I will fight for you

I will fight for you

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 2015/16DSC07262.jpg

 

Life is Short

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.

Real.

Open.

Not hiding anything

ready to help anyone.

I want to help people

I want to change their lives

I want to change

the world.

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.

DSC09702

Loss

Loss

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.

Thoughts on Hate

Thoughts on Hate

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.

Gods

Gods

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?

 

Old

Old

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?

Young

Young

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?

Thoughts on the Election

Thoughts on the Election

After some reflection, I just want to put out one more thought
*(well I guess it’s a lot of thoughts inspired by one thought)*
on the election.
 
I believe that the vast majority of trump supporters are not evil/racist/bigoted. They are a complex mix of people with many motivations for their vote. They are often people who feel that the government has not represented them for some time and are voting against the way our government has operated- the stagnation and gridlock, the business influences on politicians, etc. Some feel incredibly strongly about some republican ticket issues (gun control laws, economic policy, etc) and are willing to vote for any republican who will get that done. I believe they have made a decision that condemns the political establishment, not that seeks to oppress minorities/women/LGBT people. I hope I am correct in this belief.
 
That said, we cannot reward people who support hateful beliefs. A candidate whose words, even obliquely, disparage religious groups, ethnic groups, women, etc. should not be rewarded by winning the presidency of the United States of America. I realize this may have happened because we had no better choices after the primaries. One obvious solution to that is: vote in your primaries! It is incredibly important that the candidate for your party represents your views. Next time, let’s find candidates who support and represent our beliefs and also engage in civil behavior. Candidates who will accomplish the change we need to see without calling to ban an entire religion from entering our country, without alleging that a neighboring country deliberately sends rapists and criminals into our country, without insulting war heroes, without calling people who disagree with him “losers” and otherwise insulting and alienating people. It is absolutely true that in this election, the democrats responded in kind, alienating republicans who support Trump for the reasons I cited in the second paragraph, not out of bigotry. It is not productive to alienate a large part of the country like that but I sincerely do feel that democrats would not have done that without Trump flirting with bigoted rhetoric. I don’t want to turn this into excuses. I just want to make it known that we do not hate republicans, we hate racism and bigotry. We want a president that represents the ideals of good conduct and equality that we hold as a nation.
 
Electing that candidate is hard to do while the parties are constantly trying to shove career politicians that don’t inspire confidence or trust down our throats. I believe we need to work towards abolishing the two party system that limits our choices. It is too possible that we barely agree with half of a parties choices, but are forced to choose one or the other diametrically opposed party. The stark contrast between both parties also makes cooperation incredibly difficult- they have become by definition the opposite of each other on so many issues. With more libertarians in play, a coalition of libertarians and republicans could make progress on smaller government and lower taxes without limiting civil liberties. With more green party candidates in play, a coalition of democrats and green party candidates would be able to make major strides toward environmental protection and other common policy aims. With more independents in play, we could vote for more candidates that closely mirror all of our beliefs.
 
I also think that the electoral college system should go. Political power should be bestowed by votes, not by population. It has long been the case that poor people who may not speak English well may find it incredibly difficult to vote (dating back to the pre-civil rights movement days and the 3/5ths compromise). This is often the case in republican states, but that is not essential to my point. If their population is taken into account when giving electoral votes but they do not advocate for their interests by voting, those who do vote in their state may vote against this oppressed group’s interests and be given an inflated weight, while not reflecting a large part of that constituency. Making education more available and making it easier for all citizens to vote would go a long way towards making this point null, but it is unlikely that we will eliminate this effect anywhere near the present day. This is not about this effect benefiting republicans or benefiting democrats, it’s about votes cast equaling the outcome. It’s about making sure that no vote doesn’t equal a vote against your own interests.
 
Donald Trump’s victory speech called for unity and promised to be a president for all people. This gave me hope. I truly hope that his speech represents him turning a corner toward inclusivity and fairness to all groups in this great country. It remains to be seen, but I hope Donald Trump surpasses all expectations and becomes a great president. He may surround himself with bright minds and policy experts and keep an open mind that will help him make fantastic decisions. Still, it must be said that if a candidate panders toward the hate and fear in our country and then turns the corner toward decency, that sends the wrong message. The ends do not justify the means- we need to accomplish what we want the right way. Otherwise, the next candidate might not turn toward decency and we may find that the flaws we ignored in our candidate cause real harm toward citizens of this great country. America, I do not look down upon you for your choice. I understand why this happened, and there are some good reasons for it, but I don’t think it’s the optimal outcome and I hope next time we can all do better.
 
We are all Americans and we are in this together.
I believe this will turn out better than we fear.
Keep working toward a better world for everyone.
 
Love and Peace to all,
Austin Kuba.
You’re only 22

You’re only 22

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.

The Divide

The Divide

It’s not worth my time to always chase you
To always be in pursuit of a person
Who, no matter how hard you try, what you do,
Will never have an inkling of what you’ve done,

The small invisible things that make life easy
Always take care Because you care deeply
How you disguise the pain so they don’t see
The disconnect that you feel completely

Like nobody sees you for who you are,
Like nobody understands how much you care
Like you’re staring at the world from afar
Hoping they dont notice how much you stare

Trying not to expose your heart to harm
While protecting everyone else under your arm.