The man who dreamed the dream of martyrdom
Lived in a time when nothing mattered much
And life bombarded you 'til you went numb.
He lived in myth, a hero out of touch.
His friends would laugh as he read myths of men
Who gave their lives, their everything for Christ --
He's certain of his end, that he'd have been
A martyr who refused to be enticed
By promises of wealth and power, sure
That he'd be true to Christ up to the end --
Pull out his nails and salt them -- he'd be pure
And die -- he'd never lose his savior, bend.
He knew the communists would never break
Him when he faced them in his fairy tales
He told himself. He swore he'd not forsake
His friends or justice for true evil's veils.
His friends laughed as he washed the dishes at
The restaurant -- the story that he told
Was all the universities had spat
On his ideas because they were too bold.
They laughed because they thought him arrogant --
But little did they know the myth was true,
No more than he, the truth far less distant
Than either knew, as myth is truth askew.
The people nodded but would not believe
His tortured tales of tragic martyrdom
As he would slowly roll up his white sleeve
To wash, and scrape hard food off with his thumb.
No one believed that they could ever live
In times that mean so much that lives could be
So meaningful that anyone could give
Their lives -- such times were gone, and thankfully.
But he knew better. He would be prepared.
He'd take a stand, do what no one had dared --
The villain would show up one day, he knew,
And then he'd stand for what was Good and True.
No one believed him, so nobody cared
About his life he lived so lyrically.
They lived in more prosaic times and dared
To challenge nothing big historically.
Or so his laughing friends, co-workers hoped --
Such certainty of boredom's how they coped.
They thought it best that he should be dismissed
Than dare accept the truth, that he'd been kissed
By prophesy's true, blinding, too-bright sight --
Yes, best dismiss him as insane, a fright,
And pull the shades on despotism's creep --
But which one's dreaming, and which one's asleep?