Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
To be ginger in a heatwave
is to know that a surfeit of energy
that enthrals the populace
has consequence

Like any addict with an allergy
landed on a thing they love
you learn to skirt and sample
knowing sickness follows

The uninitiated will gorge and fall
swearing off the juice for good
and withdrawing a raised voice
which is bad

Pace yourselves for the longness
of an unexpected summer
so that when winter hits
we continue to burn
Glimmers in the hinterlands
as I begin to settle
into reaching my Old Ben days.

So rage reshapes, tempers
and can be passed
to the compassionate and energised youth

Torch will still be borne
and saber swung
but I’ll pay in aches and pains
in coming days
and likely collapse to
sage blue spirit status

My anger slowly feels
like an elegant weapon
for a more civilised age
while the streets call
for the bluntness of a blaster

I’ve mastered thinking round and round
and missed chances to parry,
but my force will be added
to the great wave of change

This empire is dead
Feel the fire’s flame
cutting through our nights,
its burning heat
glowing in our eyes.

Feel the teeth grinding,
lungs heaving,
knuckles cracking,
slides racking…
Fear’s vibrations
colliding—dividing—
and choosing sides.

Stop.

Turn away,
relax your breath,
and adjust your eyes…

Can’t you see the face
hidden in the shadow
cast by its fired night?
Can’t you see its narrowed
eyes, the tight smile
emanating from a twisted soul;
the mind that’s taken Center
while we burn at its poles;
the eyes that know
our fractured factions
keep us weak, in conflict,
unorganized and opposed?

The identities we’ve been served
keep us forever in chains,
ensuring the blood we spill
is spilt in vain…
that change is only a slogan
an old institution
with a new name.

We are not black nor white,
we are not left nor right,
we are neither American
nor un-American:
we stand as souls of no nation.
We are people, we are lives—
lives that have been
distracted,
disenfranchised,
and confused.
We are people
whose attention and energies
have been compromised.
We are lives
who have been divided
by the rhetoric of a power
that wishes to harvest
our spirit,
our vitality,
to serve its interests.

Join your fires,
join your minds.
See yourself
in all who you are not…
for you live within them,
and they within you.

We fight for freedom,
not a flag;
for Being,
not for land.

When this truth is felt,
united we will stand.
Not as numbers in a system—
nor factions divided
by city blocks—
but as Beings,
as lives,
whose chance at
a new future
has been restored.
Originally published at https://DouglasBalmain.com/notebook
Grey Jun 6
WE CAN’T BREATHE
WHEN YOU COVER OUR MOUTHS.
6/5/2020
Donate. Vote. Raise awareness. Sign petitions. Protest. Educate yourself and others. Email authorities and those who can make concrete change. Use your voice. Advocate for equal rights. Share ways others can help. Let’s end this madness Now.
RC Apr 22
I'm starting to see in color again.
It began like the seasons do
happening over your shoulder
summer nights shed their skin
into something a shade colder
but you can't remember exactly when
the colors appeared a bit bolder.

So used to life through absent eyes
I almost couldn't see in anything
other than black and white
But there were times that
I'd get stuck staring too long
like finding a rip in the seams
catch a color I hadn't seen
or find a new one in a kiss
a ripple in reality
my greys had more tint.

Soon I began to pine
for all the hues I'd missed
my favorite colors
given away to previous years
shades so familiar
they came with memories
undertones I could hear.
So I let it all come back
gave my eyes the time
to adjust from shadows
to the brighter whites.

Some days I still struggle
with every color I’ve seen
when nights are so blue
the indigos sink, deeper into me
but morning always returns
with her amber glow
I’ve seen God in her smile
and I keep her close.
I keep changing colors.
we marched to school each morning
with only one intent
to strengthen our minds with knowledge
and understand what our parents meant
when we were children

we marched side by side, slowly
trusting that we would be fine
that some hero would protect us
no one told us we were walking blind
we were only children

we sat in closets, quiet
with no one daring to move
our hands and prayers raised up high
oh, how our parents would disapprove
we were only children

we did nothing to him
but you see us on the news
our faces will be remembered
and now it’s time to accuse
we were only children

they blame it on the people
with no thought being played
to the weapons bringing violence
to his tragic escapade
they forget the children

the blame is always placed
but no reforms are ever made
we marched to school so blindly
and we were still betrayed.
we were only children.
trigger warning: violence, school shooting
Carl D'Souza Jul 2019
Are bad-habits
actions we do on impulse
without carefully thinking
whether we should do these actions?
Do bad-habits
lead us away from joy and happiness?
Towards unjoy and unhappiness?
Like overeating makes us fat and diabetic?
Liking smoking cigarettes gives us lung cancer?
Like alcoholism wrecks our life?

Should we introspect
to become self-aware of our bad-habits?
Evaluate our bad-habits?
And reform our mind
to expunge bad-habits from our mind?
Brandon Conway Jun 2019
From a pinpoint explosion
to the edge of space and time
a never ending expansion
racing through stars that shine

stretched too far
like this rubber soul
trapped in a bell jar
a personal black hole

let go
for this name has been expunged
let go
for this big crunch
let go
for this death
let go
and draw the last breath

as the pinpoint universe
explodes only to reform
as stars and time disperse
this soul contorts and transforms

rises from the ashes
and sees a new day birthed
gazes as a new sun flashes
on a new mother earth

happiness has finally been found.
Connor Apr 2019
It seems that the American education system values
A's on tests and higher rankings more than
The mental health of the students
who there would be no high rankings
Or A's on tests without.

Everyday I'm trying to lift myself up
Because I see myself as a
horrible, gross, ugly, aggressive,
worthless, useless, clingy, hell-bound person.
I know I am not a completely good person,
But I know that I don't want others to
Feel like I do.

No one should have to feel like
Everyday will come to nothing and
That friends won't miss you and
That people will get over you at some point and
That it wouldn't matter if you killed yourself
Because you don't make a difference.

I want to be there to lift others up
In areas where I can't lift myself and
Just let them know that
It's okay to not be okay, that
Someone loves you and
I will always be one of those people, that
I'll be there even if no one else is, that
If it's 2AM and you're suicidal that
You call me or some kind of hotline
And we'll get this sorted out together.

11% of adolescents will have developed depression
by the time they turn 18.
That is not okay.
Students are reported to Guidance
when something is amiss.
Guidance counselors are there to
help with scheduling and possibly developing
academic and social skills.
They are not knowledgeable about mental health,
and lots of times teens with depression
interact with people less and
as a result lack crucial social skills for
getting jobs that fit the academic goals that
we're told matter so much that
we think that sometimes the letter grades
on paper matter more than the student
who studied for hours to
earn that grade.

1 in 6 high schoolers have solemnly considered suicide
1 in 12 will attempt suicide, that number is increasing.
The education system needs to change
In how they handle mental health.

The world needs to change
How it handles mental health.

It's killing us.
My third and final poem for the slam contest I'm entering! I audition tomorrow and I'm extremely glad that I don't need any of them memorized until the 17th, when we have a dress rehearsal.
I'm sorry it really isn't very good, but I need three by tomorrow at 10AM so yeet
Next page