the foot of Mount Pedro. It then runs south through rolling grasslands, drops off at the Caliente Falls, flows alongside flourishing towns and villages, cuts through the Cowboy Mountains, and finally empties into Lake Triste. Trails trodden by Indians going from village to village have created ideal hiking conditions for any aspiring outdoorsman. The trails are easily navigable throughout each of the regions four seasons. Travelers can navigate the trails any time of the year, allowing them to see ice-covered falls, flowering meadows, sandy beaches, or blossoming trees. There are even 100-gallon water station barrels along the trails, placed for travelers as places to rest and replenish their water supply with purified water sources. Guides are available to explain the history of the region, beginning from the when the river’s path was first dug out.

Pidurutalagala (Mount Pedro)

Decades later, plant growth along the river’s edges brought civilization back to the region. Families began constructing homes within reach of the river’s shores, grouping into settlements with other families, until the entire region became populated. Women would travel to the river and gather water, while the men improved upon their homes or worked in small gardens. Children would play around all of them, until they were shooed away, when they would go play around someone else. Some of the men even began expanding their gardens into sustainable farms once the minor irrigation systems were built. Of course, none of this would have been possible if not for the man who dug the river, and when tour guides began populating this river oasis, they learned that his name was Ivan.

Ivan was thought to live near Lake Triste, where he took baths. After the market was built at the northern part of the river, he was also known to visit weekly for supplies. The men who had seen Ivan said he was always smiling, offering generously to give a hand for anything, but asked nothing in return. He would offer to work their farms, build their houses, carry their water, and even clean the children when they came back from playing in the mud. He never asked for anything, nor did he ever explain who he was or that it was he who built the river. He was simply content to work, and that is all they ever knew. The husbands told their wives of this great friend that was a friend without sustained friendship, and this made the wives, and the gossiped widows and girls, suspicious, because they had never seen Ivan. The husbands told how he could be seen around Lake Triste, or on his hikes to the northern Market, how much he smiled around at everyone while at that market, and even pointed to him when he was working with them. But the women talked amongst themselves about their husbands, because the women never saw Ivan. So the men became more adamant, taking their families to the beaches at Crater Lake for family vacations. There, the men would stop and talk to Ivan as he was emptying sandbags, help him carry more down to the beach, and then return to their families. Ivan would smile, and the children would stare at him, but the women would only frown in his direction until he let go of his smile and returned to work. The men wanted Ivan to be recognized, so they would invite him to dinner after a day’s work, but Ivan would politely decline the invitations, smiling and waving before leaving their homes, while the children quietly watched him and the women glared at him as he walked out the door. Ivan became discomfited once the mall was built, because every time he would visit there, per usual, the men would walk up to shake his hand and make small talk while the children looked at him, but the women were never so kind, always shooting him dirty looks that sheepened his smile away.

Eventually Ivan stopped going into public in order to maintain his spirits, but the men were disappointed. No longer did they have the help or kindness that radiated from Ivan, but now they spent their days working alone, and would go home empty, subjected to the full wrath of their wives’ incessant nagging that work wasn’t being done around the house, and the children were becoming unruly. When the first husband killed himself, the men knew something had to be done. Intolerable lives led the men to lobby for Ivan to return. They met together at night in the Trump Tavern that now overlooked the river from the foot of Lake Triste. Ivan was contacted, and with regret he gave his first speech the next day at the funeral procession, called the ‘Funeral Oration.’ But Ivan immediately disappeared again, and husbands continued to end their own lives in desperation.

The men then named Ivan the pharaoh of the San Ivan River region. As pharaoh, Ivan returned to the public, if only to give speeches on the state of the region. His orations were held in the highest regard by the men that heard them broadcast all over the San Ivan River region, and lifted their spirits back to fulfilling, functional lives. His first speech as pharaoh was called, ‘On the Crown,’ wherein Ivan discussed the succession and ascendancy to pharaoh, naming any man worthy, provided that he had prior experience. The men rallied to the speech, finding an enormous sense of respect for this egalitarian man that they had named theirs. The men returned home to their wives and talked of their aspirations to the new throne, once Ivan’s eternal reign ended. The wives scoffed, and having not heard the speech, began to presume that the pharaoh’s seat was a way to keep them out of power. They met together and gossiped, but forgot about the possibility of preparing a plan to unseat the pharaoh. Ivan, in his benevolence, began to issue sermons for the morality of the children. His first was the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Understanding that he was not a god, Ivan concluded his moral teachings with ‘The Farewell Sermons’, and thereafter allowed parents to guide their children’s own morality. Once the San Ivan River region was declared the only freshwater resource left in the world, Ivan immediately stationed troops at outposts along the river to protect the region from invaders. Prior to sending them out on the very first watch, he spoke to them at their fort, giving each a bottle of water from the San Ivan River that would heal any wounds sustained.

Following the war, Ivan found other issues he had to deal with. Taking advantage of the possibility of war, a group had formed against his administration called ‘The Troubleshooters’. This group identified problems with Ivan’s administration, but offered no solutions. They gossiped about it loudly in places about the city, but no action was ever taken. The group eventually disbanded because of a lack of leadership and splinter groups forming. As a man who despised inaction, Ivan did not let their actions go, but rebuked the group for such devious intentions with his “Ain’t I a Man?” speech. The speech was given in front of a large double-arched hotel in the middle of the city. At the end of the speech, as Ivan waved to the crowd and began to walk away, shots were fired. He ducked, and was rushed to cover by his bodyguard. The shooter was immediately apprehended by the crowd and handed over to police, while Ivan was rushed to the hospital. Ivan sustained no injuries during the event, and once released immediately held another press conference to announce his resignation, to the chagrin of his supporters. His assailant was put on trial, and eventually declared not guilty by a jury and released despite what seemed to be overwhelming evidence. Ivan allegedly retired to a treehouse he had built, and was never seen or heard from again. Some tour guides point out his possible location, labeled outside with a sign that reads, “no girls allowed.”