These days I feel I’m invincible
Ready to take on the world alone
I break rules, I escape gravity’s pull,
Ready to disprove everything known.
(They all say these are the best days of my life.)
A few years later I have hit my stride
I have a career, I am somebody.
I have accomplishments, family, pride,
I have everything I could want and more.
(I guess maybe these are the best days of my life.)
Now I move slow but with a twinkle in my eye
I’ve lived a long life full of joy and some strife
But when I look in my grandson’s eyes I know
That these are the best days of my life.
I would fight for you with everything I’ve got
With tooth and with nail, shed blood, sweat and tears
With every ounce of muscle, get stabbed, get shot
To protect you from every one of your fears
I’d be your knight, your champion, your hero
And protect you from every evil.
In burning sun, drenching rain, freezing snow
I would carry you up the tallest hill
But I will never fight to possess you
I want you to be with who you want most
I won’t change myself, anything I do
Won’t let my true self disappear like a ghost
I love you enough to let you be free
I’ll wait for someone who’ll love me for me.
Written winter 2015/16
Life is short. I learned that from you.
Well, I guess I already knew
in my head
but you made it real. Visceral.
You were 100% here and then you were gone.
A light that shone too bright to last long.
I feel it in my bones now
When I think about you
And your words.
When you’d call me brother.
You’re not living anymore
But I want to live like you.
Not hiding anything
ready to help anyone.
I want to help people
I want to change their lives
I want to change
And I’ll start one step at a time.
Thank you for being here.
For what you taught me.
Work hard. Enjoy it all. Be here while you can.
Life is short.
I sit on the hard-packed earth, feeling the chill
of the frozen ground, my warmth seeping out
into the air. A slight pain when my lungs fill
Before smoke billows forward, a silent shout.
There’s a chill in my heart, an empty space.
You were there. You were sick. Now you are gone.
I won’t hear your voice. I won’t see your face.
It’s like sitting in the dark waiting for the dawn-
Knowing it won’t come. The blink of an eye,
That’s all we are. But we are so much more,
The love we give others, the reasons why.
You were my coach. My friend. My mentor.
I’ll keep the memories, the lessons, the fun.
You called me brother. I loved you like one.
They say that anger is what pain and fear look like when they show themselves in public. An animal threatened, lashing out to intimidate and diffuse the threat. A preemptive strike. Protecting self, covering insecurities that whisper “they will win, we will lose.” Coming from a mindset of scarcity. This country belongs to me and the people like me. But I believe that all people are like me. I believe that when we broaden the sphere of community, we become stronger, we gain talents and allies we could not previously imagine. I believe that when I help you rise, I don’t sink. Instead, we can both reach new heights we couldn’t achieve alone.
It’s easy now to hate. Whether you are hiding behind a computer screen, a campaign podium, or your identity- religion, nationality, gender- it’s all too easy to forget that the other person is a human being. It’s easy when you don’t have to see the frown lines etched onto the human face, the tears pouring down cheeks from downcast eyes that see just like yours. When you don’t have to see the widow shrieking in grief, and struggling to provide for her children for years to come. When you don’t have to see the child struggling to breathe, bleeding in the street. But just because your head is buried beneath grains of sand, just because you squeeze your eyes shut, willing yourself not to see, doesn’t mean the world disappears, doesn’t change the truth. We all share the same DNA, the same earth. We all have eyes, if they are a different shape. We all have skin, if it is a different color. We all think, if we have different ideas. We all love those we feel are close to us. We are all cousins, we are all humans. It’s time we start acting like it.
I guess the difference is that we used to worship gods that created us. Our Father. Our mothers, aunts, and uncles. Sometimes disappointed (rightfully so.) Sometimes capricious, sometimes wrathful, sometimes proud. Not always good parents, sometimes absent, sometimes selfish. But parents. Parents who created us and felt responsible for us. Parents who maybe sometimes hated us but always loved us.
Now we have grown up and forgotten them. We need them not, we stand on our own two feet. We have conquered chance and the earth. If not individually, as a species. In our joy and creativity, we have spawned a new generation of Gods.
Money. Power. Status. We worship them, our children. We love them. But what do they feel for us? They are our life, they are our world. But the love of a child is qualitatively different than the love of a parent. There are conditions. There is more focus on self and less on the needs, the welfare of the parent. Was it a mistake?
What have we sacrificed to them? What have they done for us?
This land is old and worn
smoothed by innumerable years
Mountains that once reached for the heavens
Are now brought down to earth.
A shroud of live covers the low hills
Blanketing the earth in soft green
Rivers broad and deep
Many paths explored, now set.
Settling down to sleep,
How long will the peace last?
This land is young and so are we
Jagged mountains reaching for the moon
Rushing rivers cutting new paths
Carrying away soft stone.
Constantly shifting earth
A state of constant flux
The sun rises on a new world each day
Still experiencing growing pains.
This land was made for giants.
Will we expand to fit the space?
It is easy to fall into despair
When you look at your life and can’t tell what
You’ve done that matters. Why anyone should care
If you disappear. When it sinks, your gut,
Realizing that the things you want most
Are always floating just out of your reach.
When it feels your work is nothing to boast
About, that you have nothing you can teach
And it feels like you don’t know anything.
But that just means that you must press onward
And build, grow. You’re young. Your heart might yet sing
With happiness, more beautiful than birdsong.
Life’s a journey you’ve just begun. It’s true.
Never give up on yourself, you’re only twenty two.