Archives for category: Poems

The Dark Thing

Les-than-nothing played alone every day.
She told herself she preferred it that way.
But truth be told, she was not alone
For deep in her brain a dark thing had grown.
As Les went about her day,
The dark thing had plenty to say:
“No one like you, you’re boring, they don’t want you here.
If you were gone, they wouldn’t even shed a tear.”
Without family that showed her she brought joy to their world,
Life was lonely for this sad little girl.

She found she could silence the dark thing with books:
Stories of adventure, heroes and crooks,
Magical kingdoms, animals and more.
The world of imagination gave her a door,
To a place of wonder where Les could escape,
Become in her mind someone great,
Someone with purpose, someone who belonged,
Someone who could right terrible wrongs.
But the dark thing would wait for the girl to come back,
And then it would launch another attack.

“You’re pathetic, you’re stupid, you’ll do nothing great.
To be lonely and useless -that’s your fate.”
Without friends to encourage her to give things a try,
She stuck to her room and let life pass her by.

One day, the family got a calico kitten.
She was shy and little. Les was smitten.
The cat would curl up on the foot of her bed.
“Someone loves me,” the little girl thought in her head.
But the cat grew unhappy, did bad kitty stuff.
“See,” said the dark thing, “you’re not good enough.
For she didn’t know what her brothers had done.
They’d taunted and tormented the cat for fun.
Mom saw no choice but to get rid of the pest.
“I’m alone again,” thought poor little Les.

Now school was a place where Les excelled.
The more she studied, the less she dwelled,
On the lack of connection to family or friends.
Her successes at school almost made amends.
For school was a place where Les was more:
More intelligent, more hardworking, more enthusiasm galore.
But the more she stood out, the more kids would say,
“She’s not the one with whom I’d like to play.”
When Les stopped for a moment to consider her pain,
The dark thing would launch into another refrain.

“You’re worthless, you’re invisible, you don’t belong.
Everything about you is totally wrong.”
How was she to know how to live her life,
When what brought her solace also brought her strife?

She threw herself into a course of study,
That led to a career with lots of money,
Fine things and travel, respect for her skill,
Nice cars, a big office… but still,
Her life was empty. She cared not for her role.
Finding her passion became the goal.
So quitting her job seemed like the thing to do,
To sail upon the ocean blue.
For the first time ever, the dark thing fell quiet.
“I’m on the right path,” she thought, “though most would deny it.”

Out on the water with wind in her face,
The pain of loneliness were all but erased.
For Les felt a union with this invisible thing.
It made her feel daring and interesting.
She loved it – this thrill of flying with speed.
She’d discovered her passion, her obsession, her need.
And lo and behold, there were others like Les.
Do you know what happened? Can you guess?
She found acceptance friendship and camaraderie.
This community of sailors became like family.

Once in a while the dark thing comes around,
Still doing its best to bring Les down.
But she’s learning to banish the dark thing and its ploys
Now that her heart has felt kinship and joy.

 

Her secret dwells deep in every cell.
Well she keeps it hidden.
Yet, unbidden, this dark thing howls and cries.
She tries in vain to block it.
But barge in it must for it holds the key–
A tag of her identity.
Alien

Born into the humankind
But mind and heart are foreign.
Torn by the war that rages within–
A din of conflicting voices–
Of loneliness for kindred souls–
And revulsion of humans’ twisted goals.
Stranger

For her beloved Earth lays ravaged–
Savaged by the wolf of greed.
Needs ripped to pieces in the putative belief–
That relief can probably be gained–
Through an unjust system that serves the few.
She sees the folly but there’s nothing she can do.
Outsider

Her care, like a cramp, that will not ease
Tortures her soul, brings her to her knees–
This alien, stranger, outsider.

She knows she is a futile Earth booster.
Like with the rooster crowing at dawn–
They yawn and cover their ears.
Their fears are of small and selfish things.
Meanwhile, death spreads its ugly stain–
And no one takes any blame.
Monsters

Now it’s past the eleventh hour.
The power to act grows dim.
Yet the grim reality of man’s pursuits
Rooted in greed and fear
Sneaks silently upon this narcissistic race.
Soon now, they’ll have destroyed this place
Fools

The timbres of tragedy she hears.
But the vibrations only ring in her ears–
For the world is ruled by monsters and fools.

Yet, foolishly perhaps, she dreams
Of hope unlocked from its vault
The assault on beauty a distant story
The glory of a peaceful world
Unfurled versions of magic
On a globe that teetered on being tragic
For she is an alien but a dreamer too.

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Christmas comes once again
And I find myself in thought
Wondering what it means to me
What it is and what it is not

Is it the gifts, the food, the decorations?
Families joining in celebration?
Or what Jesus meant to his nation,
The hope for which he fought?

Christmas comes once again
And I want it to mean more
Than a wild consumer spending spree
To pile presents on the floor

What if, instead, hope was our aim?
Hope for all in Jesus’ name
And against oppression we all strain
No one too small to ignore

Christmas comes once again
Love fills my heart
For the oppressed and downtrodden
Struggling in the dark

Will you join me in this fight
To push away the despair of night?
Let Christmas be the return of light
A blaze of glory from many a spark

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This poem was inspired by the work of Mike Nickerson, author of Life, Money and Illusion, well-being activist and founder of The Sustainability Project / 7th Generation Initiative, an educational, non-profit organization that exists to collect, study, develop and teach ideas, information, technologies and customs that promote green values and lead toward a sustainable future. http://www.sustainwellbeing.net

What are you afraid to lose?
I choose the future of our human civilization
The realization that all can be lost
Tossed into oblivion by careless decisions
Visions of suffering cloud my mind
Find a way off of this perilous ride
We bide our time and disaster looms closer

Seven thousand generations
Nations of black, white, yellow and red
Dead but not gone without a trace
I face my ancestors and feel connection
Their resurrection is through me
Genetically and culturally, I am of them
Hemmed in by narrowing options

I feel their cries of desperation
Frustration with our steadfast quest
No rest on our march to consume, consume
Doom on the horizon as we spew
Pollution that seeps throughout the biosphere
Dear Earth struggles to provide
But denied of hope so many are

What are you afraid to lose?
I choose the future of our human civilization
The accumulation, we are, of biological wonders
Genetic blunders, those fortunate flaws
That caused our creation over years in the millions and millions
Now 7 billion and more of us crowd our precious jewel
Needing fuel, cheap and plentiful, to sustain our lives

The ride picks up speed and we head for the drop
Stop, please, stop – I want to get off
A soft landing instead of a monumental crash
That will trash our species, a heap in the dust
We must, I plead, find a way off this train
Plain truth is staring us full in the face
Our race to consume is destroying this place

The time has come to act our age
In a stage of maturity, responsible and wise
The prize of our efforts: hope for our kind
Blind no more to the needs of all people
We pull together in commonality
The frailty of our well being is no longer an illusion
Confusion dissolves in the face of conviction

What course of action do you choose?
I’m a fuse to ignite the transformation
Seven generations to come need my resolve
To solve the challenges we now perceive
Relieve the forces of climate disaster
That faster and faster are chasing after
All that we seek to save