Reminiscing through my poetry journal today, I found entries from exactly one year ago. I remember that day. Rather, I remember the portion of the day that I spent etching ink into ideas on those pages. It was a beautiful, blue and green spring day, and I was walking across campus, barefoot in the woods. These words were composed in my head and laid to rest on paper at the end of the walk.
What I find important about them is this: I often look back at who I used to be, and I don’t understand what I see, so frustrated with my former self. However, these words were like a message from a wiser self, reminding me of love and grace and freedom. Reminding me who I am. So here is the rough-draft snapshot of a moment in my mind, word-for-word the thoughts that stirred my pen 365 days ago.
Who am I?
that you should heed my words
that you should care that my life is sweet
that my legacy should bless progeny
A place in history should not be desired lightly
Can anyone bear the burden of such fame?
Such a gift rewards greatly
but not in one’s lifetime
and not without all one’s life
Mere celebrity may be purchased
at cost of money or integrity
but to have your departed visage
grace the minds of countless to come
what less is required than your very blood?
I am content to be
to live well
and die well.
I will pass like the flowers
my life a breath-span
and a breath of hope and joy
my death unseen
bearing fruit for generations
through my name be whispered only
by the ancient trees
or not at all.
I shall know my place
and love it
not desecrate it
by calling it lowly or inadequate
though it remember me not when I am gone
though others take my place.
I need not leave a mark
for more strength is needed to restrain
oneself from marking territory.
It is enough to live
and plant seeds
whose life will never be credited to my name.
♦ ♦ ♦
Here I am
imbued with breath
a spirit and earth mingled.
Yet do not call the dirt inferior
for I am no discord;
the wind scorned not to dwell here
so dignity and harmony are my lot.
Sometimes I disdain to know truth
and my intelligence seems to be
worthy of pride
or my abilities, creative output
they seem great and immortal.
The soul bloats, arrogance its pump
glutting itself with praise undue
But it is good to learn who I am
humbling but comforting
for I must learn to live as a whole being
or rend myself apart and die
my pieces deluded into independance.
♦ ♦ ♦
An Ode to Keys
Sometimes in the search for something
you lose another thing
often more important.
Kind of funny
how we get caught up in the petty details
and forget the pivotal issues.
Keeping all you need in the same place
seems like a good idea
never worry about running around all the time.
But if you lose one thing,
all is lost.
Now do you think it such a good idea?
Security is overrated
especially when its surety
comes with worry and angst
Clanging like a chain
but it’s pretty
and for your own good
Sometimes you have to try many answers
to find the right one
There are different answers for
so avoid rigidity.
And even when you have the right one,
it can take a lot of jiggling and thinking to work
So be persistent
but not overbearing;
answers may be damaged if you
keep trying the wrong one.
Keep life simple.
Too much, and you’ll snap
locked out of what may be the
most important part.