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 Jul 10
Justin S Wampler
It's so funny, my approach to life has always been this convoluted dichotomy of ideas and practices where I never wanted to give a **** about anyone or anything but I wanted to have a good reason to do so. I couldn't just chalk myself up to being an *******, I wanted the freedom of some diagnosable dilapidated mental state. Like somehow if I could just write my apathy and general laziness up to some kind of disorder then it would all be justified and I could feel at ease about just letting life pass me by and letting people who love me down, over and over again. The whole process has been so ******* and backwards that I started to feel like maybe my goals have been achieved, and by just working towards this contradictory state of mind I actually managed to make myself some kind of insane. The act of wanting to not give a **** about anything, whilst simultaneously wanting a good reason to be that way perhaps set me aside as the thing I wanted to be most in life: crazy.

     My father is schizophrenic, and he left when I was maybe ten or eleven years old but I never hated him for it. In fact in my adolescence I actually idolized and envied him for the freedom of responsibility that was granted to him through his diagnosis, I saw it as a boon in life. A way to cast aside the obligations every one of us faces in a modern society and just live day to day like nothing ever mattered. I wanted that same freedom, but more than that I wanted the same reaction that his behavior garnered from other people in my life. No one was ever angry, or hated him for how he acted. They all just pitied him and would spout throw-away lines like "well, what can we expect?" or "I'm sorry your father is so sick, Justin." when he came up in conversation. My mouth watered at the thought of all that precious pity, I craved that dismissive demeanor that people gave him. Like sighing when a seagull takes your sandwich, what else did you expect would happen? It's pointless to hate the animal because it's just doing all that it knows how to do. There's no sense being angry, or even disappointed. You learn to hide your food better next time but ultimately you have to accept that it's just a part of life, and the only thing anyone could ever do is just sigh and hope that it never happens again. For years I wanted that same sympathy, I wanted to be crazy and lazy and not give a **** about the people who loved me. I wanted to be just like my Dad.

     It took me a good twenty six years and my Mom having an (ultimately fatal) aneurysm to finally realize that this way I've been living my life would never grant me any semblance of freedom at all, and in fact the things I actually wanted the most were those same loved ones and obligations that I've been absconding from all this time. Not only were those the things that I wanted most, but they were what I needed to bring me that much craved sense of freedom and justification that I've been looking for all along. Now I'm almost thirty one years old and I think I realize now that my father was never free, never liberated from any form of societal norms or responsibilities, rather, he was just but a prisoner. Locked in a mental jail cell, a drunk tank within his own mind. He couldn't escape his inability to be a fulfilling father, he was locked up within his psychosis and there was never a key to begin with. I think now that maybe him leaving was more about doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons, and I mourn for his presence in my life and for the sorrow he must've felt when he said goodbye. I can feel his sorrow echo in my conscience, for I know that even with his cursed, so-called freedom of responsibility, the things he always wanted most was just to be able to be there for me. I don't hate my father, but I do pity him and I no longer want any part of that pity for myself. I'm still a lot like him, but rather than embracing the worst parts of who he is I try to channel the positive aspects instead. I try my damnedest. Besides, at one point in his life he was a man that my Mom fell in love with. A charming, handsome guy that had a relentless love for cars and games and laughter that went unrivaled by anyone else I had ever known, back when I was young and still spending time with him. He could cast a spell on anyone and illicit laughter and smiles, genuine and hearty joy.

     Those aspects are what I now choose to remember, what I now choose to channel and project. Because what are parents really? Just people who are trying to take all the best parts of themselves and pour them into their children. They're just people, nothing magic, nothing sacred, working at crafting us into better versions of themselves. To that point I say that he may have succeeded (though I'm still awfully terrified at the prospect of fatherhood,) and although what I thought I learned from his absence in my life was misconstrued in my mind for so so many years, the true lesson that he taught me is so brutally simple. To just be there.
At one point or another everyone wants to be just like their Dad.
 Jun 9
Hadrian Veska
A gentle streaming waterfall
Flows to that silvery pool
Nestled down and away
From most curious eyes
Save for mine is course

In the dull evening hours
I would sit on the walkway
Narrow and overgrown
That led down into that basin
Where the water collected
And flowed to some underground spring

There would I see him
Sitting on the water's edge
A seemingly week build man
In a set of well worn robes
That bore no symbol
Or design I could recognize

I felt after many visits
That he knew of my presence
As if his awareness reverberated
Up from the water And bounced
Off the close rock walls to locate me
Without his need to look

Yet I never spoke to him
Or descended further
Down those precariously worn steps
To that silvery pool below
For I knew ever so vaguely

That the one I had seen there
At the edge of those waters
I should not ever meet
 Jun 8
Hadrian Veska
To many trying to teach
When they don't understand the lesson
Too many trying to preach
When they don't know the truth
Everyone is so sure
Convinced and convicted
But anyone that can reason
Can only say they are learning
And what they know today
Is less than they knew yesterday
But sometimes less is more
 May 20
Hadrian Veska
Bellcasts and balustrades
Impossibly complicated
Columns and arcades
Incredibly crafted
Stained glass and arches
Ornately constructed
An insurmountable feat
Of engineering and skill
A wonder of the world
While the world laid still
A monument magnificent
To the empires of old
A triumphant memorial
Encased in granite and gold
That time though now long passed
As worn rock and stone do tell
Yet still rings the somber strain
Of its ancient weathered bell
When it calls do all look up
And for a moment stop; wonder
The way the world was
Before is tore asunder
 May 20
Hadrian Veska
Hot Mint Tea
It’s 4:53  
Sunrise this morning
Is taking its time
A light dusting of snow
I do not yet know
What this day will bring
But I’m feeling fine
 May 7
Hadrian Veska
Turn here
Then down the hallway
And to the left

The systems there are antiquated
Please be patient with them
The data should all be there
It may take some time to find

Be aware, that what you find
May not be what you desire
And that what you desire
May not be what you need
 May 7
Hadrian Veska
Start reading that book today
The one you always glance at
On the edge of your office desk
Underneath the papers and forms
You don't have to get far
Simply begin
 May 7
Hadrian Veska
What is death
Do you think you know?
When light falls away
And shadows grow
The crown of flowers
Atop your head
After color fades
And all is dead
Do you believe you are
More than mere flesh
When this age has passed
And life refreshed?
Our ancestors went
To their fathers great halls
The thief on the cross
Within Paradise's walls
Therefore,  no my friend
We shall not fear death
Breathe easy and full
Of your last breath
Behind that curtain
That ever thin veil
Lies the true life we live
that life without fail
For there is one who stands
And in death did lie
Yet was raised again
That death might die
Weep not for the body
But rejoice for the soul
For the body may die
Yet again be made whole
Rest then in peace  
With your garland crown
And awake once more
Where life does abound
 Apr 11
Hadrian Veska
To ash and stolen
Our home among the stars
No retaliation
Even escape but a distant dream
Though by sheer grace
Did some survive
Scattering themselves far and wide
Among the ever twilight cosmos
One day I know they will return
They must!
For in them lies the spark
The last remaining hope
Of a humanity without a home
 Mar 20
Carlo C Gomez
A room lives in Zoria
And also the trees
At a critical distance
She seeks their shelter
An abiding solace
To wash free
To swim sea
Who can blame
The suffering of her stream
Whether it be
A time for hanging on
Or a time for passing
Let the waters come
And overtake her
Flooding her with
Safeguarding arms

For those suffering in Ukraine
 Mar 7
it wasn't until the sun rose
that I realized
just how much
I was in love with the moon
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