Poets For Peace Challenge (And Other News)

Sorry for the woeful lack of updates lately. I caught a bug and have spent the last five days or so constantly reminding myself that colds don’t kill people, jello isn’t dinner, and it isn’t nice or sanitary to cough and hack right into peoples’ faces. At last, however, I am feeling better, and thought an update was in order.

I’m throwing my hat into the Poets For Peace Challenge. If not familiar, feel free to click here. I thought about simply taking a poem from my blog’s archives and contributing that, but, chose against, and decided to write something new. “I Wake Up” evolved very organically, rather to my surprise; I usually struggle to find the right words for things close to my heart. But this came naturally, which made me happy.

Have a wonderful day, and keep the lantern lit, my dear readers and writers.

I Wake Up

I wake to bodies piled up outside my window.
I wake to young men shot in cars, Titans crushing towns,
Children with bullet-proof backpacks, women pushed facedown,
People pressing against fences and plunging into the Mediterranean Sea.
I wake and the transcript of Hate is scribbled down quickly by my television in shorthand.

I try my best to lend hand.
I spend my days helping an elderly woman carry her groceries up a hill,
Pushing cars out of ditches, paying for a stranger’s lunch;
I spend 16 waking hours trying to do alright.

At the age of 25 I finally decide Hope is a good thing, even as I
Step over the bodies of people that were not saved.
I drop my money and desires into a bucket,
Start helping the ones who have survived to their feet.

I give my shoulder and carry them as far as I can.
It is often a long walk.
I walk it.
If we trust each other we often make it.

I let go of a lot of things. I make choices.
I hold my hands over wounds and feel the blood pool in my palms.

I don’t give up on people.
I see them rise while holding up mountains.
I see them rolled and rocked by the wave but they do not break.
I see them hold the torch to the darkness, and with wild cry burn away the night.
I am awed and humbled, by their steadfastness, their ferocity and light.

Together, we carry the bodies down.
We lay them to rest and go back out to face great peril,
Go back and lay more bodies down.
We do not give up.

I wake and see you writhing in prayers to your god,
Choking on the tears of past hurts,
Desperately and courageously sowing yourself back up and
Stuffing your heart back into your aching chest I watch you
Go back out again and again, I say,

You are a wonder, do you know? Grass blade cut down
Again and again you refuse to die, and in this sight I know,
I will not give up on you.

Take my hand. We will face the darkness, together.

I will not give up on you.

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