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.



It feels like all our lives we’ve been searching

Always trying to find something

Like there was a part of us incomplete

A deep wound we couldn’t treat,

At least not on our own.

That ache in our marrow, deep in the bone

The wanderlust that we cannot shake

No matter what title we achieve, how much money we make.

This hole can’t be filled with material possessions

Shallow relationships, scuba lessons.

It can only be filled by love and good deeds,

Love given without any heed

To reciprocation or personal benefit.

Only then will the darkness be lit

And the emptiness filled with peace.

Breaking Through

Breaking Through

I’ve always craved closeness, always pulled away,

Always held back things I couldn’t say

Feeling like I observed the world around me

Through a pane of bulletproof glass: I can see

But never touch, never feel,

Never really know if any of it is real

or in my head. Always at arms length

Using every ounce of my strength

To try to break through the barrier,

To truly feel connected, understood.

In a way, I thought that no one ever could.

Sometimes I tire of the struggle, want to weep

Lie down, give up, but I can’t. Won’t. I will keep

Fighting to break through to someone, anyone.

Who knows? Maybe it will be you.


New Dawn

New Dawn

The sun sets as I begin my journey-
A single step and there’s no going back.
In five years time I’m not sure who I’ll be
Who I’ll miss, What I’ll have, what I’ll lack.

Will I make new friends or new enemies,
Will I lose those I already hold dear?
Will I wake, see the mirror and freeze,
Paralyzed by the reflecting leer?

Will I recognize the man staring back
Or will I lose myself on the way
Or will I find what I now lack
And every one of my demons slay?

Forward into uncertainty, move on.
That’s the only way to go, towards a new dawn.




Give friendship, give trust freely and without cause-

Make fast friends, slow enemies.

If others hurt you, take advantage of you, persevere:

Succeed even when they stack all odds against you.

Forgive others who harm you, but remember to protect yourself in the future.

Keep your expectations low and be prepared to do it all yourself

Let kindness from others amaze you as the wonderful gift it is.

Help others, go above an beyond expectations

Not with any expectation of benefit, but because you want to.

Take joy in raising others up and raise yourself up even when others push you down.

Realize that this is your own personal truth, not the same as anyone else’s

Not better, not worse,

And that the only universal wrong is the intentional harm of others.

Live this life. You may not always be happy. You may not always succeed.

But I truly hope that you will always find peace.




In the early hours of the morning

When the city is wrapped in deep slumber

When there’s no danger, no need for warning

And the minds of dreamers, giants lumber


Silence smothers the city, a deep embrace,

Everything clear as finest crystal

No need to hide away your truest face

Finally free to tear down every wall.


Alone with your thoughts, your mind buzzes warm-

Free to think.

Listening to the beat of your own heart-

Free to feel.


Finally able to hear your heart’s whisper…

I love her. I am finally sure.

Breadth vs Depth

I’ve spent so much time with my head just above the clouds, in a world of my own. Watching the world from a distance, never stepping forward and taking control. I never tried to penetrate the surface, never tried to dive in deep. I just observed everything I could and hoped my surface knowledge, surface interactions, would fill the hunger in my soul.  Now I’m behind, but not out of the race. It’s time to take the plunge, it’s time to plumb the depths, it’s time to grab control of my life and participate. It’s time to leave my comfort zone. It’s time to be present as a doer, not as a watcher. In pursuit of more depth and less breadth.

Written Fall 2015