I’ve grown cynical over these past couple years.
I’ve gained some fears, shed some tears,
I’ve come to see love as something to hide from.
I’ve become scared to feel the pain
Of heartbreak gained or loss sustained.
I’ve withdrawn deep within myself and then some.
But I’ve started to change since I’ve met you.
I’ve felt a flame in my heart renew.
The things my heart once feared just stand no chance.
Just thinking of you and the way
You make me feel. The one thing I can say
Is “my dear, you’re my return to romance.”
I’m stuck between who I am and should be.
On the outside I have it together,
But on the in, it’s sin that consumes me.
Will I be stuck in this state forever?
I’m so quick to pass judgment on others,
Giving myself superiority.
But I’m the lowest of lowly brothers,
The least of these I am supposed to be.
And yet, the worst, myself I patronize,
But no change to me does it seem to bring,
And so, therefore, I’ve come to realize,
It does no good to let these sorrows ring.
So in the end, what matters most is this:
Don’t count your own, but count the other’s bliss.
These lows don't really bother me.
I've had my fair share of tough times in my life
and looking back I see that almost every one of them has made me better.
Too often I've gotten myself caught up in the idea that happiness is a must,
that I have to be happy.
All times of the day.
And if I'm not happy then something is wrong with me.
But not this time.
This time, this heartbreak I am letting myself experience the pain.
The pain isn't a bad thing.
It tells me that what we had was real.
It also tells me that better times are coming.
The sun will rise again.
Dawn always drives away the night.
I know that since these lows are so low
the highs will be even higher.
This poem, meant to be recited orally, was inspired by today's Supreme Court ruling that struck down DOMA.
The battle is won
but the war is not done.
A stride in the right direction.
Still, this country needs more correction.
Every day we get closer and closer to our goal:
to get rid of the toll for just being a certain way,
to get rid of the toll for being lesbian, bi, transgender, or gay.
This is a message to those who still prefer hate as an ideology:
We're waiting, still waiting, for an apology.
An apology to everyone you believe is a second-class citizen,
an apology to every family, resident, man, woman, or denizen
who you have denied constitutionally-guaranteed equal rights,
who have lists of justified grievances and plights
that have been ignored by you and your narrow-minded friends.
History proves we will win in the end.
And when we do, you will look like a fool.
Your name will become just another in the pool
of people who have tried to stand in the way,
who tried to silence what progress had to say.
Legalize love and spare yourself the embarrassment.
Legalize love and end the harassment.
Legalize love and get on the right side of history.
Legalize love, it's not much of a mystery.
Legalize love, let people marry whoever they choose.
Legalize love because it's the right thing to do.
On the highway I'm a traveler
stuck between the earth and the sky.
Green signs to my right slowly tick the miles by.
It's been a long time since I've last seen you.
You were the best friend I had,
A true one through and through.
But then that night in December, I reached out
and cried for help,
But you weren't there, I was completely by myself.
I should've seen the signs coming, they were everywhere.
No food, no sleep, falling hair.
They say it's something that must destroy to survive.
One of the simplest, but most terrifying alibis.
As I approach the exit, my stomach starts to quench.
Like a soldier jumping into the trench
I signal right,
start to turn,
destination in sight.
I approach the gates and they open wide for me.
Time to let it go, time to finally be free.
You don't know what you have
until you're at the bottom of the pit,
utter blackness surrounds you,
and your fate you must commit
to the seemingly minuscule sliver of hope that life goes on.
I walk through the grass-paved rows
until I find your name.
All these stories etched in concrete,
none of them the same.
I find your story on its own underneath a tree.
I say some words, drop some flowers,
and pray that you are free.
Often times I contemplate what is holding me back from simply going off from my life and walking
and walking and walking and not stopping until I find the place where I belong,
a place where the weak are strong and the forgotten are remembered.
If I were to drop my belongings and go about on my way not looking back then there is no way you
would be able to stop me with any of the games you play when others try to do this,
offering them money, fame, and fortune.
I want none of that.
If you were to offer me the most extravagant and luxurious palace in all of the country and world
and expect me to stop my search for a place that is rightly just
then understand that I would refuse your offer.
If you expect me to stop even if you try to give me all the money ever made by any mortal man or being I will refuse.
If you think you could bribe me with a new shiny car-toy that all the big executives are just dying
to have then you must understand that you simply don't understand me
for I would refuse.
You could offer me the most coveted of status, being known across the land by all and the envy of any
person in their right-might and I would continue my walk,
my search for a better place.
I can't be bought out by any item of material possession, because the things of material possession
in this world don't matter to me.
If you really wanted me to stop walking then only one thing would you have to do:
Show me a place where the weak are finally strong, the poor are finally comfortable, the shunned
finally acknowledged, the forgotten finally remembered, the oppressed finally justified, the hated finally loved, the rejected finally accepted, the hungry finally fed.
Show me this place, and then I will stop walking,
For I will have found a place for me.
This is technically supposed to be preformed as spoken word, but I wanted to share the words behind it.
The political discourse in this country is out of hand.
It's time to take a stand
Raise our banner and demand
that we won't tolerate it any longer.
A half-truth is a whole lie.
Facts aren't like some giant pie,
Taking out one piece and leaving the rest,
Just looking at the best,
leaving what you detest
because it would hurt your image.
One side isn't always right.
Blue isn't always true.
Red, same as I just said.
Sometimes the answer lies in compromise.
Surprised? You shouldn't be.
But given what our politicians want us to see
it makes sense if you are intrigued.
They want us to believe, receive,
when they deceive us with their gospel of one sided truth:
That their party has always been in the right,
a shining light, a valiant knight,
fighting for what is good.
They spout out the monstrosities of the hypocrisies
of the other spectrum of our democracy.
The other side they want to blame,
put to shame, to guard their own name.
When in actuality the failures of the senators
and the reprehensiveness of the representatives
can be put on all of the members of congress.
You know there is a problem when we have politicians blocking bills
that would help, actually,
just because it would glorify the opposite party.
We're expected to believe in the grass-roots Democrats versus the Republican super-PAC's.
Or the hard-working red versus the lazy left just lying in bed.
The godless donkey versus the righteous elephant.
The fact that God isn't owned by one side is apparently irrelevant.
Our 24 hour news gives us the right to choose
what we want to hear,
making the real truth just DISAPPEAR!
Talk radio, commentary disguised as news shows
Think tanks really working for their account at the bank.
Fact-checks are viewed as train-wrecks
when they don't support one side
with a retort of actuality.
The truth isn't viewed as a principality
but rather a luxury
to be used when it agrees with our party rationality,
just because you don't even know a snippet
of truth is going to prohibit
our nation from getting out of this zoo-like exhibit
that Washington is today.
I think our leaders forget that it's us that pay
for their checks, bonuses, and even the raise
that they've given themselves,
making them work harder, putting back all the rules
on the shelves
so that they can get re-elected
and finally get the money for some reason they've expected.
We as citizens are in a seat
to make them compete for our vote.
We have the right to choose who will win and who will lose.
We have the ability to demand change from out politicians,
truth even when it hurts to admit the proof
that maybe an ideology of a party is wrong.
We can start a revolution,
a political evolution that will one day lead to people
that can find actual solutions
regardless of how much power they think the federal union
It all starts with a demand from the masses,
no more free passes just because I'm blue and you're blue
so what you're saying must be true.
No more thinking of I'm red and you're red
so I'll believe exactly what you said.
It's time to take a stand and demand
that we as a people hear the truth,
regardless of the sinking sand
or brand that it will put on the politician who delivers it.
Let's come together and strive for justice, truth,
the right thing to do
even when it might take a toll on the poll.
Let's put some control of the political soul of our nation.
And it starts with us.
I often take walks down a nature trail behind my house on nice autumn days
and marvel at the majesty and beauty of nature surrounding me.
From time to time I end up walking for hours on end,
contemplating the improbability incomprehensibility
radically miniscule chance that I am indeed alive
at this very moment.
I like to think about my life and events that occurred to make me who I am,
the people I met the things I said the challenges I overcame
the adversaries who I defeated and the ones I forgave.
I also think about the events in my life filled with regret,
the people I neglected the ones I hurt
the ones I hated and the ones I shunned.
I let my mind wander to the possibilities of who I possibly could be
had I let that person into my home
or volunteered some of my time at a shelter
or was nicer to the ones around me.
I have always tried to live my life without any regrets,
but I find that the more one thinks about life
the more they discover regrets they never realized.
Perhaps it is in my greater interest to simply ignore the possibility
that I indeed have lived a rather selfish life
only thinking of myself not others
and hurting those around me in the process.
Perhaps if I were to go on living my life without thinking of others
and simply worry about myself and my own problems
then I'll be happy.
There is a chance that doing so would result in more happiness for me
but that's exactly the point I have been struggling with:
only happiness for me.
I struggle now with the idea that it is possible I've been neglecting others
in return for personal and private gains
whether that be fiscally or emotionally or physically.
I want to know what life would be like if maybe I start to live more for others
and worry less about myself.
I ponder on these nature walks the question of whether or not living for others
is the responsible thing to do or should I only worry about myself
and from that it'll help others.
I want to help others, I really do have a desire to do good in the world
but every time I begin to start I falter
scared that I won't get anything out of it.
So the more and more I contemplate what my problem is
the more I realize that the problem is me.
There is a little boy inside me that is terrified of doing anything
for the gain of only others and not himself.
The little boy inside me cowers at homeless on the street
and the opportunities to help them and others.
The little boy inside of me is constantly telling me only to worry about myself
and that the problems of the oppressed are problems only for the oppressed.
So I ponder this question on these nature walks as well:
Are the problems of the poor the needy the oppressed the hungry
the hurt and the sick only problems to be fixed by them?
Should I be doing all I can to help those that don't have the resources I do
to provide medicine and food and money?
I ask myself these questions constantly, perpetually in fear that I indeed am rather selfish
and that I am ashamed of who I am and who I've been for the past years of life.
Along these walks I constantly come across puddles,
whether big small large skinny
deep shallow stagnant or rippling.
I find myself walking past ponds of many different sizes
and every time I come to one I continue past it
without looking at all.
I'm terrified to see my reflection and who I really am.
On days when I’m lonely I like to imagine a bench
In the middle of a park on a nice day in autumn.
I like to imagine a man coming and sitting down
When suddenly he is joined by a woman sitting too.
The man and the woman have never met before
But for some reason beyond our understanding
They share a connection deeper than anything they have ever felt.
The man thinks the woman is beautiful.
The woman thinks the man is handsome.
They converse first about simple subjects
But soon their conversation turns to life goals, dreams, aspirations.
The two feel so comfortable with each other;
They feel as if they have known each other for eternity already.
The man is introverted and scared to be hurt
But the woman is free-spirited and not afraid.
The man has never thought of himself as anything special
But the woman sees the best in the man.
Suddenly a cold breeze blows through the two on the bench
And the woman lets out a shiver.
The man politely takes off his coat and puts it around her.
In an act from the motivations of the heart
The woman reaches and grabs the hand of the man.
Inside the man’s heart fireworks of ecstasy
Are going off like it’s the Fourth of July.
With a confidence that comes only from
The deepest desires of the heart being requited
The man stands up from the park bench,
Bringing the woman up with him.
And hand-in-hand the two go forth
Into the world together,
Side-by-side, ready to take on life.
No time to pack,
No time to think.
Let's leave here now,
Whether swim or sink.
Black smoke rises as the train enters the station.
It’s time I get out, time I leave this nation
For a while, but not too long indeed.
There are just a few places that I need to see
And a part of me that I need to discover.
I promise you I’ll return back here another
Man, but yet still the same me.
It’s time for a while I set myself free
From the world I am in, discover who I am.
The funny thing is, I don’t have a plan
For where I’m first going, first train I suppose
Is the one I will get on, get on alone.
But by darling, I really do wish you were here.
It’s too bad that you are not any place near.
Holding your hand would make this more easy
And seeing your face would make me less queasy.
But deep down I know I must do this alone
If I wish to return with myself better known.
The train’s now approaching, I’m slightly distraught.
But I find comfort now in this thought:
Though you’re not here, just the mere thought of you
Is plenty enough to turn my skies blue.
Just down the road out of town,
It’s not a long way to go,
One will find a great strong tree,
A great strong tree covered in snow.
From the branches hang clear icicles.
The bark is covered in frost.
And in the battle of life and death
Life appears to have lost.
But take a walk up to the tree
And give a branch a shake.
And off falls frost and icicles.
A new branch it seems to make.
Continue this process of shaking branches
And soon enough you’ll see.
The tree was never dead at all,
Life has the victory.
The frost and snow do not convey
The truth the tree can tell.
That to this day and forever more
The tree has never fell.
Even after all of us are all gone,
The hills and the mountains will roll on and on.
Even after all is said and is done,
On they will go, on they will run.
Over the lands and the streets that we built.
Over the cities and towers that tilt.
Past all the oceans that taunted us so.
Over the valleys that stoop down below.
And after enough time has gone and has past,
It’ll look like on this earth, we didn’t make a scratch.
So my friend look at me, and listen up now,
You shouldn’t put so much stock into how
The world sees you. Instead do this here:
Just make sure you are loved and not feared.
Because at some point in our lives when we’re old,
We’ll want to be loved, and hope we hadn’t sold
Ourselves out to the world, for money and fame.
Because in the end, love is to blame
For the greatest happiness we can feel in our life.
It binds us, completes us, and ends all our strife.
I guess I should change what I said early on,
There’s one thing that will remain when we are gone.
Apart from the hills, mountains, and skies above
One thing will remain. That one thing is love.
I pondered a way to
Let you know
Of an overjoying truth I wanted to show.
Various ways I’ve almost settled with
Except from all of those, this one I’ve picked.
You may have some trouble, so I’ll give you a clue. The
Overjoying truth, you won’t find looking quick. Because of the
Underlying theme: This is an acrostic.
One day, at the end of the fall
I found myself looking at a tree.
The tree was mighty, great, and tall,
And the last leaf hanging, he spoke to me.
He told me of his troubles,
Of the loneliness he felt.
How it looks like he’ll be by himself
Until the last of the snows melt.
These things I took to heart,
Because the troubled me deep.
I looked at the leaf and began to start
The most important question my heart could seep.
I said “But you’re the last leaf hanging!
Aren't you the strongest of them all?”
He replied, “Yes,
But I’ve been terribly lonely since the middle of fall.”
At that moment it hit me,
That which kept my heart in a rip,
Courage and strength are nice to see,
But what counts in the end is friendship.
The man, he knew his time was small,
To tell his sweet love of it all.
He could not think of any way,
For him to tell of his love, to convey,
To tell of his affection, so strong for her.
His window of time, so the doctor speaks,
Is about three months, so maybe twelve weeks,
That’s not enough time, he needs more, he demands.
That’s not enough time to carry out his plans,
To tell of his affection, so strong for her.
So he does nothing, a month goes by.
Until one night, she breaks down and starts to cry.
The man puts his head on her shoulder and whispers “I love you”
And at this point in time, he finally knows what to do,
To tell of his affection, so strong for her.
From that moment on, he never leaves her side.
He even asks her to be his bride.
He knows his odds of living are small,
But the way he sees it, he may not get another chance at all,
To tell of his affection, so strong for her.
The next month is happy, four more weeks have ran.
Everything seems to be going according to his plan.
Until one night, he feels a pain in his chest,
He tries so hard to overcome this, he does his best,
To tell of his affection so strong for her.
He’s rushed to the hospital, where he’s looked at by the doctor.
She tries to go in his room, and the assistant stops her.
But behind the nurse, she catches a glance,
Of the man looking at her, saying he never fully got a chance,
To tell of his affection, so strong for her.
Into tears she bursts, when the doctor comes back,
Saying he had one final heart attack.
Then it hits her, comes to her attention,
That she never took a chance during his medical declension,
To tell of her affection, so strong for him.