Day 24 – Daisy

It wasn’t a daisy-
what you thought was a daisy-
it wasn’t a daisy
at all.

It was just another dandelion,
and you got plenty of those,
making wishes all day
for a daisy.

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Year 2: Day 123 – Permission

Don’t ask me if they’re any good,
the words you pressed into my hand-
I can’t give you permission.

I can tell you if your package is presentable,
and in what manner it was received-
but will you still give lopsided gifts
with crooked bows
if I tell you they are?

A magazine can tell you if you’re lucrative,
and it might sing like heaven to hear it
or sting like hell-
but will you still work for free if they tell you
you’re not worth a cent?

Have you not earned the right to speak
by being alive and having something to say?
And if I tell you to write because I think you should
would you write what I wanted to hear?

You must give yourself permission
because the rest of the universe already has-

What flower hasn’t died for you to stand there wavering,
waiting for permission to timidly assert
that in some worlds it was red
and some worlds grey?

What English teacher has not at his core
some desire to give more than paper permission,
to raise up more than nervous doormats
vying for praise?

What injustice hasn’t gone on long enough
before you finally stand up
and call it what it is?

No one gives us permission for that-
you must permit yourself to be.
Only then will you have the courage
to keep on speaking
when the world won’t hear.

Year 2: Day 78 – Advice For Young Men From A Botanist

There’s always a chance that green leaves
which have seen no winter will not make it
into spring.

Assign strength to beauty to youth
at your own risk.

But don’t jump scale to black or brown-
the time you will invest on dead or nearly-dead
is better spent still perusing the garden.

Take some photographs but know
that reviving decay is a hobby to take up
at your own risk.

If you want to care for something worthwhile,
look for something that takes care of itself-
something in the middle of restoring itself
after it has lived through some distress.

To find a more pleasing time of caretaking-
fall in love with a flower
with yellow leaves.