Sometimes I let my mind get the better of me,
I think I need but I only just want.
I’m learning to let those things go
And hold on to the basics of life,
The bare minimum,
The stage without the props.
I still don’t really know,
Forgive my indecision.
I want to answer more than think,
But thinking is a prerogative of my life
It’s the way I’ve always done things.
So forgive my indecision.
I just want to say a few lines,
A couple quickly-written words
The fading notes of a summer song.
I don’t love people only when they are what I want them to be.
If I did, I would be a hypocrite,
Because I love myself and I am not who I want to be.
I love people for who they are naturally,
Liars and thieves,
Abusers of good will and fools.
Perverted and procrastinators.
They’re all the same in my eyes,
We’re all drinking the same water
We all walk on the same earth
Breathing in a conjoined atmosphere.
Many times I want to distance myself:
In some ways we like to think we’re better
That we’re not ‘as’ tainted,
But if we’re honest, we’re all no better at the core
Than the booze-addicted neo-pagan guy on the street corner.
We share the same roots as the murderer on death row
Who slit his mother’s throat.
We’re all under the same curse that has plagued man since The Fall.
I reach out to an apple,
It’s hanging from the tree,
Swaying in the breeze,
Red flesh glistening against the sunshine.
I take it and bite.
The taste refreshes my senses
It is everything good at once
Like the cool wind blowing from the north
And the heavy scent of autumn
And the faint brushes of a kiss
And the tantalizing warmth of a heartbeat
And the soft call of the birds, flocking and flying.
There is good in this world,
And there is bad.
And I think our haste to judge at face-value
Is an inherently awful thing.
Because yes there are serial killers
And teenage thieves at Walmart
And people who bake razors in candy.
But there’s also the guy that holds the door for you,
And the gymnast, sweating and victorious
And the new parents crooning over their child
And the crazy uncle, eager to entertain.
There’s backyard barbecues
And boating trips in the summer
And snowball fights
And unexpected phone calls from a friend
And a wilted flower in the hands of an admirer
And a parcel from back home.
There’s a soft furred kitten,
And a warm fireplace
And a hug when you’re sad
And a full meal to satiate your hunger
And the satisfying click when you flick off the light-switch.
I crawl under my sheets at night
And put my glasses on the little table.
I turn up my eyes to the ceiling
And heave a sigh of relief that another day is over.
Sometimes I’m really happy that it actually is over
And I don’t have to worry about people or grades or appearance;
And sometimes I wish I’d done things differently,
Been a little more kind, a little more inclusive,
Smiled more and shown some encouragement.
I never can turn back time,
If I found out how, I’d live my life all over again,
Because I think I messed up when I was 3
And felt jealousy when I first realized my little brother was coming to live with us.
But if I turned back the clock, I wouldn’t be writing this
And I wouldn’t be sharing what I know in the best way I can.
Not that this is of any use to anyone,
For all I know you’ll examine it for rhythm and meter and rhyme
I assure you there is none.
This is the heartbeat of my soul.
And its intricacies are unknown even to myself.
What I’m trying to say is:
When a bird captures your vision
And you stare at its beauty and freedom
As it overcomes gravity with a thrust of muscle and sinew
You will think of it as glorious
[either that or as just another bird]
But in any case, at some point or other, we’ve been fascinated.
And we don’t stop to think of how complex its life must be
The bird isn’t exactly guaranteed another meal
And it has to go build its nest.
There’s no pre-built homes for it to buy
And no drive-thru’s to conveniently provide dinner.
There’s no running water in the tree-trunk
And no soft bed with flannel sheets.
They’re on their own,
Roughing it the mountain-man way 24/7
With two legs and a set of wings.
So what do we say?
We say they’re beautiful.
That’s what I’m trying to say.
You’re beautiful and I love you
Just as you naturally are.
With your bad morning breath and sweaty feet
And the way your hair is unruly when you roll out of bed
And your unexplained anger at the incompetent drivers in society
And the fact that you hate flossing your teeth
And the times when you’re sick and miserable
And the times when you’re sobbing and stressed out.
It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor,
A+ or C-, straight or gay,
Atheist or Christian
Pro-life or pro-choice.
I don’t have to agree with your decisions,
But I still love you.
Because every person deserves to be loved,
Even if they’re hell-bent and on death row,
There’s still a piece in each of us, however small,
That demands nurturing and encouragement
And that seed, if watered,
Will grow into a beautiful tree
And that tree will stand tall one day
And it will overshadow the animals of the field
Providing refuge for the birds of the air
And the beasts of the woods,
And I hope that a little love from my heart to yours
Will help you grow just a bit more,
Even if you’re still below the ground,
Curled up in fetal position,
Scared to make a move,
Hiding behind a façade of your choosing.
I still love you. And so do many others.
So step forward, make a new beginning