Compilation of works
by Kent V. Flowers

The following is a compilation of upcoming and past works that I would like to share with you, including my upcoming book, Union Rules. There is a poem I have written, The Willow and a Mexican journal vignette, Mexercise. The latter was written during my time living in Mexico. Please click on each title to expand the text. I hope you enjoy my work.

Union Rules: Revolution – A Short Treatise
by Kent V. Flowers

Revolution is defined as any major change in an established cultural, economic, or socio-political institution. The planet known on the home world as Cold Blue had gone through some revolutions that benefitted its civilizations immensely, such as the social protests that had brought equality to all citizens regardless of race or gender. Other revolutions were fostered by disgruntled idealists or raging egomaniacs. These had caused nothing but death, destruction, and a tearing of established institutional fabrics. In these revolutions, only a few at the top usually profited from the uprisings, despite the rhetoric that propelled them.
“Visionary” revolutionaries often led these destructive revolutions. Unfortunately, after working hard and sacrificing their time, their resources, and a few of their comrades in the struggles to come to power, their grand vision tended to narrow considerably. Power and authority have a way of shifting perspectives into a more self-serving view. In addition, some other emerging revolutionary leader was always getting ready to launch his or her own insurgency which needed to be stopped.
Staying in power now became more important than the ideology that had fostered their revolt and driven them to overthrow the previous regime. As usual, it was the common folk that suffered under the latest yoke of repression. The new leader was often deluded into thinking that in order to enlighten the people, they had to stay in charge. So, securing their position was crucial to spreading their brilliant ideas and policies. The press was controlled to subdue negative stories and used as a propaganda tool for the regime. Imprisoning, torturing, or killing detractors was another typical way of crushing opposition. Those methods were, of course, self-defeating, because revolution is born out of discontent. The new leader often set the conditions that fostered their own eventual demise.
There had been countless revolutions on many different scales over the ages, not all of them military. One of them, labeled the technological revolution, saw a time when more technological advances occurred in a short span of time than in the whole of planetary history up to that point. The impact was tremendous, transforming a large part of the world from an agrarian to a technology-based society.
Prior to, and as a forerunner to the technological revolution, the industrial revolution occurred. It was a time when industry began to rely more heavily on machines and less on manual labor or nature driven power. The steam engine replaced animal, water, and wind power as a source of energy, greatly increasing production. It did not necessarily improve the lot of the men, women, and children who toiled in the new factories. As their science and abilities developed, the majority of the workforce moved from the field to the factory and from decentralized to centralized populations. Society moved from raw nature such as manual farming, to harnessed nature such as wind and water, and then to enhanced nature such as nuclear power and genetic crop modifications. People moved away from the farms and fields, and became increasingly dependent on pre-packaged, manufactured goods for their survival. They forgot how to live off the land. With the loss of workers for the fields and increased demand to meet, agriculture by necessity also became more mechanized.
Societal change tends to lag behind technological change. It took a while for the new industrial and technology-based workers to organize themselves into powerful groups called unions to protect their rights and improve the quality of their lives. The factory owners and corporations violently opposed those unions because they cost them money and eroded their power base. However, the workers far outnumbered the bosses, and the labor revolution was born.
Another definition of the word “revolution” is a rotation around an axis or central point, as in a planet’s rotation around its axis. It is circular. That the term revolution should be applied to both types of events is no coincidence. History testifies to the cyclical nature of civilizations. At the same time, history is not allowed to be unbiased. It always depends on who is in charge when the history is both written and preserved.
Most aspects of civilization have experienced these cycles to a degree. There are cycles in business, religion, politics, fashion, and the lists go on and on. Something new is always better, except that something new was usually something old that had been tried before in different guises, within other historical and cultural contexts. For example, a particular fashion that was in style a century ago was suddenly in vogue again, except that the fabric was different, the way it was worn was altered, where it was worn was different, and (of course) its manufacturing was improved. The idea was the same, but its implementation reflected the times.
The people of the cold, blue planet were heading for their next revolution, but the leaders were not from there. The only question is whether their path was shaped by fate, circumstance, or purpose. Or perhaps, it was a little of each.

The Willow
by Kent V. Flowers

Out in the vastness
Of an infinite vacuum
A single dense point
Was driven to blossom

Expanding and cooling
Coalescing to forms
Turning dust into planets
Nights lit by sun storms

And all things that grow
Swim or live on the land
Were designed for a purpose
In a plan that was grand

One day for division
One more for the sky
Then mountains and valleys
Divide liquid from dry

There a river flowed swiftly
Past the steep rocky peaks
In a time that was younger
Than our history speaks

Swollen high by fresh snow melt
Beware its mad torrents
Carving paths to its liking
Through grassland and forest

The churning white water
Slipped down through the valley
Snaking low past green meadows
Now slowly and calmly

Hidden well in its mists
A divine lovely garden
Where no man had trod
So no need for pardon

A gift of great beauty
And delight for the senses
Where all was provided
Before any offenses

Called into being
By merely a word
All that is known
Every beast every bird

Then out of the ether
Two figures appeared
Willow and Tibre
With intent very clear

To walk in the garden
Through forest and glade
Tasting earthly delights
Though some were forbade

In awe of its beauty
They walked hand in hand
Tall slender Willow
Tibre quite grand

They stood by the river
Gazing into its depths
Saw a little red sparkle
And each caught their breath

A precious red ruby
Washed down from afar
Shining bright as the sun
Beaming bright as the stars

She desired that ruby
With her eyes she beseeched
But the depth was deceiving
It could not be reached

Determined to have it
No matter the cost
He dove into the current
And forever was lost

In grief and great sorrow
Willow wept by the shore
But Tibre had vanished
Returning no more

She has waited forever
With roots growing down
Her hair softly flowing
As it reaches the ground

Guarding her treasures
Her love and the stone
She can have neither
But cannot go home

So if ever you wander
By a great willow tree
On the shore of a river
Flowing wild and free

Stay away from the water
Do not peer in its depths
For a shining red ruby
May take your last breath.

Mexercise by Kent V. Flowers

To pass the time and improve my health, I have decided to use the workout room at the hotel. Exercising in my room has not worked out, and I know that I need to lose about 15 to 20 pounds around the equator. It was one of my goals when I came to Mexico to lose some weight and exercise more, so I head off to the hotel gym with the best of intentions. The first obstacle encountered is the location of the room. It is on the second floor of the hotel. I would have to climb stairs to access it. Stairs! Don’t they have elevators in Mexico? I decide that tomorrow would be a better time to exercise, and I walk 2 blocks to the party store and buy a package of white powdered donuts, as a reward for thinking about exercising. I consider the walk to the store as enough cardio for the day, and greedily consume all the donuts at one sitting. Promising myself that I would do better tomorrow, I turn on the television.

The next day after work I come home and quickly change into some workout clothes, ready to hit that gym, even if it is on the second floor. I will count climbing the stairs as part of my routine, sort of an architectural stair master. Entering the weight room, which I sometimes call the weights and measures room, where you are sized up as amateur, too late, what’s he doing here, heart attack candidate or accepted muscle bound comrade, I casually stroll among the machines. Luckily, the room is empty, and I can take my shirt off without fear of judgment or laughter.

Not having much experience in the training room, I study each of the contraptions for their possible use. It used to be so simple. There was a bar with something heavy on it, and you picked it up as many times as you could without getting a hernia. Not so any more. The devices were now multifunctional. Depending on where you sat and what you pulled, pushed or lifted, the targeted muscle or muscle groups were developed. Proper form was also important, and since my form is far from proper I chose the treadmill. Walking I can do, even though the treadmill is also now a high tech machine with pre-programmed speeds and inclines, designed to test your mental acuity as well as your physical prowess. If I can only find where to turn the machine on, I can start my rehabilitation.

Walking and half walking/running for twenty minutes, I collapse on the floor in a heap, trying to find my pulse to see if it is elevated to the recommended level for my age group. The pulse chart tells me I am in good shape for a seventy-year-old woman and I am happy. No matter that I am a fifty-year-old man, because I did not anticipate living through the exercise session. Just for fun I lifted some weights on one of the contraptions, and then escaped back to my room before anybody else came to exercise.

Now, all of life and the natural processes around us are about balance. Equilibrium is essential for the stability of the planet. It is the same in the processes of the human body. Exercise and physical stress one day need to be balanced by utter lethargy and slothfulness the next, so that the body can recuperate from the unnatural strain of intentionally lifting heavy things or walking faster than necessary. Water will find its level and the body will find its natural form. If a person eats a whole package of donuts one day, and does not lose those calories through activity or liposuction, the bodies’ form will take on the donut shape, as mine has. In order to get my body back to its natural contour, I will have to counteract thirty years of milkshake drinking, Twinkie stuffing and fast food junking that has been my caloric fuel. If only there is enough time. Now where did I put those donuts and the remote?