Listening Out Loud

Watching the news,

hearing the words,

imagining the time,

wondering about just

right now.

 

Reflection in the way,

causeways toward truth,

the ignorance of time,

we all want to find,

a happy place.

 

Chapters in reserve,

there’s no way back

to resolve the issues

we knew way back when

we had no idea.

 

Grew up far too quickly,

forgot childhood pranks,

laughter in innocent appeal,

the world simply occurred,

I stepped in the way.

 

I often imagine taboo,

and then I want to cry,

I realize the storm is heading

clearly my way, and no matter

the time, it will sway.

 

Quiet the temperate fog,

the shadows will remain,

just the sunlight in its

delightful intensity,

still will rise.

 

I spoke loud one afternoon,

the world listened

and a million men

joined in a shattering chorus

of shallow regard.

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Why Colin Kaepernick is Right for the Green Bay Packers.

When the season began, and Kaepernick again became the center of a controversy for a quarterback with skills not being signed by a number of teams in need, I thought about the Packers, and because their position is secure with Aaron Rodgers, I didn’t give it a second thought.

There wasn’t a need. Rodgers gave our team a lot of confidence week in, week out. That was before this afternoon. When Aaron Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury I immediately thought of Colin Kaepernick. There are a number of reasons why I imagine him to be a good choice to be signed immediately by the Green Bay Packers.

In the immediate, the Packers need a quarterback that can step in and read a defense like a veteran, one who is willing to take risks rather than wonder about the possibility due to limited exposure. Perhaps Brett Hundley will prove the skeptics wrong, but right now, he’s a rookie with green skills playing for a team loaded with talent. If Kaepernick is as good as the critics want him to be then he would be capable of coming in and running the offense of the Packers right away.

The reason Colin Kaepernick is not playing in the NFL in a lot of people’s eyes is because of his statement towards an American tradition, the Star Spangled Banner, and its symbolic measure of our country and society’s allegiance toward a patriotic sentiment. However, the argument has been clear that he’s not slamming our nation for being the icon of freedom we are due to our armed forces and national pride. What Colin Kaepernick speaks of with his actions is the sad reality of the treatment of his own race based upon the color of his skin. That’s an argument a lot of our society would like to ignore and rather than continue dialogue, they might just as soon as brush it off with erroneous statements of race-baiting and displaced systemic error. The fact is, our society needs to face its ills.

Colin Kaepernick represents an athlete with certain skills that are asking for an opportunity to be showcased. I personally stood in line with the critics in that I felt like he was a player surrounded with talent, and when that began to fade, so did his skills. There were seemingly no teams in the league that wanted his talents, and a lot of the scrutiny appeared based upon his abilities, somehow making it easy to ignore the issue of race having anything to do with his pariah-like identity.

So now there is a team that needs him to step in immediately, not a team that at the beginning of the season was willing to shake up their plan. The Packers had a plan and that player went down, and there is precedent for this move.

Our society needs this gesture, in that, if Kaepernick came in and succeeded he would be everything the critics suggest he is not – someone capable of moving a team forward because of his skill-set, someone still capable of leading a team, someone with genuine passion for the game. He plays for the Packers for six weeks, or perhaps the rest of the season, and next year he signs with another team in need, now having redeemed himself as a player in the eyes of his critics.

At the same time, society has to take a step back, and wipe off the egg they have allowed themselves to face due to their own ignorance of the perpetuated nature of his gesture toward the National Anthem. Society can now readily acknowledge the man behind the action actually did have a point to be made, and Colin Kaepernick can step onto a team and play the game he loves and have a chance to prove he can play amongst the best rather than spending the rest of his career being displaced because of a sentiment of systemic privilege.

I have reasons why I want Colin Kaepernick to play for the Green Bay Packers. Primarily, I want them to win games, and I think he’s capable of moving the team forward. But more importantly, I want the saga of his banishment to be acknowledged and brought to light in a manner that gives both him the football player a chance to succeed on the field and our society a chance to redeem its own lack of humility when it comes to facing the ills of racism in this modern century.

Live Your Life

I will wait forever,

to know there might be peace,

waiting around the other side,

the place we visit so seldom,

yet, know it exists,

we can always realize,

it has this potential

for finding serenity,

when all else,

all other motive,

desire,

passion,

freedom of mind, when we suddenly breathe …

I’ll wait forever,

because I know there is a cause,

a reason to live,

to allow,

to love,

we all have that ability,

if we give ourselves the time,

the honor of realizing the truth

is in our heart.

When Ordinary Steps In

Though we step in a path of quiet pause

We remark at the peace beyond our call.

Lives begin, attitude is common ground

We believe our minds change because we love.

A decision is then made to leave applause

On the back of a playing card after all.

While an Ordinary life often found

To be lacking, we reach the sky above.

When in the span seeking for life in Oz

We will all choose to follow thus we fall

Into the trappings of shackle and bound

By their sallow nature shields a glove.

Choose to breathe in a vacuum, simple free

Is our love for each other, meant to be.

Wonder About Wander

I wonder,

a wander,

I wander about in wonder,

the formula of finding purpose,

while walking into forever.

 

I wander,

a wonder,

I wonder about in wander,

the essence of a philosophy,

while settling inside a routine.

 

I wonder about why,

what is it,

causes me to wander,

rather than letting my soul cry,

it is the future of a sweet wonder.

 

I wonder why we wonder,

while the rotation continues nearby.

We Might Yearn a Child’s Eye

While we ran the backyards,

the slow walk through the dandelions

pollened by summer’s bees,

we did think alone,

the same way we,

the same notions, we may

have today, the same wonderment

of the psychological nature,

compels our being,

causes our heart to swoon,

allows for the time to stand still,

we can all be in love

when we know the answer is

truth in the manner of an eternal Grace.

I do know love, I like to say,

much better than yesterday,

though a child,

I knew love unconditionally

until one day …

 

We wander beyond our lost innocence

a compelling stir

of reality and fantasy,

suddenly knowing why our tears

could last forever,

or at least until

we are told that is

good enough,

life goes on,

time to move forward,

hold onto memory,

but never ever recall the same.

 

As a little boy,

I used to watch cars slip up the hill,

a winter’s night, the street light,

snow filled the neighborhood,

and my ten year old self

safely tucked inside a picture window,

could watch the world survive a winter’s storm.

I would often wonder about the people inside,

if they knew I was watching,

if they could tell even in that stormy moment,

they would never be alone,

lost and frozen in the cold,

the ice of the street

would prevent them from

being in their own home,

the comfort of home,

putting aside all of the day’s

concerns,

having a martini,

perhaps a cigar,

and maybe a little bit of fantasy,

thinking about that woman at the bar,

and wondering again,

did she really smile,

or was that simply nerves.

 

I once left a hillside campground,

the whole walk worrying about fire,

and later ran back up the trail,

crossed the mountain creek

we liked to call it,

a little stream of shale and rocks,

gurgling along Woods’s Hill,

a memory,

when I returned to camp,

the fires had begun to ignite,

I felt like a boy scout

stamping out our ignorance.

 

I remember the day he died,

my world ended just a little bit,

enough for me to know,

reality was a far greater burden,

than the easy bliss of childhood fantasy.

I remember thinking then,

I would never worry about dwelling

on the past,

because nowadays,

there is too much excitement ahead.

 

I never forgot you man,

always on my mind,

I’ve often wondered if your childhood,

was ever so easily defined.

 

Observing Humanity at Ease

Driving along the highway this morning, I came upon a woman walking alone on the side of the road. I found her to be an odd sight, it was raining, there wasn’t a sidewalk per se, and she was walking away from an industrial region of the city. I looked around to see a stalled vehicle, or something to indicate why she was walking in the rain, with a phone to her ear, not looking particularly stressed but out of sync with her reality.

I then wondered how I might possibly know her reality, what her life was, why she would be walking in the first place, and finally why I would be wondering about this stranger on the road in the early morning hours. My first immediate thought was this was a woman walking by herself in an unfamiliar area. The first thing that went through my mind was she was vulnerable. I thought about whether or not she was safe. My next thought was I had no idea what her life was, and perhaps this was a daily routine she employed to walk to work, and she was just on the phone occupying her time on a typical walk. I then thought about my own world.

How often do I walk alone in an unfamiliar area to get from one place to another? I usually have my car, and if I’m somewhere that is not routine, I’m perhaps on my bicycle exploring, or vacationing with a purpose to go wherever I do happen to land. I wondered about the routine of our lives, how compact and determined our lives may be, without a lot of risk for adventure beyond planned events. In my eyes, this woman was on a journey of unusual circumstances, and perhaps I was making my noting of her presence far more impactful than it was.

I couldn’t help think about how purposely safe our lives are in today’s society. Though we have anxiety in our choices, our risks, and our opportunities, in general, I believe our lives are fairly preserved with always familiar protective boundaries. We are not often found in places of risk, or spontaneity that might upset the natural scheme of things, we call our reality. At least that was the overwhelming feeling I got when encountering this human being, walking in the rain, talking on her telephone, along a busy highway feet trampling the gravel where no walkway existed.

I wonder sometimes, what are the circumstances of our lives that help create the burden of anxiety we sometimes carry around with ourselves. For me, I have the opportunity to recognize addictions to be a major piece of what compels my inner thinking when contemplating my decisions. In the case of the woman on the highway, there was a time when I might be compelled to stop and ask where she was going, part of a ploy to find mutual attraction in the moment.

I wonder how it is we find ourselves in the trappings of creating visible shields to protect our lives from the society around us. We don’t wish to be judged or thrown into a category of miscreant. We wish only to be seen in the best light, and though this person I encountered on the highway probably lives an extremely normal life, in this one moment I placed her in a completely different world, one filled with a bounty of suspicious analysis that helps us the observer feel we are doing right in our own lives. At least that was my takeaway for myself on this rainy day in autumn.

Perhaps a sunny day with temperatures in the 80’s might have presented a more plausible observation. Today though, I am reminded just how sheltered our lives have become where it is an abnormal sight to see a human being walking along a busy highway with no visible means of explanation beyond their existence.

Fortunately, I have enough gasoline in my tank to get me from point A to B, preserving my stake in this societal machinery we plan our lives around.