The writing below is based on a poem titled “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.
I met a traveller from an antique land. Bastard sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers that sprung from those powerful lions- a beautiful symphony of colour, passion that shone bright and burnt white hot.
The grass was a vibrant green, tickled by the romance of the gentle wind and still bathing in what was left of the sun’s heat. The sky was as blue as the seas with little birds swimming across, singing in perfect unison- all was well. I laid back and let my mind wander a bit: I remembered the dripping bush meat in the back and I thought about how I would return to the forest the next day. Once again I heard the soft crunch of the leaves beneath me, my ears straining. I felt the pulse of the forest; sunlight streaming through the canopy, glorious trees branching infinitely and held up by big dark trunks, the quiet chit-chat of invisible creatures, the birds perched on branches and little animals scurrying in the distance.
I remembered the traveller, his strong callused hands but most of all, his foreboding visage. I remembered the glistening sweat on his hunched body and the tense gaps in his speech filled by excruciating gasps- he had been running. Finally, he spoke. A voice grand. A voice beaten. A voice of despair.
The traveller told me of his world. It was similar to mine-at least at first. I remembered the enthusiasm with which he described the voluptuous forests- the amazon he had called it. He described certain bodies that would live and breathe in the water or even some so strong that they would carry the heavy load for days- much like some of the Bestia here. He told me of his childhood, the days on the farm (much like mine), his family-especially his mother.
Suddenly, his voice changed. He told me many tales of a world of sin, avarice, lust and hubris. He told me of how brothers had taken up arms against each other and slaughtered each other by the thousands. He told me of how mothers had starved their children for a whole year and made a great wall out of their lifeless corpse. He told me of how boys we forced into men in the chaos. His words hung in the air, a sublime discomfort like metal grinding on metal. His words gnawed at my soul and I could feel the heat rising in my chest and my skin tingling. His wrinkles deepened- I knew he felt the same way.
The traveller told me of a silent war: a war without guns, knives or even battle strategies. There we no dead bodies to count or territories to claim but just a generation of children who had lost their way; children who bore the scars of grown men and women-heartbreak. He spoke of a war for the soul, a war for light, a war for innocence. A war for love-understanding love, unwavering love, unconditional love. He looked at me and he asked me to hold on to my light. I did not understand him.
“Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.”