Invictus Maneo

A poem. Because fuck terrorism.


Every child is like magic, plucked from a dream,
Right before the words, “Congratulations! It’s a boy!”
You can imagine all the tears of joy,
When he opened his eyes, finding himself
Surrounded by WONDER, and astounded by BLUNDER
Of magazines and relationships torn ASUNDER,
And he would magically weave them back together again
With his cute little eyes, and mischievous smile,
And a bit of super-glue.

There was no broken dream that couldn’t be fixed,
There was no fixed law that couldn’t be broken,
Like missing spelling classes, then mis-spelling things,
Leaving out the “Im” from “Im-Possible”,
Which made him believe he could fly,
And sometimes leaving out the “L” from “Flux”,
Causing a giggle-fit in science class,
“Tee hee, he said fu — ” (shuts mouth)

Too many grown-ups tell him, “wanting ‘Fun’ is not wise”,
But this kid is quick to prove otherwise,
By making castles with sands, and catapults with rubber-bands,
To fling all the sorrow far out into distant horizons,
Then planting Lollipops in the Earth to grow trees of happiness,
And, when he finally learned how to spell,
You could see him writing his prayer on a coin. It said:

Invictus Maneo. I remain unconquered.

Neither sorrow nor tomorrow could ever undo
What he began to brew with his delightful touch:
Turning his own blood-vessels into a storm of rose petals,
Boiling secret kettles of youthful wisdom,
Gifting megaphones to those who are left unheard,
And teaching a frog how to FLY like a bird!

But then, then, the Terrorists
Born from the abyss of their own hatred,
That shoot fire and death with their guns
That steal away the breath from fractured lungs,
Still walk in the shadows, unseen, unheard,
With an unwritten constitution of fear
That what you pluck from dreams has no place here.
Hidden in plain sight, those malicious intentions
Stockpile ammunition, beyond suspicion.
A little bit of crowd is all that would take,
To sneak in a little something that could make
The smiles drench in blood and tears,
Amidst the making of their own fears
As the clock ticks ticks ticks into a palpable chill
That not even the kid with indomitable will
Can follow the ticking with his own words:

Invictus Maneo. I remain unconquered.

The next thing we know, the event was there no more.
Heads served cold in a platter.
Debris lay scattered, among ashes and blood
And limbs flew everywhere for loved ones to care
In the cradles of their mourning, and silence of warning
That what you pluck from dreams has no place here.

But… Even beneath the burned flesh
One face wouldn’t stop smiling.
His body was broken. His soul was gone,
But his wit and spirit? It still remained strong
Alive, undaunted, EXACTLY where he left it:

It remained in the feelings that he so delightfully brewed,
In the relationships he mischievously super-glued,
In the Lolipop trees that caress the clouds,
In castles and catapults of rebellious little kids,
In the blood, and the bloom, and the kettle of minds,
In megaphones, and wings, and secrets of all kinds,
In his phantom voice that sings through his grave,
Carved in a coin he left behind:

Invictus Maneo. I remain unconquered.

You can cripple motivations with fear,
You can drench the world in blood and tears,
But when we come from dreams, we NEVER go unheard,
‘Coz we leave the world a little better than before.
We count scores, not by bodies, but with every kiss
And holding on to precious moments that are easy to miss,
And we crack jokes to make this life a little more bearable,
Since it’s so EASY for this fragile heart to break
When it knows that, someday, it’ll all just end.

But even then, EVEN THEN,
There’s always someone being plucked from a dream each day,
Reminding us that something magical will always find a way,
“Congratulations! It’s a girl!”
You can imagine the world swirl in a dance,
As her senses call for so much more out there
Than our minds could imagine, than our hearts could bare,
With little things like missing spelling classes, then mis-spelling things,
That makes us believe it’s possible to rebuild our wings.
So we keep rebuilding what was broken in silence,
And we catapult ourselves into distant horizons,
Leaving behind a trail of confetti from our open wounds,
And writing a prayer on a coin with just one thing to say:

Invictus Maneo. I remain unconquered.


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