Sunday, September 1, 2013

On the Wrong Side of a Revolution

A few months ago Juli and I watched the film Argo.  I was interested in the story because over the last few years I've become friends with several Iranians - some in Austin and some in Ireland.  As I watched the film, a line kept coming into my head - "waking up on the wrong side of a revolution".  Hmm, I thought, that would be a great line in a poem.  A few days later I mentioned this to a friend of mine, Craig, and he mentioned that he had written a song called "Thirty Pieces of Silver".  He thought the line seemed to suit not only the current events of the Near East, but also the relationship of Judas and Jesus.  I agreed that it might be interesting to tell the story of one of my Iranian friend's journey to Ireland through the lens of the hostage crisis and the story of Judas before that.  So, after a few months I've penned this poem.  It's not meant to be a political commentary, but really more of a reflection on life.  For what its worth...

On the Wrong Side of a Revolution

In all of Judea and in all of Galilee.
One of just twelve chosen, a task cloaked in mystery.
They were gonna bring the Kingdom, yeah the Kingdom was gonna come.
Out with Herod!  And the priests!  And the Roman legion scum!
The rabbi just needed a little push, a little prod.
Let's get this party started, let's force the hand of God.
He might be a pretender, or he could be the chosen one.
For cash he'd sell a brother, but not God's one and only Son.
He thought he found the answer, he discovered the solution.
But instead he woke up dead, on the wrong side of a revolution.

A phony Shaw, a phony kingdom, a creation of the West.
Exploitation, humiliation, a rape of culture, and then unrest.
The time had come to make a change, for the better or for the worse.
But that's the problem with regimes, you trade one for another curse.
And caught up in the conflict, in the cross-hairs of the fight
Were the agents of the Satan who had authored Persia's plight.
Guilty or innocent, that was neither the answer, nor the question.
As the chaos came alive, there wasn't time for reflection.
Though to Western eyes it may have seemed like a case of retribution.
That's the price you pay when you wake up on the wrong side of a revolution.

You risk it all when you're all in - all your cards are on the table.
You might risk your shirt, but your life - would you be able?
Did he know what he was doing when he joined the demonstration?
How could he comprehend how this would change his situation?
Asleep when they barged in - took him from his family, from his home.
Beaten, tortured, abused - his only option was to roam
Through countries far and wide, he searched 'till he had found
A place he could begin to take a step on solid ground.
And as he makes his first moves towards a life of contribution,
He'll never forget how he woke up on the wrong side of a revolution.

And we're all in their same shoes, though it seems that can't be true.
But most of them were thrown in without directions for what to do.
We're traveling down our paths, without thought or consideration - 
Taking our lives for granted in our wealthy Western nations.
Sometimes we get it right,  but sometimes we get it wrong.
The weak are sometimes right, and the wrong are sometimes strong.
Life is never simple, though the stories we tell may be.
But dig a little deeper, you won't like what you see.
Be careful when you discover, the answer, the solution.
You just might find you woke up on the wrong side of a revolution. - Shay