There once was a boy who was but a slender
Line in a portrait or a smudge on a fender
Nothing more than would be passed by your eye
Was the boy so young who did nothing but cry
The world was a cruel one, but he wasn't so tainted
His picture more perfect than of David's statue painted
But the world would soon tear this boy apart
It would end in the mind what began in the heart
You see, innocence thrives where ignorance rules
For blissfulness is the kindest of the ignorant's tools
But this boy would be taught to feel and to hurt
His tears turned to ash as they fall from lips to dirt
He was now cold and ****** and swore
His opinions had changed when his brother died in the war
There was no point to heaven and less point to hell
When they called out your name, you either stood up or fell
Chipped bricks covered in posters past
Graffiti from people of phrases that last
Like one-liners, humourless, gaining a laugh
And the three-word with the sketch of a heart cut in half
The best philosophes of this past generation
Write thoughts on the wall from their closed imagination
And the boy with his eyes red grew darker
As he reached in his pocket and pulled out a marker
With a couple quick slashes a ballot was drawn
And he labeled the man in the voting booth "pawn"
Underneath it he wrote what might be a phrase
That just didn't catch on in those olden days:
It said, "A stone cast down as in defeat
Will hit thine foot before the street
For he who gives up his voting right
Will have no say in where we fight."
The boy capped the pen and he walked away
He had written down all that he wanted to say
His hands now were smudged from the marks on the wall
And he thought to himself, "In short time, it'll fall"
Right around the corner he was halted by the law
"You thought no one was watching, but guess what, kid? I saw.
The truth is, you're right, we vote for our wars
But the man up on top of the nation? He's yours."
The boy smiled slightly, for this cop was wrong
And he reached deep past the tears in himself to be strong
"That man isn't mine; he approved of this war
And congress has made my brother break the oath that he swore"
The cop looked at boy and the boy at the cop
They weren't talking graffiti, but the man up on top
Two strangers, two people, agreeing the fact
That the choice on the ballot was a serious act
"Most kids don't realize just what a vote can mean
They don't attribute the choice to the step in between
Old ideas corrupted or improved upon
All they know is their voice can make the other guy gone"
The boy nodded and looked the cop right in the eye
Saying, "This president let my brother ship out to die
If you try to make us think that his empathy wasn't fake
Contradiction in contrite diction will no conviction make
"You can't justify death because the harder you try
The more your arguments fade like the clouds in the sky
But before they dissolve and assimilate with the air
They leave behind pain to show that they were there"
The cop nodded, waved, and went back to the beat
More hoodlums and lost souls to help off the street
He passed a dark alley and his instincts erupted
His mind yelling to him, "Check for something corrupted!"
So he turned down in darkness to check out the spot
It looked like a place where blackmarket is hot
The fungus and mold that once grew peeled off
Leaving yellowish stains and the urge to cough
A voice near the brickwork called out saying, "Hey,"
"If it's not to much trouble, mister, couldja stay?
See honest to goodness, mister, I tried to stay clean
But when you take your own product, separation is mean"
"I don't know exactly who is to blame"
Said cop to the girl he could see but not name
"There's no one to blame," said the girl to the man
"There's things that will happen, and with time they all can
"For a creature that thrives on flesh alone
Will bite through the skin to steal the bone
And he must be careful, lest he find
That he's been feasting upon his own behind"
"Yes, sometimes it's true: Desire drives us too fast
Sometimes to places where sanity's long since passed
But sanity's fleeting and must be sought after
Come; let me find you some lodgings and laughter"
"No, mister! I'm a lost cause, my fate's without hope!
Permit me now to symbolize: I'm at the end of my rope!"
"Now miss don't you think like that, No one's soldered to their fate
Such thinking will confine you like a cage with bitter bait!"
This world's harsh and confusing and you've had the short stick
But don't let hopelessness be the only thing that's gonna make you tick
Like treading water in the ocean, panic makes you die
Find beauty out of terror, spread your arms and fly!"
The girl sat there blinking. She'd never heard such talk
She'd never been another thought on anybody's walk
"Now let me tell you, I'm not short on self doubt
But I've got to say: that's not what it's all about
See I met this boy earlier, who told me his story
About how the status of the world often makes him worry
This boy's actin' out, but he'll turn out just fine
But if you're giving up hope, then you're crossing the line
Because we've never needed Merry Men and Robin Hood
To stand up at bugle-call to turn the world good
We just need to remember: We're in it forever!
Fight the urge to look upward and shout angrily, 'Never!'
The world, good and bad, is mixed unto itself
And you can't take you your recipe book from the shelf
And add pinches of falsehoods like seasonings for a mask
You must fix it internally, for that is your task
See, though you've given up, that's something I just won't allow
You're gonna go out and fix it, let somebody show you how
Because there's more than one way to a proper conclusion
Some ways are hard and still others illusion
But become obsessed with the truth, with doin' things right
Become a shining green beacon to lead others at night
Promise me, here and now, in this alley proclaim!
That you will set forth and make good of your name."
The girl gently nodded and as time's hands were wound
She grew like a flower from that dank piece of ground
It's the tiny conversations that can so alter life
And cut the crust of complication like a peace-bringing knife
The boy with his brother who'd gone up in the fight
Was just like the cop said: he turned out alright
He put his mind to better things, gave up the childish art
And in the realm of history, his bio did its part
Because he realized how tangible the change he wanted was
He set aside resentments as the true reformer does
He spoke of love, acceptance. . . And then switched to compromise
Because when you're just a visionary, the vision always dies
He used the good and bad to weld a better, stronger, net
To catch the lost and lonely, his was the best support to get
He filled the heads of others with the change that he once viewed
And little inch by little inch corruption and violence met with feud
A verbal dispute filled with picketing people
Who shouted, "Change!" from their electronic steeple
And the media members had themselves a field day
As they caught on the camera what the boy had to say:
"Too often we forget, that apathy isn't peace
But we allow ourselves to be served it by the leaders filled with grease
And we skip along, ignoring things that should rightly upset us
Bombs abroad are wholly fine but not the one that's gonna get us
We've got to think of the whole picture, got to figure out the puzzle
Though you think the lion's fierce, it always has time to nuzzle
So let's switch the view and take on that trait
And put aside the thought that nuzzling can wait."
The cop saw the boy who was on T.V.
And said to himself, "that kid talked to me!
He smiled a bit, "his speech is pleasing as a wren
And in the case of my boasting, I'll say I knew him when!"
The girl wasn't taped, but she was out changing lives
By having conversations that we've likened to knives
And so it was when time was up on the impending revolution
Armed with words she voyaged forth to fufill her resolution
The boy and she stood side by side and led the people on
And using power words of choice, the old regime was gone
What started out as compromise, effloresced to peace and love
And the cop the two had talked to nodded at boy and girl above
A change in heart, a change in mind, can spark a worldly change
Though originality is difficult, ideas can rearrange
To fit the modern times, and indeed to mold it best
And the answer's sometimes difficult, but as we all know: life's a test
This boy and girl were lost, then found, and so was their whole world
And their string of conversations were around their finger curled
Reminding them that there was out there a better way to live
And revolution was the message that the cop had had to give