So Strike It

I will not fear.

I will not forget.

I will stand with those who stand for justice,

Fight with those who fight for love,

Clasp hands with those who pray for reason,

And remember those who did the same.

What little I can do —

Fight for the arts, fight for health,

Uplift those who need lifting up,

Keep those around me accountable for their actions and their words —

I will do my best to do.

You may see darkness in our future,

But I see

That you need a rough surface to strike a match.

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Friendship

My toes sink into the soil around me.
It is not clay, it is not sturdy,
    but it is ground,
    and it feels good.
And maybe it’s temporary,
    placed there by our own hands,
    by our own demands,
    the sands of our own experiences;
    but maybe it’s malleable,
    and maybe I’ll stay.
My feet sure feel that way.

But even as my toes sink,
    I think
    that for my eyes to match my feet
    would be a shame.
I want my eyes to be traveling eyes,
    free roaming and not stuck in the mud.
When the sun shifts in the sky,
    our faces shift to welcome its rays.
It is only then that we see our neighbors.

You there, next to me:
For what it’s worth, I see you.
Our feet reside in separate soil,
    your feet there, my feet here,
    but let me learn about your sand.
Let me learn what’s got you grounded.
Though it differs from me,
    our leaves, they reach.
We touch lives
    as we photosynthesize.

I don’t require your uprooting,
    and I ask you not to require that of me–
    no need to plant yourself in my vicinity–
    but the sun feels better on our faces
    when we feel it together.

image

She Thinks Too Much (She, Part Two)

I’ve been in a poetry mood lately, guys.

She thinks too much.
She philosophizes and soliloquizes,
and when nobody’s looking,
she writes things down.
She analyzes
both what she does and what is done to her,
and she chastises herself for the majority of it —
but then she stops.

She realizes that the vast size
of her responsibility has been elephantized
to the point of disjointed reality,
and she then tries to organize
her guilt into her new frame of reference:
I am me.

I am me.
I am who I aim to be.
And if my aim is the same as what they want me to be,
Then there is no harm.
But if they want from me what is not me,
Then theirs is the shame, for I am the same.

And in her eyes,
To internalize the external pressure
Would be to compromise her soul.
And this would be the demise of her hold
On life, on love, on the pieces of herself that make her
imageHer.
Herself.
Her heart, her voice, her body.
Her.
Hers.

But they tell her otherwise:
You are a prize
(not the winner, nor even in the game).
This enterprise, built by lies,
Still surprises her today.
They tell her,
You think too much.

Rhyming as Therapy

Why can’t I live future memories as I do when I relive them?

I don’t treat time as I should–
I want it to be steady.
Because change is good,
But only when I’m ready.

But time has the frustrating ability to be steady and changing at the same time. Constant, but fluctuating. Steadily changing.

The world keeps on spinning,
Despite our requests,
And days keep beginning,
And continue to end.

When we want it to spin slower,
And we want the day to last,
We forget
That days don’t work like that.

Equilibrium: noun. A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. You think you’re trying to fix a problem, but you’re messing with the order of nature.

So our lives are made of memories
And even those don’t last
We cling to them as best we can
But in the end, it’s just the past

To say, look to the future
Is a promise that can scar
Because we miss the things we wish
We’d paid attention to before

The present is so fleeting
That it’s past before you know
And while we’re catching up with it,
More present comes and goes

Life becomes increasingly
A frustration of time
No, time is not our friend,
It’s just our alibi

It brings joyful reminiscence,
It brings painful lessons learned
It can tear a heart in two, and then
It mends a heart that’s burned

No matter what you do with it,
There’s always not enough
For if we measure life with time,
We measure time with love.

The more you love something, the quicker it goes.

Rapunzel

If there’s a place for one’s sorrow to crawl, then let it crawl.
For one’s pain, embarrassment — for one’s inability to tear down one’s past view of the future.
To stare at it and see it as foreign, a canvas once put up that bleeds into the wall, forever imprinted.
To be sorry, not for something, but because of it,
But not having the wits or the energy to forcibly remove it.
For what do I deserve this kind of introduction to the world?
For life, for injustice — for reality —
This is the cold, hard ground I hit,
I roll, I pause, I reflect.
This is the ground I tread on.
This is what is forever before me, waiting to crumble beneath my toes.
It’s only quicksand if I let it be.
If I can’t be above it all, then, at least,
On this ground,
I choose to be on top.