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Whomever you meet,
you will no doubt be in conflict,
that is the nature of the beast,
you and I,
cut by chromatic dividing lines,
split by life decisions,
perspective of the past, present and future,
separation of church and state of mind,
women as companions,
women as *******,
charity as obligation,
charity as privilege,
meaning it means it something,
or not at all,
who's to say?
A dichotomy of idealistic sentimentality,
different cogs in the same broken machine,
we are all twisted gears in a mal-adapted tree,
that bears no fruit,
and whether the strong rule,
or if the weak share the shattered remains,
means little to me,
we are all equally hopeless,
fractal personalities,
torn by social stratification,
at the core we are broken,
and I love it.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
There is something so tragic about being human,
we strive for the stars,
reaching upward,
but all we do is fail,
we are born imperfect with imperfect temperament,
and made imperfect through our own design,
there is something inherently wrong within us,
a mistake that alleles cannot shape,
a mistake that our parents,
despite their most urgent wishes,
cannot break,
a mistake so large that none are exempt,
and often we curse God,
blaming someone we've never known,
for the misfortune that festers in our hearts,
and when it comes down to it,
I don't think that,
even if he does exist,
that it is entirely his fault,
for although he mixed foolish,
and immature spirits in the same vat,
the disease is intrinsic,
and God did not make our spirits,
though perhaps through nimble hands,
he made us whole,
bodies tempered for pain and loss,
but we are the root of the evil,
there is no Devil at the source,
though influence us he might,
and so our stories are tragic,
we do what we can,
and then we die,
and maybe that's not the end of the story,
but if someone tells you they're not afraid of death,
they're lying,
few if any know what waits at the end,
the end of the path we as humans create,
but we have no choice,
there is no price that can shake the sorrow from our shoulders,
no payment large enough to replace our experience,
no substitute for the change we feel,
the love we feel,
the pain we feel,
and the loss inherent in life,
so I say live and let live,
but keep in mind the influence you have,
for good or for bad,
and keep your chin up,
set your jaw,
and cast your eyes towards the sky,
and the heavens above.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
I have a confession to make,
since I was a child,
I've been predisposed to anxiety,
fear and apprehension,
all barriers of the same kind,
sometimes I push through,
and sometimes I wallow,
letting it sink in late at night,
sitting on my roof waiting for sun to rise,
hand gripping my chest,
the place where I've been told my heart is.

It for this reason that I've always gravitated to the idea of courage,
not a lack thereof,
but the ability to surmount fear in favor of greener pastures,
but in truth we're all the same,
we share the same night sky,
the same sun,
born with a beating heart,
and with that heart comes fear,
fear of failure,
inadequacy stabs deeply the hearts of the young,
and as we age it lessens but it doesn't ever go away,
and sometimes there is a rarer form of fear,
the fear of success,
this fear is most often unnoticed,
but festers unseen as we go about our day to day,
for what would we do with wealth,
who are we to be loved,
and who are we to influence others?

Personally I am far more afraid of being successful,
for with abundance,
comes responsibility,
and ultimately,
more to lose,
but I think that if I live my life in fear of loss,
that I will find myself hapless and cornered,
cut off at all sides by my own insecurities,
parts separated by the mounting tension,
a culmination of what if's,
apprehension and loneliness,
similar by design,
two components of fear,
a common string we tie inside,
letting it show in our eyes.

I think fear is an interesting thing,
if not for fear,
mankind would have died off long ago,
fear is what gets us off our knees,
it starts us on the path,
but what is missing?
I have started walking countless times only to trip,
falling over my own feet,
inhibitions distilled in me as a child,
for the road is long and the solitude is overwhelming,
and somewhere in my heart I know that courage is what I'm missing,
I am afraid,
I am afraid of serving a God I do not know,
I am afraid of turning away a God that weeps for my sake,
I am afraid of meeting new people,
I am afraid of spending my life with one person,
I am afraid of change,
I am afraid of stagnation,
I am afraid of you,
I am afraid of myself,
I am afraid of fear,
and I am afraid of courage,
but courage is what keeps you going,
for it easier to give up and sit down,
for fear of stumbling,
or perhaps the fear of finding what lies ahead,
what will we find at the end of the road?

I choose to stand up and try again,
and I think that you'll agree,
it is better to have loved and lost,
than never to have loved at all,
and it is better to die on your feet,
than to live on your knees.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
The non-overlapping magisterium,
a law stating that science and religion cannot intermix,
separate chords strung from the same cloth,
vines splitting at the intersection of faith and reason,
barbs flush against the skin of the common,
man thinks he learned,
but is far from wise.

To narrow your mind so steeply,
is to hold back all that you are,
to be cut off at the knee,
giving into a disposition for failure,
for often has both religion and science failed,
wars fought in the name of God and race,
non-existent color lines we paint on the inside of our sleeves.

Science does not represent evil,
and religion does not represent good,
they merely represent two sides of the same coin,
one the corporeal and the other the ethereal.

Aggression is as human as the need to breathe,
and kindness is a forced characteristic,
but do not cast aside the flame,
for love and fury are intertwined,
but do not confuse these with wrath and lust,
the difference is in motivation,
so if you seek truth,
stare both in the eye,
the material and transcendent,
God and Mammon,
the lord and the beast,
the father,
a representation of the good in the human heart,
hold close these virtues,
but do not suffocate them,
and if the father is good,
then the beast is the black sheep,
representing that darkness inherent in the heart of man,
this personification of evil,
a scapegoat,
although we are caught in the tempter's snare,
he is not the source,
and if he is your reflection,
love him first and cast him off second.

And if someone protests your belief in the abstract,
I say love them,
but I also say stand up,
and do what you feel is right,
and walk your own way,
not the path chosen for you.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
To be human in a place filled with humanity is to be in constant conflict,
to be human is to be right and wrong,
almost always at the same time,
our ideals are collectively a lie,
to believe in one view is a fallacy,
for truth may lie in the collective,
or perhaps it is simply beyond our reach,
the left is self-righteous,
calling all others bigots,
the right is antiquated,
calling all others fools,
the middle is unsure,
knowing that both sides have merit,
but paying no heed to which pieces are true,
the rest of us don't have a clue,
we are not educated enough to care,
we know nothing and so we do not cast lots,
and truthfully this where the majority of the populous should stay,
and even those who have cast their hands into the mix should retreat,
for to truly know something is difficult,
and far beyond the meager grasp of man's tiny brain.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
The poet is not a writer,
though she uses words,
the difference lies in the sentiment,
when he writes a book,
he writes it in order to educate and entertain,
when she writes poetry,
there is a fleck of the unseen,
there is a dream-like quality to the poem,
chaotic rhythm trying to make sense of the madness,
a maddening landscape as surreal and cerebral as Eloheim,
and still the poet persists,
but it is for this reason that understanding breaks down,
and while the poem is often misunderstood,
still she writes for others,
fighting desperately for a cure,
a cancer that all things dendritic cannot touch,
a wound that runs unabated through culture and the human imagination alike,
she writes poetry for future generations,
for her children to read,
leaving the fire lit aflame in the hearts of the next generation,
but each generation fewer and fewer take up the charge,
fighting the good fight is obsolete,
and so it is for the few to tacitly and tactically,
with a tactile touch,
fix the accumulation of those who came before.

I am not a poet,
I do not write for the greater good,
I write for myself,
for the well-being of the being in my head,
for the scrapping in the derelict corners of my mind,
grey matter splattered on false sentiments,
lies and truths mingled betwixt cortex and stem,
a tree burgeoning upward,
and so I do not write for you,
but for myself,
for I am no poet,
lost in rasping of my own words,
in tranquility I fester,
for I owe you nothing,
and from beneath that pretense,
I hang.

I would say that the death of the poet,
is the death of language,
though art fell victim long ago,
and so I find solace in its falling leaves.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
The truth is that my mind and heart do not connect,
instead they collide like trains on the same track,
my mind tells me of statistics,
it tells me how I should act,
and I often I lie to make myself more interesting,
my mind creates false stories and false memories in hopes of gain,
my mind tells stories to make others feel special,
but it's okay,
I can keep my story straight,
and oddly enough,
my heart also tells stories,
but they are not fabrications,
but tales of adventure and sacrifice,
my heart loves stories of triumph and will,
of man exceeding the human condition,
restraints placed by a God we cannot know,
for that is part of the game,
what fun would it be if the game were fair?
He taught us and prepared us for this life,
and finally he stripped us of what we were,
our memories,
and he set us free,
free to fail,
free to succeed,
and I love him still.

I am often uncertain,
though I may put on a brave face,
I'm sure other people often feel this way,
for to be unhappy is frowned upon,
I am often doubtful of what I believe,
for what can you really know?
People tend to steer from things that make them uncomfortable,
I am the opposite,
I gravitate towards the darker shades of mankind,
for I feel that these things are powerful,
they are human and I want to know more,
though they are not pleasant,
there is something to be said about standing up for something.

I am often inept when dealing with other people,
so instead I lie and placate my brothers and sisters,
for a pleasant smile means more than the truth,
a drop of sunshine somehow drowns out the rest,
and so I smile and I lie,
but what is so wrong with that?
It is better to kind than to be right,
and no form of kindness can ever be wasted,
a quote means nothing,
but we give it value beyond belief,
quotes and scripture,
I love them both for the power they wield,
both to heal and to destroy.

In the end I am the sum of my parts,
truthfully I am simply a child,
I am small and immobile,
I cannot change the world,
but still the rotation continues,
and I think I'm okay with that,
the greatest change occurs with failure and with success,
I do both of those things,
am I not special?
I fail,
I succeed,
failure is something that I do often,
but I don't like to let it show,
and so I smile,
grinning from ear to ear.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
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