Poem: Comrade Jack

He lived in the dark days of capitalism’s decadence and decline

He lived in a world of barbaric wars, of misery and famine

He saw mass unemployment, fascism, Zionism, torture, nuclear bombs, and genocide

But amidst all that, what a glorious life he led!

He beheld the light of the glorious October revolution when he was nigh two years old.

Then came the Korean revolution and the Chinese and others. Wholly a sixth of the world stood up and lit a brilliant flame, a beacon of hope that he held up high.

Indefatigably he fought alongside his dear comrade Marie to emancipate those still living in darkness and oppression.

They swept aside the advice of the doubters who said that their struggle was in vain,

Who wanted them to go down into the dark, to be ‘closer to the oppressed’, to be comfortable among friends

Who would allow them to keep their strange ideas if they would agree to live in chains.

But nobody could persuade them to abandon the road of struggle,

Nobody could extinguish the flame that they held up to light the way.

Nobody could silence their voices as they rallied the oppressed to fulfil their destiny

To cleanse from the face of our planet the putrefying evil of capitalism, imperialism and all forms of human exploitation

And usher in the bright new era of universal wellbeing, culture, and peace.

They died, as we all have to die, but their message still rings loud and true

Inspiring a new generation to keep on fighting as

Tirelessly as they did

Until final victory.

Comrade Jack, Comrade Marie, we won’t let you down. Your party is our party, your voice is our voice, your persistence is our persistence, your courage is our courage, impelling us ever forward, forward to victory, forward to freedom, forward to civilisation.

Ella Rule

> Jack Shapiro lives forever in our hearts – February 2010