A Poem for MSA 2011

It broke my heart that day,

Watching you all walk away,

Stepping into the car, driving away

It wasn’t the place, no –

It wasn’t the time, no –

Any other year, any other hall

They could have had us meet

And still captured us all

It was the world they showed us

It was what they could see

It was the broken cages around us

That’s what set us free

I can’t believe the words, the phrases,

That rocked my world those weeks

The summer that left our faces

With countless tears on our cheeks

It wasn’t the place, no –

It wasn’t the time, no –

There wasn’t one single thing

That gave way to the ground below

And set us away on wings

We were taught more than just facts

We were taught how to think

And though we received our wings

We were warned not to sink

And so, my friends, months have passed

Since we last held another

We hoped and prayed the time wouldn’t last

Until we were again sisters and brothers

But I beg you not to falter

No matter how long you’re away

Your cup has only so much water

And you must watch where you sway

Don’t forget the world you were given –

You were gifted with the truest of sights

And though the world tells you to stop living

Be that kid who keeps up all hours all nights

Searching for the truth – what’s right

And don’t give up, don’t ever give up

And don’t let your dreams leave your sight

Don’t go counting crayons –

You can’t win that game

But missing what you can’t have

And having what you won’t miss

That’s really all the same

Just start drawing pictures

Take the world you’ve got

Whether it’s ‘perfect’ or not

Because you’ve got the power

The first grader inside of you

Build something beautiful

You know you’ve got it –

Or maybe it’s got you?

I once was that kid

The one who never shuts up

About his school, his life

His boundaries that just keep coming

But I finally woke up

I saw the world as it is –

Not with stop signs or bumps or walls or dead ends

But with challenges to take

To learn from

To use

And those, my friends, are life’s greatest crayons

The things with which you have to mesh and blend –

Because where would we be

If Eminem stopped in Detroit?

Or if Ray Charles never touched the keys?

Or if Bill Gates gave up after college?

Or if you stopped, and decided you couldn’t contend?

Just another person

Wishing they had more crayons.

Tick.

I will hold you down.
I am your limits.
I keep you from your dreams
I am what you race against
I am who keeps you from immortality,
You beg me to run by faster
You beg me to slow down
You beg me to stop
You dream of manipulating me
You dream of tying me down
And subjugating me as another of your tools
But I am the ethereal substance around you
Untouchable, invisible, and yet you feel me
I am the shadow that guides you by hand to your grave
And when you look your last
You will see my smile
And know that I still march on.

Caged

Is this how I am to be?
Shackled – afraid – alone?
Locked within the human mind
Left to be touched only by the mad
And revered, but lost, to the kind?

I was once the pinnacle of greatness
I gave you all of your worldly desires
Now you cast me away to the insane
The artists, the poets, the liars

As time wears away and you grow old
Your mind’s great wealth of power
Will begin to wither away and die
And it is upon that single hour
That you will pursue the lie

And you will know that you cannot
For I was tossed away long ago
Broken like your brittle bones
And like a beast, you left me so

No, you did not keep me
So I shan’t keep you
And don’t beg for my return
When your days are through

Torn

Insurmountable walls surrounding an object of implicit desire
A shield of icebergs surrounding an insatiable raging fire
The road forks here – it’s split between hire and heart
I’m wrestling inside, and it’s tearing me apart
Twitch the hand, blink the eye, turn the head
One without the other, I’d sooner be dead
Just stop ripping me to pieces
I’m being torn at my creases
Until there’s nothing
There’s nothing
Nothing

You Watched

You watched me burn. You watched me die in that fiery pit of anguish. You watched me tear apart my ribcage and reveal the still-beating muscle mass within. You watched me try countless times to pull myself from that pit of horrors that held me down. You watched my writhing mass beg for an end to the focus-less, empty life I had obtained.

You watched and did nothing.

They Say

They say times are hard, but they’re not as hard as the concrete floors I’ve slept on, or the walls of the subways I’ve begged in, or my heart after you abandoned me.

They say things become better – and they might.
But it won’t be the same as it was.

Invisible

I’m camouflaged, like an invisibility cloak
Hidden under cover when the spell’s all broke
I’ve got this shot but I’m about to choke
She’s in my arms, but words can’t be spoke

So I whisper under tortured breath
Promises under threat of death
But I’m about to be left
With no option – bereft
Of words coming from my lips
My tongue won’t work, it just trips
What I don’t want to say still slips
And I can’t help but hear as the seam rips

Torn open and I’m on the outside looking in
The veils on these threats are looking thin
And I see that black heart and wonder where you’ve been
And I want you to help me figure out where to begin
Bring me some hope, some way to keep going
The only thing standing is what’s worth knowing
And you’re down the hall, out the door, up the street
I don’t want you gone, I just want faster feet
So I can catch you before you go away
And get on my knees, beg you to stay
But I can’t see those eyes
And my heart slowly dies
As I fall down into the dark