Picture of Rhoda Athena Manalili

Rhoda Athena Manalili


Picture of Caitlin Castillo

Caitlin Castillo

Graphic Artist

Rusted Heart of Gold

Have you heard, have you heard? Of the gossip of late—
Of the knight who once walked these streets, merry in his work as he guarded the gates?
With his smile so bright and his laughter the sweetest sound,
How it would echo throughout the city, spreading joy to everyone around?
Do you remember, I wonder, all those years ago,
When his eyes were so bright, twinkling with hope?
How he held pride in himself for how he fought for what was right,
And with his benevolent nature, worked for a better tomorrow in sight.
But alas, childhood fantasies were never known to last.
Had no one warned him of how his heroic books lied to him in the past?
I remember so well, when his whole world fell apart.
The golden rules of karma he’d learned, but they had no use for his broken heart.
His madness consumed him, they say, when he lost all that he had,
The glimpse of reality hit him hard as the facade of his privileges collapsed.
With the true atrocities of man, the pious young boy was faced with what was true,
It showed him no mercy and left him no honor as the tragedy crumbled his whole worldview.
He was never the same after that, not in the slightest.
Gone was his knightly chivalry, replaced with a stone heart at its mightiest.
Blinded he is now by a broken illusion of the justice he once lived for,
No longer will his once noble blade ever again be as pure as it was before.
How could he still believe that all he’s doing is justified,
After all that have lost their lives to his wrath, in meaningless fights, they’ve died?
He thinks that what he’s doing is no worse than what he’s seen other people have done,
But is that truly an excuse for his merciless fits, his heartlessness after the battles he’s won?
Where has the kind young knight gone, he who helped people with a smile?
Has he truly spiraled into insanity, his good heart twisted until it died in denial?
This world has changed him for the worse, I fear, on this new path he’s chosen to pursue.
𝐀𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐥𝐥, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐨, 𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮.