Day 15 – Kings

What do you do
when you are small
and the world is unfair?

What do you do
when you can’t stand up,
can’t prove it,
can’t speak out,

but can’t keep on
the same way anymore?

What do you do
when you’re right
but no one cares?

What do you do
when they’ll laugh if you quit
but keep spitting if you carry on?

Do you turn to stone?
Do you just go mad?

Do you write a poem
and call it a day?

Are we all going to die
like this
either way?

Or are some of us
born kings?

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 118 – The Walls That Keep Us All Out

Big hurt in the collective heart,
teach me to feel another’s pain.
Teach me to see beyond camouflage,
costumes, facades, and masks,
beyond the walls that keep us all out.

Big heart of our collective pain,
teach me not to add my own hurt.
Teach me to speak boldly but gently,
to listen with more than one ear,
to tug at the walls that keep us all out.

Big heartbreak of Your heart,
teach me to be broken like You.
Teach me to press on through the shadows,
shining a tiny light
through the cracks of the walls that keep us all out.

Year 2: Day 104 – Now Do You Believe?

Now do you believe
that we are never-ending,
that we can speak across the universe
in the language only we know?

When I had counted you gone
but could not feel right
without writing your name
on the first page,

and you had counted me gone
but could not feel right
without opening that book
to find your name

do you believe it’s been long enough
to prove us blood?

When I wrote though I knew
you weren’t reading,
but I couldn’t help myself

and you knew that I wasn’t
writing for you,
but you couldn’t help yourself

do you believe we are eternal,
long-lost brother, do you believe
in sibling souls, do you believe
we could’ve been found
any other way?

52 Flashes of Fiction: Week 17 – Silent Protest

I read somewhere recently that this local singer said some bad stuff about women and now all the feminist groups in town are boycotting anywhere he sings. They refuse to patronize any establishment that supports him by letting him perform. I think this is what they call a silent protest, where you let your money speak for you. Supposedly the businesses will get the idea that they want their customers back and will boot the offending performer, but I think this is a lot of boloney.

Of anything, I would like to think that protesting would be the last arena where political correctness would be concerned. It’s like when you don’t want to start a fight with someone but you’re just snarky enough to drop the hint that you’re upset and wait for them to come apologize. Does that ever work?

I don’t particularly care who thinks I’m supporting them when I buy a cup of coffee. Hopefully it’s the person who made the coffee, but y’know, the coffee could turn out to be terrible as soon as I walk away from the register and the person would still think I liked it if I didn’t complain.

Nobody likes to complain about their coffee though because it shoots us full of “first-world problem” pains while we do it. And whose fault is it really that you don’t like the coffee? We could pin that sucker all the way back to the cow who fertilized the beans in Cuba. And besides, maybe WE’RE the weird ones who can’t tell good coffee when we’ve paid for it. Maybe we’re getting a cold or something and it’s actually just our mistake.

So we just don’t buy that coffee anymore. We don’t go back to that awful coffee shop and heh, we showed them with our dollars what we like and don’t like. We snatched our dollars right out of the mouths of the children of whoever is responsible for such bad coffee.

I mean, if you believe that it’s all just a matter of supply and demand, if you think it’s a voiceless economy that dictates what goes on, what fails and prospers, if you think that money does all the talking, then I guess it makes sense that you just pick up your stack of monopoly papers and go home.

But I think it’s a lot of boloney.