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An ode to my dying country

10 December 2012, 07:02

Last night I had a dream, a disturbing dream

The people of my land loved their heroes so, that they elevated and hoisted them onto the shoulders of giants

From those lofty heights, they preached and inspired, and painted a world free of strife, a better life for all

My memories are a little hazy, as all dreams are

Because the next chapter sees the giants visibly taking strain, grimacing with pain

Like fattened cows, the heroes have doubled in girth and weight

Each limb supporting a string of new heroes until this tree obliterates the trunk and roots it stands on

Until only the branches can the naked eye see

In my dream I see pestilence

A plague sweeps across the land, death’s icy grip is as common as the cold

It’s a common cold they say

Eat your vegetables they say

A beetroot a day keeps the doctor away

Yet my brothers and sisters die by the thousands, raped by hunger and yet the heroes plunder

And plot and plan and talk and pat themselves on the back

I see despot kings, kings with no subjects cooling themselves in rivers of pain and sweat

I see three year old babes, barely out their nappies, walking for hours to school, just so they can eat

I see extravagantly boastful middle-aged men called “youths” pilfering a thousand men’s lifetime earnings, squandered on drunken orgies and shiny belongings

I see armed protectors of the people, the keepers of peace

Cutting down those who dare ask for crumbs from the heroes’ table

I see the wounded dragons and ogres and witches

The models of indignation

These are your heroes they ask?

Are you so blind as not to see?

You and your kind are the lowest of the low

Look at your brethren up north

They’ll never amount to nought

What makes you think that you won’t  go down the same drain

All your problems are self-wrought

Never mind that I won’t give you what’s rightfully yours

Because it never was you see

All that I have I deserve

I don’t owe you a thing

The gentle giant said we’re square, so tough luck, I’m not sorry

Yet you call me a dragon, an ogre, a witch

That my dear Sir, is unfair

I cried and I cried in my dream and awoke with a start

Still traumatized, it took a while to realize this was no dream

Where there’s smoke, there’s bound to a fire

Maybe we brought this on ourselves

Even with everything we know, we look to our heroes to put the dragons, the ogres, the witches in their place

The truth that eludes us, is that these are creatures of myth

We don’t need heroes, we need wise men

We don’t need tales of dragons and ogres and witches

Myopia is curable, we need glasses

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