Hero Wanted

All soldiers,
All philosophers,
All artists -

The world is in dire need of a hero,
Someone who can handle both
Terrorism and pouty children.


You, soldier.
You've been shipped back and forth between civilizations;
You've experienced it all:
The destruction crunching beneath your bootheels,
The eyelids of humanity shutting tight against the roar of ground tanks,
The static negotiations that haunt your empty cartridges when you
Realize your leaders are too obsessed with their own realities
To care about yours.

If you are heroic they will bequeath upon your breast
A purple cloth with a heavy heart weighing down the broadcloth
You've become so accustomed to wearing you don't even take it off
At dinnertime anymore for fear it will erupt in gunfire smoke.

But your uniform and your conscience remain
Clean save a worn edge from those mines you were
Ordered to set in a semicircle around that village.
They tore a child's arm from his body and that night
Your wife gave birth.


You, philosopher.
You've mastered the art of thinking;
You've considered it all:
The downfall of great minds,
The profundity of intangibilities,
The deified remnants of late-night visitors
Who do not leave fruit baskets but memes,
Food For Thought, you think and laugh.

Heroism is but merely a page in the Book of Life,
Perhaps a human construct, a human concept to
Purify war and account for the existence of saints and angels,
But you think it completely disregards the quiet corners you inhabit.

What about wisdom? Is there heroism in wisdom, you ask.
Is there heroism in wishing simply for a warm fireplace
And a soft ottman to rest your feet at night,
Alone but content in reading between the secret lines
Of the universe.


You, artist.
You've gone unremembered in the pages of history;
You've remained in the shadows you paint:
The places where wars began and ended,
The emotions of a postmodern world uncertain of its own convictions,
The famous faces emblazoned in vibrant inkjet magazine pages
When perhaps the color was duller before the digital age arrived,
A bastardization that serves the people, ignoring your integrity.

Oh, you've painted heroes too,
Proud and handsome in bloodied robes
That maybe weren't so bloody in your eyes,
But they paid you enough for six months' rent.

Other than that you dream only of
Representing the world you observe with
Waking anticipation, waiting for the
Next great event to occur so you can
Rush to the scene, brandishing light and life.