Watching Jumpers

a bridge

Driving over the bridge

I thought about the edge,

the lives standing on a ledge

wondered til I felt a cringe

 

Thought of all the lives

a beautiful spring day

turning evening anyway

bicyclists, walkers, drives

 

This quiet sense of wonder

overcame my state of mind

only a silent recall, remind

it does put an end to a wander.

 

Driving by again I returned

this time to lights and fear

there was an apparent jumper

bicyclists, walkers, all turned

 

away from the activity, a quiet

like our lives ever hold merit.

 

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On Racial Disparity and an Unwillingness to Look Racism in the Eye.

In reviewing this tragic incident at Chaska high school this morning, I couldn’t help but feel some direct takeaways from the thread that follows this article. Clearly there is commentary that speaks to many sides of the issue, but the glaring reality for me is the ease we have with using blame and judgment to help us feel better about a situation that causes a certain anxiety in our lives.

With social media we are christened with an arm-chair response mentality, that we have seen can be as equally damning as the central idea of a topic. In this case a direct assessment of racial disparity in a public high school.

In the same article that speaks to the victims of the incident being asked to walk into a room and receive forced apologies from the students that created the mess, there is also reporting that suggests the administration sat on their hands about the incident at a timely Equity conference with parents and members of the community.

See this is the part I have a real hard time with. We cannot continue to hide ourselves behind the idea of racism when the reality of its impact occurs every day in our lives. We cannot simply hope incidents like this will go away without being dealt with directly. We cannot miss opportunities to open doors to this challenge of understanding how such moments interfere with our students of color and their desire to engage themselves in a community that openly ostracizes them, only to have the instigators receive perhaps public slaps on the hand for doing something they thought was ‘funny’ and harmless.

We cannot pretend that there is no harm that occurs beyond the incident of blatant racism itself. There is a great deal of damage that occurs when something of this level happens in any community. The traumatic nature of not being liked, or respected or appreciated for who we are cannot be measured in the eyes of a staged public apology. There has to be more.

Our students need to feel like they are being heard, their issues matter, they take the front seat and receive time and attention rather than a quiet dismissal to prevent a public outcry.

In reading the threads on Facebook that follow this article, I came across a number of personal assessments of the environment – “Oh (community) will never learn” or “same old ‘trash-**’ summarily beating the issue into the ground in such a manner to put it away, blow it off, call it unimportant, and try to put a ‘funny’ light on the issue. In fact, one thread noted, ‘this happened a week ago’ in a manner to suggest we move on. Really?

It is a sad reality that our students could continue to have such behaviors be condoned by society because of an internalized fear to have the difficult discussions. We cannot allow these moments to drift away because we are almost at the end of the school year. We cannot continue to rely upon our political horizon as the reason for such attitude and disparity in our communities across the country.

We must have the conversations and listen rather than simply join the outcry of ‘oh this is bad, but I have no commitment to helping change.’

We need to try to openly become a part of the change and move forward rather than continue to drift aimlessly backward.

‘Slowly Melting Snowy Vistas’

IMG_1073

An idea,

a visual reminder

to help find footing

rather than wallow

in what might feel lost,

our lives precious,

imagine only

nature is a cycle

eternal while forever.

 

Once while in wonder

reminded by favor

a slow descent in time

while all around

lives experience

a monotony of time

wishing purpose

witness a warming

allows our lives

to know change

always a measure

the melting horizon

might we seek

a cleansing challenge.

 

When the dial

shall evolve

daylight turns to

a mysterious shroud

where our eyes

opaque shadows

awaits our return

only to discover

with the rising sun

earth has begun

a new journey

again, spectacular

beyond occasion

this is our next day,

a blossoming spring.

 

Purposeful vistas

do slip away,

only to offer

sweet reminders

how along the way

our lives interact

in as magical way

might the landscape

of this mortality

give reason we

can know

the familiar

as well

as confusion

in a continuum

we have not

lost our way.

 

 

My Personal Insomnia

Step into my world

a man

frazzled yet still

a remarkable breather

able to stand

to negotiate

appreciate some aspect

of life.

 

Not perhaps until the day

for tonight,

his life remains behind

invisible bars

that only allow him

to remind,

to replay,

to re-evaluate

and always the same thing

every time

no solution,

only another night,

he won’t sleep

he might rather weep.

 

The insomniac on so many

levels,

this one though has a simple

solution,

stop checking for the same outcome

the clicking, the wandering, the wishing,

an inevitable drain

in the human psyche

 

until finally he might realize

tomorrow is another day,

oh my

life really is a sad cliche.

A Canyon Rite of Passage

the reality of time

outtakes and fantasy

easy climbs sheer cliffs

human mortality

tested in a tourist

manner of conceit.

 

One afternoon,

a quiet gentleman

decided his time

an essential promise

reached its end

how easy the edge.

 

Standing alone

he imagined

just how far

might be the land

would they even know

those that had …

 

A silent reckoning

No one would speak

again of the torturous

nature of losing hope,

and instead,

instead.

 

He walked away

head held high.

Recalling Purpose

edge

Took a walk in the wilderness,

a forest to disappear in,

looked about me at all the pine,

the desert soil allows

eyes to drift as far as the edge

a world beyond me I’m told to

 

forget.

 

I’m here to be a sightseer,

to breathe in the mountain

air that raises my spirits

beyond the normalcy

far enough away

to help me perhaps

 

forget.

 

Tomorrow I will look upon

a landscape that stretches

the eye to forever,

a spiritual energy

so beyond personal recall,

meant to help us all

 

forget.

 

When soon our lives return

the better option

might be to find something

new. A purpose suggests

our lives have meaning,

we have a world we easily

 

forget.

 

Glance at the morning sky, the mellow

sound of birds in rainfall, we can never

 

forget.

Taking A Walk

a walk in the woods

quiet serene streamed light

we listen to silence

rustling breeze

we can hear the sound

begin from across the lake,

until in our world, we sense the true

nature of a forest,

maple, pine, birch,

a history of love in recluse

taking a walk

one day I realize

we are all the same

when climbing our trails