“TORTOISE, n. A creature thoughtfully created to supply occasion for the following lines by the illustrious Ambat Delaso:
TO MY PET TORTOISE
My friend, you are not graceful --not at all; Your gait's between a stagger and a sprawl.
Nor are you beautiful: your head's a snake's To look at, and I do not doubt it aches.
As to your feet, they'd make an angel weep.
'Tis true you take them in whene'er you sleep.
No, you're not pretty, but you have, I own, A certain firmness --mostly you're [sic] backbone.
Firmness and strength (you have a giant's thews) Are virtues that the great know how to use --
I wish that they did not; yet, on the whole, You lack --excuse my mentioning it --Soul.
So, to be candid, unreserved and true, I'd rather you were I than I were you.
Perhaps, however, in a time to be, When Man's extinct, a better world may see
Your progeny in power and control, Due to the genesis and growth of Soul.
So I salute you as a reptile grand Predestined to regenerate the land.
Father of Possibilities, O deign To accept the homage of a dying reign!
In the far region of the unforeknown I dream a tortoise upon every throne.
I see an Emperor his head withdraw Into his carapace for fear of Law;
A King who carries something else than fat, Howe'er acceptably he carries that;
A President not strenuously bent On punishment of audible dissent --
Who never shot (it were a vain attack) An armed or unarmed tortoise in the back;
Subject and citizens that feel no need To make the March of Mind a wild stampede;
All progress slow, contemplative, sedate, And "Take your time" the word, in Church and State.
O Tortoise, 'tis a happy, happy dream, My glorious testudinous regime!
I wish in Eden you'd brought this about By slouching in and chasing Adam out.”
“Alberto Mora sacrificed an illustrious legal career in government to oppose a policy that condoned the torture and abuse of prisoners in violation of international law. Their courage has inspired others to follow their example, and our government is fortunate to have public servants with such integrity.”