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Justin Lai Jan 10
O brother, tell us where you've been!
What is the world like beyond these trenches?

Is it safe to crawl out —
we heard the wolves were just 'were-' with a sweet tooth.
Won't you help us sniff out the lotus from the roses,
their thorns so cleverly hidden…

Sisters, we're tired of hiding in the dark,
our eyelids shut by the nurse's damp cloth;

To our champions: were you blessed in your travails?
Did you find the loving,
the caring,
the fabled Happy People that
Nashville balladeers croon about?

brave children, remember to return;
we dreamed of setting foot in a place of our own, too.
does one exist in their world ||

// NOT THEIR WORLD
NOT OURS EITHER
BUT ALL OF OUR
UNIVERSE //
I was thinking about minorities and marginalised groups, that it takes individuals braving uncertainty and doubt to blaze a trail for everyone else. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

(Giha Village is an underground village from the anime Gurren Lagann. Happy People is a song written by Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters and recorded by Little Big Town.)
Kim Mar 2015
Is it where you come from that matters?
Is it your history, your line of descent?
Do they really know you, they chatter
Would they sit down with your friends
Where do you come from they ask
What is your story they say
Will you do away with your mask
Let them know you if they may

What went before doesn’t matter
Only the present counts
It’s a fresh start you barter
For your past in the ground
But when it comes down to it
They still want to know
Where did you come from
Where will you go

You choose your own fate
Your life is in your hands
Your future’s for you to make
You’re not bound to the land
Let them know you by your deeds
By your words and by your song
Do they need to trace your feet
To know where you belong?

What is a reputation -
But a binding rope
No leeway to stumble
For it’s a slippery *****
If the days gone by are to colour
Every speech and action
Where is the scope to discover?
Aren’t our lives but a fraction -
Of what they could be
If we believed we were free
To set forth and make waves
Or float along with the sea

But then again you may say -
Do people really change?
Can they let go of the hate -
Washed clean by the rain?
And can we trust a man who lays
No claim to yesterday -
For whom nothing can vouch
But the words of his mouth?
If one is constantly changing -
Then where does one stand?
How can the others trust you -
How can they shake your hand?
Is trust merely an illusion
We conjure up for ourselves -
To alleviate the confusion
To put reason on the shelf?
One day we all must choose
When there is much to lose
Whether to cling to the family tree
Or take flight and be free

Those you grow up with are forever
They’re the ones you never leave
Where you came from is your start
The first page of your story
But it can’t tie you down
It can’t hold you back
You mustn’t be afraid
For when they attack
They will have the armour of the known
And carry the weapons of their fathers
But you will have freedom
And an army of your brothers
Your brothers in thought
And ideals and humanity
Your sisters with whom you fought
The winds of disparity

So I suppose what I’m saying is
The only story that matters
Is the one that’s told
When you stand before your maker.
*maker should be read generically - not in reference to any specific belief system
José Vaca Oct 2020
Can you believe that in some counties here in the Bay Area, a six-figure salary is considered ‘low income’? Hell, if Silicon Valley was it’s own country it would be the second richest country in the world, just behind Qatar.

So tell me why, being in such a rich part of the world surrounded by the latest technology that instantly connects you to people and resources there are kids that live on the street with no food to eat, or clean clothes to wear? Why are teachers reaching into their accounts to provide those same kids and others with tools, knowledge, wisdom, and hope to persevere and overcome these atrocious adversities? Why are communities and cultures that have been deeply rooted for generations disappearing in plain sight? Why do people live in tents and some in cardboard boxes? Why, with all the money, power, and resources at such close proximity, do “invisible communities” exist? Let’s face it, if six-figures is considered low, then the average person must be nothing.

Sustainable regenerative models have an underlying sense of belonging. If we, and willing we can, cultivate real relationships with our neighbors we can work together to create a community - a society - that is nurturing and beneficial to all.

A tree works best in a forest, not alone nor in a grove. Alone the tree can only do so much and a grove is much to similar and demanding. But a forest however is diverse and naturally connected by way of life, never taking more than than needed, but always giving more than expected. A natural ebb and flow inclusive of all in proximity and beyond.

But what do I know. I’m just a tree planting a seed among a forest that could be.
Carter Ginter Nov 2018
I walk around these places
Trans-centric spaces
Yet I don't feel like I belong
I know that
I look like them
And based on my reading
I feel like them too
Though I still have this sense
That I somehow do not count
I am not quite enough
I feel without a place
Maybe because last time
I was at a trans art show
And my art lives in words
Not in images on canvas
Just another piece of me
That doesn't quite feel
Real enough or
Good enough
To be taken seriously
And I know
I know
This all boils down to
The way I treat myself
But I'm trying
I'm trying
Some things just take time

— The End —