I used to be friends with the sun
He was older than I was
Naturally he filled in that father spot that sat empty under the spot light
We used to go on adventures through the woods
We got lost in muddy Nikes and crossed clipped overalls
We'd come back to my house and share peanut butter glossed over graham crackers
Drinking milk, we were middle aged Irish men, this was out whiskey
He'd teach me how to make ants my humans as I played the part of God
Until the mountains would call him home
I asked if he could stay longer
The horizon never allowed it
Never holding a grudge
Even as he left, he painted the sky with orange grace and pink beauty
Take a bath
Get out quickly
Feel the squishy carpet beneath your toes
A carpeted bathroom was an awful idea
Dry off and zip up that onesie
Pull back those blinds
The moon is waiting
She'd help me sleep at night
Gripping onto that teddy bear that I've had since I was born
She'd talk to me about life's problems
I wasn't even ten yet, so there really wasn't that much to talk about
I'd drift off to her soft voice
I rested easy with her brushing my cheeks, a mothers hand made of reflected light
It's been years since those days
I'm 18 now
My favorite time of day is twilight
There is no Sun
There is no Moon
There is only peace
The heat of the sun leaves the day
The reflection of the moon yet to land on the surface of the creeks on my cheeks
I am crying
If you look closely, there is a time of day
Where the sun and the moon
Are but inches apart
If you squint your eyes
You will see the distaste in the rays on your skin
The moon now refuses to speak about the sun
She says the words burn her lips hot with anger
Their love was once visible, heating our atmosphere
Space and stardust have come between them, turning them cold
The sun is close to smothering
I am close to smothering
I am a comet
My parents are the Sun and the Moon
I orbit between them delivering news from point frustration to point disappointment
I am frustrated and I am disappointed
I miss when Sola and Luna could share the same sky
I miss when they could speak without arguing
I miss seeing them smile in the same room... I mean sky...
I wish my Father and Mother could speak without anger
You both created three beautiful children
Neither of you can look at the other
I'm not asking for my parents to be back together
I am no fool
I am a comet
Wishing for the Sun and the Moon
To speak with compromise
I wanted to start off my speech with a little poem.
When this poem is over, I want to know if any of you recognize the author.
“On top of a hill, there’s a rose.
This rose get’s sunlight and nutrition from the soil beneath it
Never before has the rose been asked to do a task suitable for garden
When asked today if the rose can grow the grass around it
The rose stood still
Little red rose, I can tell your stem is nervous
The wind is whipping you like a baker and his cream
Put the nerves behind you and begin to water your fellows
Success is only a day away
Tonight the rose watered the garden.”
You probably don’t recognize the author because the author is me.
In August 2010, the beginning of my sophomore year, I picked up poetry.
I kept it to myself.
Most of my friends thought it was lame or stupid to be writing.
Mostly because I’m a guy. They were all interested in cars, sports, parties, you name it.
Where on the other hand, I stood in my living room with music as loud as I can get it, and a pen in my hand.
I didn’t write sad things. Mostly I wrote inspirational pieces.
However, it was to make up for the feelings that I had.
See, I had tricked myself into believing that I wasn’t going anywhere.
I’d given up on myself.
Everyone around me completely believed in me and wanted to see me do something great.
By November, I had gotten into writing to a point where I liked it. I wanted to show someone.
So I showed a few of my writings to my english teacher.
She was awestruck that I had that kind of writing capabilities, and suggested I looked into Slam Poetry, or competitive performance.
I was terrified.
I was 15 going on 16, with no self confidence to speak of.
How was I going to do that?
I wasn’t. There was no way you were going to find me risking what little bit about myself that I liked to be judged by total strangers.
That’s when a few weeks later, there this a gathering in the auditorium.
I walked in and sat down next to a few of my friends to see what was going on.
A few poets from Portland had come to our school to perform.
Everything I had been told about performance was right in front of me.
Something, and to this day I don’t know what it was, took control of me.
I marched over to one of the poets on the side of the auditorium, and asked if I could be put on the list of kids who were going to be able to perform.
I waited. My stomach was in knots. I was probably about to throw up
Then I heard it.
My legs walked up.
I vomited my words sloppily in-front of people.
It was terrible.
But the feeling of doing it....
I was hooked.
I kept writing.
I was told that there was a competition in portland to be put on the first youth slam poetry team to represent maine, ever.
There were five spots
I wanted one.
I practiced in front of my mirror
Memorization and editing was my life after school for about three months.
Until it was time.
The day came that I was suppose to put it all out there.
I vomited my words all over the audience.
I hated all three of my performances.
Until I heard my scores.
They were almost all tens.
I came in second.
I was on the team.
I’ve performed in other competitions since then, against other poets in their mid thirties who have been writing for years
And beaten them.
I’ve been told my traveling artists that if anyone on the team was to go anywhere, that it’d be me.
By then, I’d only been writing for about a year.
Some kid who liked nothing about himself, from a no name town in Maine,
getting praise from poets who have seen the world and gotten their names put in books for centuries.
I’ve been published.
Possibly even putting out my own small book of work, soon.
I never thought it’d get to this level.
I worked and worked and worked until I hated every single poem.
Then I taught myself to love them again.
I kept performing and building my confidence.
I wouldn’t be who I am now without it.
I even took the confidence that I have gained and used it to do something I never thought I’d be able to do.
I joined the National Guard.
I had talked about it since I was a kid, but never had the mindset that I’d actually do it.
But here I am. I’m going to be a medic for the National Guard.
Never had I ever thought of doing something like that.
And I am.
My message to you is that every single one of you have a goal.
Some of you might want to be lawyers, doctors, mechanics, business owners, or even poets.
Don’t let anything stop you.
We’ve just met, and I already know you can do it.
But it won’t be handed to you.
You’re going to have to work for it.
I’m living proof, standing in front of you that goals can be accomplished.
I’ll even give you a little hint.
Something that someone I met a few years ago taught me.
False confidence is still confidence.
You just need to do one thing that will terrify you
Risk it all. Put it all on the table for everyone to see.
You’ll be surprised how many people will look up to you for it.
Your dreams are out there
Waiting for you
Before you go to bed tonight
Think about what you can do tomorrow
To make them happen
I hope this inspires you.
I waited 30 days for my phone to ring
When it finally did
The end call button
Felt like velvet
I went to put on my shoes this morning
To find that I had put yours on
Last I had checked,
You were still learning to walk
You could barely say my name
As we played in cardboard castles
Sitting behind the couch
Quietly eating our chef boyardee
Mom didn't know it, but she was playing Hid n' Seek
She was losing
My brother is growing older
Still on the beginning of his path
Going out of his way to point out the three hairs he nurtures under his arm
He's about to learn about love
But he has one thing no one else does
He's equipped with a heart
The composition is no longer organic
His heart is a composition of Steel and Gold
Beating for all those around him
He's a better person that I can ever wish to be
Ten times the kindness
Ten times the humor
Ten times the smartass
You're still learning to walk your path
You may fall
Don't be afraid to reach out
I'll be here to catch you
Forever to go
You wear only black
You lock yourself away
You wear only black to hide in the shadows that others have placed you in
You're angry because you've been hurt deeply by a man who is suppose to teach you forgiveness
You lock yourself away in your room to keep anyone else from hurting you
You wear only black
You're a storm cloud
If I know anything about Storm Clouds,
It's that they end in remarkable rainbows
Paintings of God across our skies
You've got emotion to scar people for years
That kind of power can be harnessed
For smiles that may last centuries
Your smile can be harnessed
Like diamonds in a valley of roses
You lock yourself away
The tiger you used to pretend to be when you were younger
Is scratching at the padlock
You're defiant and rebellious
Calm, silent, remarkable
Your stripes are unique and vibrant
Show them to the world
For cats remain on leashes
Tigers are the queens of jungles
Rule your kingdom
You beautiful beast
[Poem inspired by Wil Gisbon]
I tried to write you a poem,
But all I could think about were your eyes
Give me a minute
I need to enjoy the view
Close to vomiting
My destination is set to victory
Heart is about to explode
I've never felt this alive
Don't let your dreams die
That's where the child you hides
Still playing in the grass
With a smile on your face
The sun warming your skin
You don't need a heaven
When you have just 12 seconds of
I want to spend rainy Saturday mornings with you
On my couch underneath the blankets we just slept in
Sipping freshly brewed coffee, the vapors wafting over you skin
Leaning our heads against the couch
Looking into each others eyes using only the light of the lamp
Finding beauty in messy hair
As we do everything we possibly can
To leave the world
For a moment
Let's take down the clocks
There were wounds covering the small of my back
Where you stabbed me time and time again
I handed you trust
Watched you dice it like onions
The fumes exhausting my tear ducts
Doing everything I can from letting them flow
The knife is on the ground
Rusted and tired
Those wounds have scared over
I know now what I didn't know then
That trust is not to be catered
It is to be earned
You've exhausted your rations
It'll be difficult to watch you hunger for the taste of my trust,
but I am stronger now than I was yesterday
That, I can thank you for
I signed my life away
A week ago today
I took a pledge to be a warrior
To serve my country with pride
I am proud of this
I need not your approval to be the man I wish to be
For I will be my own
Traveling my own path
Finding my own me
I have finished the part of my life to try to impress you
To try and make you proud
I am done expecting you to be there for me
The cracks are too easy to fall through
I hope one day you will wake up from this slumber
We will talk about our lives while we fish for lost time
The bobbers on our lines dancing on the water like ballerinas
The man I am becoming
Ignoring the child inside
Screaming and pounding
For my daddy
You are my father, and there is not changing that.
There is, however, no excuses for how little you try to be a part of our lives.
I will not hold this against you, but I am done trying to do everything in my power to get your attention, even if it is only for a short phone call.
I am here.
You know how to reach me.
I know you will see this.
Just know, that I will always love you.
For the day
That my eyes
Look up at me
Cobalt reactions of refracted light
Yellow tulips stretched thin by the thousands
Two cranberries cover thirty-two pearls
Velvet lining encompasses the canvas
Painted with happiness
Salvador Dali's paintings
Brought to life
Dancing through my dreams
Trial and Error has created an image of what I'm looking for
That image is you
I shine out loud
At midst of all the crowd
You can see me from your balcony
Everyone saw me as precious metal
You could see the fools gold
Making sure I was aware
That I am
Others want to "pop yo' pussy"
I want to pop the lid that hides your inner thoughts
Want them to wash over me
I'm showering in your personality
The you that you barely know
Help you discover hidden coves
Dump your anchor overboard
You've landed on the shore of the person you wish to be
Tap your heels three times
Wish to be home
Open your eyes
You're on that same shore
Thinking you're alone
Until my hand lands on your shoulder
Let's discover this jungle
Kiss her down her spine
Sighs of frustration
Bare hips sway beneath white sheets
I am the cartographer
Mapping her desire
These are the nights I wish to remember
The ones spent with family late at night
When I'm old and wrinkled
Grey infesting my hair
Let's paint the walls with laughter
Watch the colors fight the grey
These are the memories
Please, I beg you
Please, please stay
These days have defeated me
The cartographer burned the map meant to take me home
I don't know how I ended up walking in circles
The ground below has a divot where my thoughts have weighed down the soil
I've taken step after step to get where I'm going
The only step left will be the hardest one
I just need to lift my foot off of the ground
I've lived in a palace of hatred
Walk through the corridors, aimless
Set friendships a blaze
Mind was a haze
Stayed Ignorant to the page
One Day a glimmer of hope
A Tattooed man, long gone from the pope
Tried to show me his ways
Teaching, critiquing, skills would extend
That glimmer of hope was a pen