Debbie Ann L. Tan    
    Jane’s Rhyme   A Marvelous Leader
GUESTS “Jane, poems don’t have to rhyme.”
And she said, “They do have to rhyme to withstand time.”
“It’s better if a poem is clear as sea and carefree.”
“But Shakespeare endured with ‘thee’ and me’.”
“Free verse is just as fine, it’s no crime.”
To her, it tastes like lime juice without lime.
“A poem, rhymed or free, is the same web to be spun.”
To her, no-rhyme feels like summer without the sun.
My friend, Jane and I, discussed this at lunch
Shared a dish of vegetables we enjoyed to munch.
“Why didn’t Bronte write eve with ever, and not leave?”
“Classical poetry must always be true and never deceive.”
I agreed with Jane as to what poetry, classic or not, must be.
She thought I’d drop free verse like green tea for stale coffee.
I quoted Neruda with his “saddest lines” of freedom pure.
She sang songs that rhyme with a voice of sadness cure.
“Free verse,” said I, “is riding on a swing under the breezy night sky.”
“Rhyme,” said she, “is the invisible melody rising up to fly.”
Lunch was over but the friendly argument moved along
Over soft cooling ice cream we still didn’t want to be wrong.
Eventually, we ended the time that Life gave us to borrow,
We parted without Shakespeare’s “sweet sorrow.”
But she left a challenge echoing in my brain.
“You’re the writer so, love the writing pain.”
She meant for me to love this toil of creation
So, I molded this in the palms of my determination.
“Words that flew on the page was our conversation, Jane.”
This poem crafted out of the friendship I believed in.
Finally, the words we spoke were rendered irrelevant.
Finally, these written words arranged are our covenant. -end

© DALT edited 2015
Amidst the waning cycle of the moon
I’m contemplating tonight
“How come there are leaders who,
like the moon, are situated in the sky?”
Almost immovable.

How can leaders be such marvels of nature?
They must be deceptively good
each time climbing to higher positions.

You are truly leaders if:
You can indeed strip offices of their functions.
The people who once had responsibilities
are now displaced, thanks to you.

You are leaders wrapped in power.
You think your popularity is insufferable,
Thus, in your greed for more power,
Oh no! You found yourself swamped
and unable to do all that work.
You now gave the jobs to people
you are fond of and you most love.
They are the so-called “child of oh-my-gawd.”

In your eyes, they make no mistakes
You feel you can manipulate their feelings.
But you fail to consider that the business
of money and positioning is like boxing.
They’ll play and punch with you, too.
To use and be used until they can bear it
As long as they gain; other people don’t matter.

You are leaders most industrious and marvelous:
If your secretary now runs your office
and also the offices under your care.
If your relatives’ advices are all you hear.
If you make promises and reneged on them.
If you speak to two opposing camps,
you can nod to one, also, nod to the other
but both talks result in zilch of an outcome.
If you face big problems, your solution is—
deadma to death.
But if it’s about the matters of money,
you run faster like a speeding bullet to the ATM.
If you have deceived people who are true to you
and work hard for you, indeed marvelous.
You have given people hope only to dash it—
"Pull them down! Kill them all!"
Anyway, Wolverine will take care of them.
If you speak ill of others, it is most applaud-able
you just have to whisper and minions will
croak the taint to high heavens.
You are so good at sucking up brains, blood, flesh
sucking till none remains in that person.
And if you can make people believe
in your good image hiding your
vilest intentions, marvelous indeed.

Leaders are actually so hands-on that:
You have presented erroneous PowerPoints
if asked about the errors,
you say your secretary did it last night
and you didn’t review it anymore.
You have the knack of interchanging alphabets
you created your own dictionary ala Klingon,
yep, for sure those letters you signed
were written using your own dictionary.
You have walked tall and straight
and stared into the eyes of the people
you betrayed and lied to.
You have remained dry-eyed to the pain
and anxiety of people who worked for you.
You have laughed at the sadness
and sufferings of those people.
You have fantasized that indeed
you are the moon placed in the sky.
Who can say that you must be removed?

Marvelous truly, they still listen to you,
they believe in your words and actions.
Well, they have ambitions just like you.
True, you are good at dangling money
and some will reach for it,
is it for the lack of it or for sadness’ sake?
But not all will reach for your pile like monkeys.

Strength of will and character may
be hidden in the darkest of night.
But dignity can outshine
the dimness of times.

In all corners of the world
truth, wisdom, justice
are always challenged.

In all corners of the world
There are leaders
full of cunning deception,
strategists to keep power
and system of corruption.

In all corners of the world
Someone thinks
in the darkest of nights;
whose voice refuses
to be silenced;
who writes from the
searing indignation
of a scarred sensibility.