The Dictator’s Dash
Hitler and Stalin and Saddam Hussein,
Hairy were all of his heroes,
Inspired by models, he’d model their reigns,
Like them, became he Maduro.
He razor betook to master their look,
For MEN groom hair on their face,
Fidel’s would it cook hence beard he forsook,
But Dictator’s Dash he’d embrace.
But was it unwise to take up their guise,
With masters Maduro competes,
Murder and mayhem and countries’ demise,
Is moustache but shallow conceit?
It’s famine not face hair that leaves all appalled,
Mussolini and Mao … clean shaven and bald.
This is a verse-to-verse translation by Henrry Lazama (@hlezama) ... completed in less than 24 hours! Whales ... are you guys still wondering who you ought to curate?
La Carrera del Dictador
Hitler, y Stalin, y Saddam Hussein,
Todos sus héroes eran peludos
sus reinos inspiraron su modelo a seguir,
Como ellos, se volvió él, Maduro.
Él la afeitadora para imitar su apariencia tomó,
Porque los HOMBRES a sus bigotes le ponen hasta cera,
el look de Fidel descartado, así que la barba olvidó,
Pero convertirse en un Dictador abrazó como carrera.
Pero fue asumir su disfraz una imprudencia,
con verdaderos maestros Maduro compite,
La caída de países, asesinato y violencia
Es el bigote solo vanidad pa´l que lo imite?
Que vello facial, lo que espanta es la hambruna
Mao … afeitado; como la calva de Mussolini ninguna
Note: "The Dictator's Dash" is a Savagerean Sonnet (with minor modifications to the form). If you'd like to learn more about this poetic innovation, including its neurological basis, I explain it here.
Fathers of Daughters
Several weeks ago, I drove three hours to drop off my daughter at the University of Florida where she will be studying Biomedical Engineering. When we arrived, it was raining and we got soaked schlepping her stuff up to her dorm room. Her dorm room is a shoe box which she shares with three other girls. I was heartbroken by the separation, and alarmed by the impending austerity, as she has been the very purpose of my life for the past eighteen years. The ray of light amidst the black clouds was that she arrived at UF with USD $70,000 in merit scholarships (and there's likely more coming).
Of course, I am not alone in my gloomy predicament. There are countless other dads who have undergone the same thing: Having to let go of their precious princesses.
Let me tell you about one of them.
I have a friend here on Steemit named Henrry Lazama (yes, two r's). Until recently, he was a university professor in Venezuela. He didn't resign after they stopped paying his salary, nor when the lights and air conditioning went out, nor when all the laboratory equipment started disappearing in the middle of the night. He did, however, resign when campus assassinations became commonplace.
Like me, Henrry is a literary nerd: Poetry; prose; satire; philosophy; politics; history; etc. Indeed, he is such a nerd that he actually understands what I write and is frequently kind enough to explain it to everyone else. The last time I wrote a satirical piece about Venezuela, Henrry translated it into Spanish, including, rather astonishingly, a verse-to-verse translation of the included poem. Verse-to-verse translation of poetry is the most difficult of linguistic feats. Inarguably, my good friend possesses one the blockchain's most gifted minds.
A little more than a week ago, Henrry undertook a 29 hour bus trip to escort his elderly mother to his sister's residence on the other side of the country. The journey was a day-long ambush-waiting-to-happen but, as luck would have it, he managed to make it there and back without getting mugged or murdered by either the highwaymen or the police. Lawlessness and governmental corruption is pandemic. Despite the deplorable and dangerous conditions of the commute, the cost of the bus tickets was what the average Venezuelan makes in six months.
Upon return home, Henrry was almost immediately crippled by kidney stones. Kidney stones are hardly the type of malady one normally fears in the 21st Century, but in 21st Century Venezuela ... they can kill you. The pain was excruciating and the risk of infection, leading to sepsis, real. But in modern-day Venezuela, both pain medications and antibiotics are luxuries one procures privately or does without ... because hospitals have seen neither in months. One of Henrry's mates was able to obtain some pain meds with what little money he possessed. Tough choice that, though ... medication for a friend or starvation for oneself.
You'd think Henrry might have earned a respite, right?
Henrry has two daughters, both a couple of years younger than my own. I first encountered them last year just before Christmas. Henrry had won a poetry recitation contest I'd sponsored and with the 26 SBD prize money he was able to buy them Christmas gifts: Two pairs of glasses. They were ecstatic. You see, while the girls had inherited Henrry's fine mind, they'd also inherited his poor eyesight. As such, neither could read the writings of their own father.
Next week Henrry will be seeing off his daughters, just as I recently saw off mine. But instead of going off to university, the younger will be going to stay with her grandmother in a far away city while the eldest will be off to Brazil. Henrry's family, like so many others in Venezuela, is being torn apart in a desperate attempt to keep everyone from starving.
A Penny, a Pence or a Pound
100% of the proceeds of this post will be donated to Henrry and his family. In addition, I will make a donation and am hoping to inspire others to do likewise.
Here's what you can do:
- Upvote this post at 100%;
- ReSteem, ReTweet & Share this post;
- If you know an Orca or a Whale, notify them of this post and ask them to participate;
- If you can spare a few bucks, make a donation to @hlezama. I will start off with the donation of all the liquid SBD in my wallet, about 15 SBD; and
- If you make a donation of at least USD $50.00, you'll Commission a Poem (explained below).
$50.00 Donation Commissions a Poem
Donations to @hlezama of the equivalent of USD $50.00 or more (in STEEM/SBD) will constitute payment for a poem written by myself. You pick the subject matter and I'll write the words (I reserve the right to veto "inappropriate" subject matter ... my name goes on the bottom of the poem and I won't sully my reputation. If you're uncertain about appropriateness, you can DM me in advance: QuillFire#7038 on Discord).
Poems as Presents. In my almost 52 years of life, I have given a good many gifts. Without exception, the ones most appreciated have been Tribute Poems (which I print out and frame).
Most people have never been the subject of a poem and most never will. Tribute poems, as gifts, are singular in their distinction being, quite literally, one-of-a-kind. And, in a thousand years, long after most everything extant has been reduced to dust, somewhere in a dusty library or silicon database, the words will live on: Immortalizing an essence and providing testament that the world would have been a lesser place but for the fact of that person's existence.
This Christmas, the sum of $50.00 will be spent on countless millions of trinkets, many of which will not survive the year, and the receipt of which will be forgotten just as quickly. In my daughter's shoe box dorm room, she has but one decoration: A poem I wrote for her 16th birthday.
If you're not familiar with the quality and style of my poetry, scroll through my blog. There are countless poems written about a variety of subjects.
All images are linked to source, are QuillFire originals or are modifications of images in the public domain. Videos and images may also be parodies of original works, therefore relying upon applicable exemptions from copyright.
You guys know the QuillDrill. Be verbose ... but articulate.
And remember ...
Go Love a Starving Poet
For God's sake ... they're starving!