Sunset on the Boy from Tatootine

Everything my friends have fought for has been ground into particles finer than the sand of the desert I grew up in. It is my fault. My failure to live up to the promise others saw in me has damaged families and damned galaxies. I have renounced the sky; it was hubris to think I belonged anywhere but on the ground, extraordinary only because of the things I've broken. But if the dry husk that remains of me can be useful as kindling to create a fire others can warm their dying hopes by, I will give it up and try to be the hero children need me to be.

New hope crushed by old
resentments that did not die.
Failure defines me
only if I do not rise
one last time for tomorrow.




Song Choice: Hurt by Johnny Cash


This tanka prose poem was created by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: If You Meet The Hero On The Road... where we were asked to write about a hero. I chose to base this tanka prose around Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies. This piece will also be linked to Poets United: Poetry Pantry 404.

50 comments:

  1. Ah, having recently watched the latest episode of this epic tale, I like the portrait of Luke. I prefer him as the boy, in the originals, but I guess we who grew up and aged together, can't help but see ourselves in the older Luke.

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    1. I will always have a fondness for young Luke looking out at the setting sun and dreaming. Admittedly, the direction they took his story in the latest movie broke my heart a little, but yes there are few among us who have grown old and have no regrets.

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  2. Thanks Rommy -- I've watched a few of the Star Wars films, enough to catch the drift of the hero's journey in Luke (George Lucas was a fan of Joseph Campbell). This is the far end of the tale, where the hero's death serves the tribe; the hero can no longer defeat the dragon but his end inside that dragon can represent the apotheosis of something -- journey's end, I suppose. It's easy to read this as a 22d century hero in the final cinders of a burnt out human civilization (there are those who say this is the only end for a technology-driven culture), and it bears more than a little of the savior or sin-eater, the one who takes on the entire burden of the tribe. Well and thoughtfully done.

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    1. I did hope that people would be able to extrapolate a narrative bigger than the story presented in the movie. Yes, the idea of a sin-eater was in my mind as I created this piece. Thanks Brendan.

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  3. '..extraordinary only because of the things I've broken..' that is really a fine line, Rommy, and it gets to the marrow of what a hero is, because so many times that broken thing is the ever-resilient force we call evil. I agree with Brendan about the 'sin-eater' motif coming thru strongly --the hero is only a man, flawed, who reaches beyond that to face what no one else will because he has to. Here you tell the old story in new shoes extremely well.

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    1. Thanks Joy. I was a little ambitious with this piece, wanting to get across as much as I could because the source material has been such a huge part of my life. I'm glad I was able to do it justice and highlight a few of the themes I thought got overlooked among the special effects and action sequences.

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  4. I wonder how many people can gloat at their death? More likely there will always be that last something they did not achieve or a memory or a word said that leave questions asked by others such the word "Rosebud" in the film Citizen Kane.

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    1. True. In even the most heroic of lives, there usually is a little regret. Those who make it through life with none at all are a rare breed indeed.

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  5. That image of dry husk that remains is so strong.. I don't Star Wars... but... "only if I do not rise
    one last time for tomorrow." resonates deeply!

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    1. I am glad I was able to touch someone who doesn't have much knowledge or interest in the source material. That's one of the biggest challenges in creating a piece like this.

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  6. Someone once told that "We only lose our chance at being eternal heroes after we die, for even after a life of nothing (or, of somethings that aren't always nice), we can die well so others can live better." I used to think those words a bit... well, creepy (in a dangerous way). But revisiting the meaning through your poem takes away the sinister tone of the words, turns them into a last change for redemption and even a bit of last minute growth.

    Indeed, failure can only define a soul that doesn't get up to fight again.

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    1. LOL, I can definitely see how that can be creepy af. I might want to play around with that perspective some day. But yes for Luke, especially as he was in The Last Jedi, he needed that chance to redeem himself.

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  7. "to live up to the promise others saw in me "
    Indeed this is the stuff that heroes are made of; the expectationd of the adoring many.
    Nice Tanks prose Rommy

    Much♥️love

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  8. Yes, I like what you have written! A fine tale, indeed!

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  9. I like this. Indeed one must not let failure define one....important to rise up ONE more time, one more day!

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  10. This speaks to me too... a hero might be someone who does what he/she can... I realize I have missed a bit from the Starwars series, but it still resonates with me.

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    1. I'm glad. It's not easy to get people who have no connection to the story to feel the way a die hard fan might feel. I was very moved by Luke's final arc, as sad as it was.

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  11. This poem resonates deeply.. we musn't let failure define us.

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  12. As I started reading this, without looking at the picture, I was thinking of Luke so when I looked at the picture I smiled as it was fitting...a wonderful poem....to inspire and lift us up to keep fighting like our heroes.

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    1. I was trying to decide which picture to go with, old or young Luke. I decided that even though he was older and sadder, his last moments lived up to the hope that the young boy had when he looked up at the setting suns.

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  13. Rise again, Luke, rise again! That's what truly defines a hero.

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  14. I agree with Mary. It is important to keep rising.

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    1. It's a reminder we all can use at some time or another.

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  15. Well done, Rommy! I, too, was disappointed in the arc that Luke’s life took in the movie. Thank you for giving me a sad, but lovely, alternative.

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    1. It's all in the way we frame things. Those last moments, sad though they were, were his shot at being the hero he dreamed of being.

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  16. A raw message of hope we need to be reminded of. There's always hope..if we can rise just one more time. My favourite line :
    "... New hope crushed by old resentments that did not die.."

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  17. Showing this one to my kids, Star Wars and poetry enthusiasts, all. Thanks!

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  18. This is...wow. Revivifies emotions that I'd assumed long gone. Great image & poem!

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  19. There is something so wonderful in this piece for me--The sense of dreaming--the sense of failing and the sense of repurposing the remainder of our lives--

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    1. I am glad I was able to get that across in this piece.

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  20. My grandson is an avid Star Wars fan. Not sure how he feels about Luke skywalker.
    But I know he would want him to rise again. Keep trying.

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    1. I'm always excited to see the younger generation getting into Star Wars.

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  21. I enjoyed this read - particularly the direction and depth to which you took the 'hero's' reflections and self-deprecations. In doing so, I think you, got at the core of a true hero ... which is: to be painfully aware of the clinks in the armor and still be moved to rise one last time.

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  22. Still thinking about that empty husk. Excellent!

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    1. I was happy with that bit of immagery

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  23. Yes! That is so right as Luke's final redemption; you've caught the character beautifully. And I like the title, identifying him just enough, and reminding us of the boy he was.

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    1. I sometimes am really (horrifically, dreadfully) bad at titles, so I'm glad I didn't do too bad this time.

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