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Ian Chinich
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Ian Chinich battles walruses for social justice... Sending them back to Tuscany
Ian Chinich battles walruses for social justice... Sending them back to Tuscany

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If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda
I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

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"Once I knew a girl, she was a flower in a flame
I loved her as the sea sings sadly
Now the ashes of the dream
Can be found in magazines
And it seems that there are no more songs...
.........
The rebels they were here they came beside the door
They told me that the moon was bleeding
Then all to my surprise
They took away my eyes
And it seems that there are no more songs
.............
A scar in the sky, it's time to say goodbye
He withers on the beat, he's dying
A white flag in my hand
A white boat in the sand
And it seems that there are no more songs.

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"‘What is Freedom?—ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well—
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.
‘’Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants’ use to dwell,
‘So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.
‘’Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak,—
They are dying whilst I speak.
‘’Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye ;
‘’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e’er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.
‘Paper coin—that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something from the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.
‘’Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.
‘And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
Ride over your wives and you—
Blood is on the grass like dew."

"The Masque of Anarchy" - Percy Shelley, English Romantic Poet, in the Aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre (1819), an army attack on 70,000 people protesting starvation caused by a callous tax on grain, horrendous working conditions, and a lack of universal suffrage.

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a poem I wrote after July 4th.

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I think I am addicted to 1970s Zambian psychadelic rock bands. There was such a cool music scene in southeast Africa at the time.

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" he knew that what revolted him was not a consequence of a better or worse arrangement of prisons. He had read of model prisons with electric bells, of executions by electricity as recommended by Tarde, and this refined violence revolted him yet more"
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