When will I surrender,

not as a villain,

but as a pious man?

When will I give in,

not to avoid stress,

but to contribute?

When will I bow down,

not to exercise weakness,

but to express humility?

When will I let go, 

not to forget the past,

but to seize the moment?

When . . .

( Poem by Quiet Riley / Artwork by Ai Jing )



Instead of shaking my head, biting my lip or waving my fist at this crazy thing we call humanity, I’ve chosen to quietly write a poem. My intention isn’t to offend, but if it does, please contemplate this question: Isn’t it better to express one’s disillusion creatively than…?


Two-Thousand-7-Teen – – – – – – –

Angel hearts once made of gold

have turned to green, allergic mold

Acts of selfless charity

have turned to selfish memes of “me”

More and more the trumpet plays

More and more Lord Visa pays

Buying “bliss” at Jezebar

where clients hiss and “students” star

Will false idols lose their praise?

arousing cattle from their graze

Seers will boast, “most certainly”

and if they’re wrong, please don’t yell at me


Favorite Deep Space Nine Character

Who is your favorite Deep Space Nine character? Some might answer Worf or Dax or even Gul Dukat, but in my opinion, there would have never been 7 unforgettable seasons if Captain Benjamin Sisko hadn’t taken the helm. Not only did his leadership transcend ethnic groups of all intergalactic species, but his integrity became the “self-sealing stem bolt” that kept the space station together.

Sisko’s ability to judge others by their insides (motives) and not their outsides (appearance) was the reason why people not only gravitated towards his charisma, but embraced his resolute stance on social tolerance. It didn’t matter which race, gender, religion or cyborg model you were, just as long as you had coexisted peacefully amongst the community, he would’ve accepted you with open arms. In fact, when lifeforms who possessed dubious reputations walked along the station’s promenade, he never made them feel unwelcome unless they warranted it, just like a true leader should.

Now I understand Captain Sisko is merely a fictional character commanding a fictional space station in a fictional universe, but with the countless examples of “leaders” today, from presidents to pastors to managers at your local bookstore, it’s vital that we don’t lose touch with the essence of good leadership—to give everyone a fair opportunity to live their lives however they choose. To create a safe environment that fosters social tolerance so that people can truly be themselves.

Captain Benjamin Sisko did this, and that is why he is my favorite character, for if he had commanded in an unjust and self-serving manner, memorable characters like Quark, Odo and Garak would never have had an opportunity to shine.

So I’m curious. Who is your favorite character?