what happened to it all ?
when happiness depended on yourself?
when you would walk out the doors confident about yourself ...
living the life you always wanted to live as a child .
generations change .
we care what others think about someone .
following what others do or say .
being afraid of being made fun of .
our generation isn't how it used to be
we act like other people just to fit in
what happened to being yourself ?
everywhere you go , you can't find someone unique .
My generation is the technology generation
We are connected 100% of the time
My generation is the "selfie" generation
A generation of self love and positivity
My generation believes you can love someone
Even if they're thousands of miles away
My generation is the download generation
Music from every era is at our fingertips
They'll tell you all this is bad
They'll say we're a generation ruled by technology
And we are, but that's not a bad thing
My generation is the one being killed in the street
For the color of their skin
My generation is the one yelling "hands up don't shoot"
And reminding people Black Lives Matter
My generation checks social media
And hears about news before CNN or Fox
My generation uses pictures and videos
To dispute the lies we're being fed
My generation has the power to change the world
They'll say technology is ruining my generation,
It's ruining theirs.
My mom used to blast
the Any Given Thursday live album
out of a 1996 silver stereo system
that sat crooked in our clear library cases
at the back of the living room
with cracked CD cases stacked
on top of each other like a forty story tower.
She would accompany John Mayer,
making every song a unique duet
as she dusted the shelves and used lemon Pledge
so the cabinets and coffee tables would shine like new.
I used to sit at the top of the stairs
in my pajama bottoms and one of my dad's
watching her dance like a ballerina in a theater
across the floor with a vacuum for a partner.
She was so lame.
I'm fifty two now and my mother doesn't sing any more.
Instead, I just play
"Your Body is a Wonderland"
over and over again when I'm cleaning
around my son's high chair or the seven
peppermint candles I have lit on the counter.
My daughter asks me to turn it off.
"Mom, no one listens to him anymore."
But I know she will one day.
(Went out today,
Limited out on rock fish
in two hours
Watching Elks Head
from the ocean,
Called him Izzy
Chewing all day
on a fat cigar
Looked at lot like Jimmy Durante
His father stowed away on a ship
Wasn't going to be a Russian military conscript
Genocidal pogroms were coming
how he knew
we'll never know.
Ended up in Philadelphia town,
Moved along to Brooklyn
fighting it out with the Irish immigrants
Dreaming of having a chicken farm
over there in New Jersey
Izzy met Grandma Sarah at the family clothing store
they fought it out for 70 years
The 60's book
Games People Play
They were the star attraction
The friction was the glue
that kept them together
The friction was the match
that lit their passion.
funniest man I ever met
Drove an old 48 Ford
selling housewares in the Southern route.
In the morning far too early
Sneaking into his room
tickling his feet to the sounds
of ohhs and hoho's
At five years old
took me fishing
on some New Jersey pond -
Afternoon sun with yellow colors
bringing all the foliage alive
a hand held in mine
defined the peace
in reoccurring dreams through out a lifetime
A troubled teen
the drive in the 48 Ford
with Grandpa Izzy
running down the Malibu pier
catching the half day boat before it
never lived far from a race track
I don't know about those losing days
but the secret he said
Was to never lose your sense of humor
Always be able to laugh at yourself
Izzy smoked those big old chewed cigars
lived until he was 94
Ended up not knowing
Who or where he was
Maybe we all
that way too
But in my memory
there is sharp focus
he remains alive in me
If heaven is there
I know I'll find
Izzy and I
on that New Jersey pond,
a fishing line
Plant me like a seed
That will blossom overnight
Water me in the dark
And I will flower in the dusk
Take away these weeds
That crowd my tender roots
Let me grow without thorns
Or shells that wrap my spine
Help me reach up high
To a sky free of clouds
I shall be grateful to all
Who cared for me each day
Gardeners of love
Selfless with passion
And when the winds blow strong
I shall let go my fragile pollen
Into streams of new hello's
To meet grounds with the welcome
Of old friends who have returned
To the times of childhood's past
And never felt a day go bye
Without thinking of each other
I shall see it reach above
It's wild roots of youth and candor
Stretch its branches awaiting an embrace
Of its parents left behind
In the distance I will watch
As its trunk becomes wider
With the wisdom of the years
And its pollen sets for sail
Among new seas of floating feathers
To blossom one more time
As others did before it
While we age, my ground and I
And hold our grip ever stronger
Until we reach our last day
Of this our great journey
Having seen so many go
And join with other soil
To age just like us
Knowing well that all good deeds
Have been accomplished
I thought you would be different.
I thought you would be better.
I thought it wouldn't be this way.
I guess I shouldn't think anymore.
You said I deserved better.
You said I had a chance.
You said this whole thing would be worth it.
You should keep your mouth shut.
Because now here I sit.
In my room.
Venting to the girl I love
About a girl I love
All the while pretending
That what you did wasn't wrong.
Right to my face.
Looked directly in my eyes.
Held my gaze.
Told me you loved me.
Then left me to yearn for you
While you felt the fireworks between your lips and his.
"We know nothing changes too slowly."
I wish thee vessel of thine blood n’ name
Thou needs not worry of thy soul
Alas I am Young n’ heed none so dull
Shun my repertoire, superstitious square
Your margins seek to limit souls everywhere
I wish thee, vessel of thine blood n’ name
A prosperous experience in which must be tame
For the world is wild, quiet, and strange
Alas never, for thou sake, let it be lame
I wish thee, vessel of thine blood n’ name
To respect thy labors n’ sweat in which I came
Stride for honest glory, never superficial fame
For such a falsie way is just a child’s gain
I beseech you, dare not fill my glass with shame
Live inspiring ahead, cease not to aim
The Proud chime of hearing thou blood’s name
Soon you and I shall reunite as one as the same
Distant Brother or Sister
Let’s dance n’ rest from God’s funny melodic game
Power line cutting a thick
Scar across the
Signatures of Civilisation; straight
Lines and angles,
Perfect circles. All within
What has none.
Maimed and modified
By the cynical scalpel
Of laziness named Progress,
Waterfalls tamed and forced
This naked mountaintop
Was a mile stone
For pedestrian generations.
Now it holds that giant antenna
Like a spiteful eyesore
To those who love
Power and signals, to sit
In air conditioned comfort
Nature shows on TV.
A governor it was proclaimed this time,
When all who would come seeking in New Hampshire
Ancestral memories might come together.
And those of the name Stark gathered in Bow,
A rock-strewn town where farming has fallen off,
And sprout-lands flourish where the axe has gone.
Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a by-road
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.
They were at Bow, but that was not enough:
Nothing would do but they must fix a day
To stand together on the crater’s verge
That turned them on the world, and try to fathom
The past and get some strangeness out of it.
But rain spoiled all. The day began uncertain,
With clouds low trailing and moments of rain that misted.
The young folk held some hope out to each other
Till well toward noon when the storm settled down
With a swish in the grass. “What if the others
Are there,” they said. “It isn’t going to rain.”
Only one from a farm not far away
Strolled thither, not expecting he would find
Anyone else, but out of idleness.
One, and one other, yes, for there were two.
The second round the curving hillside road
Was a girl; and she halted some way off
To reconnoitre, and then made up her mind
At least to pass by and see who he was,
And perhaps hear some word about the weather.
This was some Stark she didn’t know. He nodded.
“No fête to-day,” he said.
“It looks that way.”
She swept the heavens, turning on her heel.
“I only idled down.”
“I idled down.”
Provision there had been for just such meeting
Of stranger cousins, in a family tree
Drawn on a sort of passport with the branch
Of the one bearing it done in detail—
Some zealous one’s laborious device.
She made a sudden movement toward her bodice,
As one who clasps her heart. They laughed together.
“Stark?” he inquired. “No matter for the proof.”
“Yes, Stark. And you?”
“I’m Stark.” He drew his passport.
“You know we might not be and still be cousins:
The town is full of Chases, Lowes, and Baileys,
All claiming some priority in Starkness.
My mother was a Lane, yet might have married
Anyone upon earth and still her children
Would have been Starks, and doubtless here to-day.”
“You riddle with your genealogy
Like a Viola. I don’t follow you.”
“I only mean my mother was a Stark
Several times over, and by marrying father
No more than brought us back into the name.”
“One ought not to be thrown into confusion
By a plain statement of relationship,
But I own what you say makes my head spin.
You take my card—you seem so good at such things—
And see if you can reckon our cousinship.
Why not take seats here on the cellar wall
And dangle feet among the raspberry vines?”
“Under the shelter of the family tree.”
“Just so—that ought to be enough protection.”
“Not from the rain. I think it’s going to rain.”
“No, it’s misting; let’s be fair.
Does the rain seem to you to cool the eyes?”
The situation was like this: the road
Bowed outward on the mountain half-way up,
And disappeared and ended not far off.
No one went home that way. The only house
Beyond where they were was a shattered seedpod.
And below roared a brook hidden in trees,
The sound of which was silence for the place.
This he sat listening to till she gave judgment.
“On father’s side, it seems, we’re—let me see——”
“Don’t be too technical.—You have three cards.”
“Four cards, one yours, three mine, one for each branch
Of the Stark family I’m a member of.”
“D’you know a person so related to herself
Is supposed to be mad.”
“I may be mad.”
“You look so, sitting out here in the rain
Studying genealogy with me
You never saw before. What will we come to
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees?
I think we’re all mad. Tell me why we’re here
Drawn into town about this cellar hole
Like wild geese on a lake before a storm?
What do we see in such a hole, I wonder.”
“The Indians had a myth of Chicamoztoc,
Which means The Seven Caves that We Came out of.
This is the pit from which we Starks were digged.”
“You must be learned. That’s what you see in it?”
“And what do you see?”
“Yes, what do I see?
First let me look. I see raspberry vines——”
“Oh, if you’re going to use your eyes, just hear
What I see. It’s a little, little boy,
As pale and dim as a match flame in the sun;
He’s groping in the cellar after jam,
He thinks it’s dark and it’s flooded with daylight.”
“He’s nothing. Listen. When I lean like this
I can make out old Grandsir Stark distinctly,—
With his pipe in his mouth and his brown jug—
Bless you, it isn’t Grandsir Stark, it’s Granny,
But the pipe’s there and smoking and the jug.
She’s after cider, the old girl, she’s thirsty;
Here’s hoping she gets her drink and gets out safely.”
“Tell me about her. Does she look like me?”
“She should, shouldn’t she, you’re so many times
Over descended from her. I believe
She does look like you. Stay the way you are.
The nose is just the same, and so’s the chin—
Making allowance, making due allowance.”
“You poor, dear, great, great, great, great Granny!”
“See that you get her greatness right. Don’t stint her.”
“Yes, it’s important, though you think it isn’t.
I won’t be teased. But see how wet I am.”
“Yes, you must go; we can’t stay here for ever.
But wait until I give you a hand up.
A bead of silver water more or less
Strung on your hair won’t hurt your summer looks.
I wanted to try something with the noise
That the brook raises in the empty valley.
We have seen visions—now consult the voices.
Something I must have learned riding in trains
When I was young. I used the roar
To set the voices speaking out of it,
Speaking or singing, and the band-music playing.
Perhaps you have the art of what I mean.
I’ve never listened in among the sounds
That a brook makes in such a wild descent.
It ought to give a purer oracle.”
“It’s as you throw a picture on a screen:
The meaning of it all is out of you;
The voices give you what you wish to hear.”
“Strangely, it’s anything they wish to give.”
“Then I don’t know. It must be strange enough.
I wonder if it’s not your make-believe.
What do you think you’re like to hear to-day?”
“From the sense of our having been together—
But why take time for what I’m like to hear?
I’ll tell you what the voices really say.
You will do very well right where you are
A little longer. I mustn’t feel too hurried,
Or I can’t give myself to hear the voices.”
“Is this some trance you are withdrawing into?”
“You must be very still; you mustn’t talk.”
“I’ll hardly breathe.”
“The voices seem to say——”
“Don’t! The voices seem to say:
Call her Nausicaa, the unafraid
Of an acquaintance made adventurously.”
“I let you say that—on consideration.”
“I don’t see very well how you can help it.
You want the truth. I speak but by the voices.
You see they know I haven’t had your name,
Though what a name should matter between us——”
“I shall suspect——”
“Be good. The voices say:
Call her Nausicaa, and take a timber
That you shall find lies in the cellar charred
Among the raspberries, and hew and shape it
For a door-sill or other corner piece
In a new cottage on the ancient spot.
The life is not yet all gone out of it.
And come and make your summer dwelling here,
And perhaps she will come, still unafraid,
And sit before you in the open door
With flowers in her lap until they fade,
But not come in across the sacred sill——”
“I wonder where your oracle is tending.
You can see that there’s something wrong with it,
Or it would speak in dialect. Whose voice
Does it purport to speak in? Not old Grandsir’s
Nor Granny’s, surely. Call up one of them.
They have best right to be heard in this place.”
“You seem so partial to our great-grandmother
(Nine times removed. Correct me if I err.)
You will be likely to regard as sacred
Anything she may say. But let me warn you,
Folks in her day were given to plain speaking.
You think you’d best tempt her at such a time?”
“It rests with us always to cut her off.”
“Well then, it’s Granny speaking: ‘I dunnow!
Mebbe I’m wrong to take it as I do.
There ain’t no names quite like the old ones though,
Nor never will be to my way of thinking.
One mustn’t bear too hard on the new comers,
But there’s a dite too many of them for comfort.
I should feel easier if I could see
More of the salt wherewith they’re to be salted.
Son, you do as you’re told! You take the timber—
It’s as sound as the day when it was cut—
And begin over——’ There, she’d better stop.
You can see what is troubling Granny, though.
But don’t you think we sometimes make too much
Of the old stock? What counts is the ideals,
And those will bear some keeping still about.”
“I can see we are going to be good friends.”
“I like your ‘going to be.’ You said just now
It’s going to rain.”
“I know, and it was raining.
I let you say all that. But I must go now.”
“You let me say it? on consideration?
How shall we say good-bye in such a case?”
“How shall we?”
“Will you leave the way to me?”
“No, I don’t trust your eyes. You’ve said enough.
Now give me your hand up.—Pick me that flower.”
“Where shall we meet again?”
“Nowhere but here
Once more before we meet elsewhere.”
“It ought to be in rain. Sometime in rain.
In rain to-morrow, shall we, if it rains?
But if we must, in sunshine.” So she went.
I like to sit across from my __
She usually tells me about how I should be better. But I don't want to be.
Everyone says my generation's only talents are to keep our legs open and Our mouth's closed. I like to think we can read and write and
Fall in love with strangers on subways in the forgotten underground.
Everyone says that we don't know how to live righteously
But if we were never taught how can we learn?
Someone once told me to keep my legs shut,
They told me ladies know better.
They told me when their eyes not their lips.
They told me to keep my mouth closed.
They told me with their actions not their words.
But it doesn't matter now.
If you're going to say to me:
"You're from that generation"
I'll say to you:
"If you wanted to change us you should have taught us
If you wanted us to pave the way you should have shown us the starting Road
We were taught to sing praises to those who came before us.
But what for?"