The Poplar Waltz audio

“Words written by an 11 year old girl to a 14 year old boy that fell victim to the Georgian-Abhazian conflict of 1989″
The Poplar Waltz
Dedicated to Denny
Somewhere in a distant land by a vacant sea,
Stands the wreckage of the building where you’ve danced with me…
I never gave up loving you, I buried you inside.
I close my eyes and see the ‎poplar trees and the sunlight,
The gravel of the road by the cemetery gate,
And all those black cars in a row in a motorcade.
I was eleven, you – fourteen, the year the war began.
Back then – I thought I was a teen, I thought you were a man.
The children’s dance at the resort. The longing for romance.
My palms got sweaty, my heart stopped, when you asked me to dance.
Your hair seemed golden, your eyes – quartz. I’ve never danced before.
The band had played a slow waltz. We swirled across the floor.
The sapphire waves. The orange ‎sun. The glow of the sand…
It took two nations and a gun to make a girl’s dream end.
The year was 1989, before the Wall came down.
The next day, everything seemed fine, you rode your bike to town.
The first news of gunfire came in. Our peaceful world was gone.
People were afraid. Nobody knew what’s going on.
I won’t forget the terror in your parents’ eyes that day,
Or how your sister’s hair turned from black to ashen gray.
They brought you on a stretcher, and the sheet was stained in red.
I blankly stared, with the waltz still playing in my head.
Denny! – you are a part of all I am; both love and hate.
I should’ve saved you from that brawl between two bickering states.
The Soviet Union would collapse and the free world would win.
That victory was bought by us: one boy’s life, one girl’s dream.
Somewhere in a war torn land by a vacant sea,
Stands the wreckage of the building where you danced with me,
The cemetery, and your grave, to which I cannot get.
I know the poplar trees are waltzing there at sunset.
Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2017
Beat by Dansonn Beats

Image by Vladimir Nagalin

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War Hawks

I’m so tired of human wars;
Never-ending holocaust;
All the futures that are lost
In a single blinding flash.
Missiles raining from the sky.
Buildings crumble, people die.
Nobody questions why.
Corporations count the cash.

Local conflicts over oil.
Blood is seeping into soil.
The unburied bodies spoil
Picked apart by wild birds.
Terrorists are chopping heads.
Graves are filling up with dead.
Politicians march ahead
Eloquently trading words.

War hawks, war hawks,
may your bones grow soft,
may your skin peel off,
may you learn the taste of pain.
May you all be cursed
for the hell you’ve caused,
so that this Earth
never bleeds again.

I’m so tired of human games.
Diplomats have lost all shame,
Passing back and forth the blame
For the nations destroyed.
Pockets keep on getting filled.
Tears and guts keep getting spilled.
Special forces hone their skills
Sending souls into the void.

Killings carried out by drones.
Rubble left in place of homes.
Walking over crunching bones
In the name of greater good.
Cholera and dysentery.
Multiplying adversaries.
As the packs of mercenaries
Paint the skyline black with soot.

War hawks, war hawks,
may your bones grow soft,
may your skin peel off,
may you learn the taste of pain.
May you all be cursed
for the hell you’ve caused,
so that this Earth
never bleeds again.

I’m so sick of human lies.
There’s no limit to the price
They will pay to maximize
Their power and control.
Setting decency aside,
The elites from every side
Are engaged in genocide,
Choosing profit over soul.

Presidents and dissidents,
All add up to dividends.
Global politics descend
Into fog of total hate.
Humans, you have lost your mind,
Feeding on your own kind,
Lapping up the blood behind you.
Stop, before it is too late.

War hawks, war hawks,
may your bones grow soft,
may your skin peel off,
may you learn the taste of pain.
May you all be cursed
for the hell you’ve caused,
so that this Earth
never bleeds again.

Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2018

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The Chronicles of a Collapse

This is not a fairytale,
not a cautionary tale.
It’s a chronicle of a collapse in all of its details.
It’s the freedom that you sold.
It’s the freedom that we bought.
It’s the stories of the lives of the people we forgot.

He was a 40-year-old
army colonel and a dad.
Served his country in two wars, gave it everything he had.
Then one lovely summer day,
at the height of his career,
he came to work to find out that his homeland disappeared,
That the medals he received,
and the oath that he swore,
And the code by which he lived didn’t matter anymore.
So he packed up all his things,
and he drove himself back home,
And he sat there on the couch, sat there thinking all alone…
And he looked down at his hands.
And he looked up at his gun.
He thought – This is not the end, because he still had a son.
Well, the army fell apart,
and he had no other skills.
Finding work can be quite hard for someone who’s trained to kill.
He had picked up washing floors,
so his family could eat.
All was well until he ran into four punk kids in the street.
They were bored and they were drunk.
They were in the mood to play.
He said: I’m ‎a colonel, son, please get on out of my way!
Just a soldier on his own
against four kids with a bat.
They had shattered every bone, and they left him there dead.

That’s the freedom that you sold.
That’s the freedom that we bought.
That’s the story of a life of somebody we forgot.
It is not a fairytale,
not a cautionary tale.
It’s a chronicle of a collapse in all of its details.

A physicist wi‎th a world name
He couldn’t figure ‎out the math.
The university had not paid scientist salaries for months.
Of the research assistants that he had
three left, one wound up dead.
There are riots on the streets each day. There are four hour lines for bread.
Equations blooming in his mind
are so precise and so right,
but he cannot afford to pay his bills. His wife cries every night.
He focuses on his research
in a futile attempt to cope,
though all his funding has been pulled. He cannot buy a microscope.
When the bus drivers went on strike
the state had budget for their checks,
yet the nuclear submarine research somehow fell through the cracks.
He doesn’t know how to fight.
He’s no good at commerce or crime.
A foreign firm expressed an interest – he thought it was genuine.
So excited there is someone
willing to discuss his work
he talked‎. They listened, and they‎ nodded, and they wrote down every word.
He had been brought up on ideals
of human progress and world peace,
as the result, he sold nuclear secrets ‎to the terrorists.

That was not a fairytale,
not a cautionary tale.
It’s a chronicle of a collapse in all of its details.
It’s the freedom that you sold.
It’s the freedom that we bought.
It’s the story of a life of somebody we forgot.

Her nickname was Babe. Me and her
used to hang out after school.
She said: I want to be a prostitute, because that shit is cool.
I asked her: Are you sure
that’s the life you want to lead?
She shouted: Don’t preach to me! I’m not your daughter, not a kid.
I didna ask for your advice,
and I don’t care what you think.
All my classmates are doing it. They all have cash and nicer things.
I’m sick and tired of being broke.
I want to live like everyone.
It’s just a little bit of work. Besides, I can help out my mom.
I begged her: Babe, at least let me
set you up at a nice hotel.
She laughed and told me to butt out, she could take care of herself.
She went and got her hair permed.
Red mini skirt and red high heels.
She tried so hard to imitate the hookers from the Western films.
This was in 1992,
the year the Iron Curtain fell.
The government disintegrated. Streets descended into hell.
My parents yanked me out of the
country to give me a better life.
She was eleven. That’s the last time I saw my best friend alive.

That’s the freedom that you sold.
That’s the freedom that we bought.
That’s the story of a life of somebody we forgot.
It is not a fairytale,
not a cautionary tale.
It’s a chronicle of a collapse in all of its details.

Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2017

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Calling all my monsters

I am calling upon all my monsters and beasts out there,
On the creatures that lurk, and the glittering eyes in the dark;
There are few of us left, soon we will disappear forever.
Well, at least we have lived to the fullest, and left our mark!

Brothers, do you recall how the grasslands stretched to the horizon,
And the deafening roar of countless wings overhead?
Back when Rome was a village, and Britain – the Emerald Island;
Before we gave up on our future, and buried our dead.

Where have you been hiding? In nightmares and in fairytales?
On the pages of fantasy books, and in video games?
Barely scraping along in the wild, and working retail –
Trying hard to forget what we were once, and our shame.

I will not let you have it your way! I will not let you go.
You are all that remains of the battles that we fought and lost.
I have made it my calling to reach out to every lost soul,
Offer each wraith a home, and a cloak to each bare-threaded ghost.

We are ashes and dust of the Inquisition bonfires.
We have seen those we loved hunted down and burned at the stake.
We somehow survived through the rise and the fall of empires.
And you, people, seem set to repeat all of our mistakes.

You extend your lifespans, but without death – there is no progress.
You are toying with plagues. You’re aiming your guns at the stars.
You deny our magic, yet meddle with magical forces.
It’s as if what you want is to fade to extinction, like us.

If you had seen the wars we once waged – Oh, the glorious slaughter!
Our proud rebellions without a reason in sight….
None of that matters now; it’s clay that’s been washed off by water,
Leaving only an ache in the wounds, and a void inside.

There is so much we could teach you, if you’d only listen,
But you will remain deaf to our words until it is too late.
Like teenagers, young races don’t care for ancient wisdoms;
Satisfied with their own ignorance, and their hate.

Yet you cannot erase us. Our flesh has been mixed in with soil,
Dying screams of our women and children have seeped into stones,
It is our blood you seek every time you are drilling for oil,
And beneath the asphalt of your suburbs are fields of our bones.

Orange glow of a fire and pale electrical glow
Both cast off our shadows, as our legends unfold.
We are the archetypes that exist within every man’s soul,
And we will live forever, or as long as stories are told….

Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2017

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The Poplar Waltz

Dedicated to Denny

I never gave up loving you, I buried you inside.
I close my eyes and see the ‎poplar trees and the sunlight,
The gravel of the road by the cemetery gate,
And all those black cars, single row, in a motorcade,
And all the black cars in a row in the motorcade.

I was eleven, you – fourteen, the year the war began.
Back then – I thought I was a teen, I thought you were a man.
The children’s dance at the resort. The longing for romance.
My palms got sweaty, my breath caught, when you asked me to dance,
My palms got sweaty, my heart stopped, when you asked me to dance.

Your hair seemed golden, your eyes – quartz. I’ve never danced before.
The band had played a slow waltz. We swirled across the floor.
The sapphire waves. The orange ‎sun. The rustle of the sand…
It took two nations and a gun to make a girl’s dream end,
It took two governments, one gun, to make a girl’s dream end.

The year was 1989, before the Wall came down.
The next day, everything seemed fine, you rode your bike to town.
The first news of gunfire came in. Our peaceful world was gone.
People were running. No one seemed to know what’s going on.
People were crying. No one seemed to know what’s going on.

I can’t forget the terror in your parents’ eyes that day,
Or how your sister’s hair turned from black to ashen gray.
They brought you on a stretcher, and the sheet was stained in red.
I blankly stared, with the waltz still playing in my head.
I stared, and the stupid waltz kept playing in my head.

Denny! – you are a part of all I am; both love and hate.
I should’ve saved you from that brawl between two bickering states.
The Soviet Union would collapse and the free world would win.
That victory was bought by us: one boy’s life, one girl’s dream.
The price for that was paid by us: one boy’s life, one girl’s dream.

Somewhere in a war torn land over by a vacant sea,
Still stands the wreckage of the hall where you had danced with me,
The cemetery, and your grave, to which I cannot get.
Only the poplar trees are waltzing there at sunset.
I know the poplar trees are waltzing there at sunset.

Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2017

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The fear had pecked a hole inside…

The fear had pecked a hole inside
With its long pointed beak.
My fists went limp – I couldn’t fight.
My mouth wouldn’t speak.
I saw a threat beneath each tree,
Behind each closed door.
I chained my will and tossed the key,‎
Then I padlocked my soul.‎
It’s not for me that I had feared –
I’ve seen it all before.‎
I‎ts just that those I held dear
Became pawns in this war.
I censored every step and look,
I questioned every smile,
I fled my castle, burned my book,
I went dead for a while.
And I had tried, I truly tried
To learn to lie and hate.‎
I failed at both. I’ve gotten tired
Of always being afraid. ‎
 
I still have friends, I still have strength,
And truths worth fighting for.
I cannot let this happenstance
Consume me to the core.
 
I’ve played the fear game and found
That I am not impressed.
It’s time to ‎get up, don my crown,
And do what queens do best.
 
Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2015‎
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Lot’s Wife

I have been turned into a pillar of salt.
The sky is coming down.
It’s raining ambers. All around
Are falling shards of our shattered world.

Our city, our city burns.
Our palisades succumb to hungry fires.
Bodies light up and fade, like fireflies.
The streets glow crimson, paved with molten stones.

Our garden and the house where we lived,
The little church where we had stood before the altar,
Beyond my grasp.
A statue carved of grief,
I am inanimate, I cannot alter
The judgment that’s been passed
On everything we’ve spent a lifetime building,
Too horrified to not turn back and cast
One final glance at our doomed city.

Defiant, disobedient, I forgot
The Angel’s warning.  ‎
I refuse to go.
So full of love, I’d rather turn to salt.
And there’s no species of God
That could command or force me to abandon
This city built with our sweat and soul.

Copyright 2015 @ Julie Deshtor

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