(This poem was performed at the last open mic for Uncultivated Rabbits, at the Sierra Banquet, and Delta Sigma Talent Show.)
This poem is about the man on the microphone,
Who spits and admits that he has no home
Except in those buildings that he creates in people’s minds
Tension as the sweat drips from his forehead onto the wooden floors of his stage,
Which he has graced with not only his presence but his stories,
Standing tall as the mic absorbs all that he speaks
And he whispers to the people who listen to why he doesn’t have a place to stay.
I do not have a physical home,
I am a tenant in people’s hearts and souls
My vehicle into getting inside is this thing that stands before me—
Which phones people’s psyches
My voice rides into people’s ears on sound waves
Splashes them with my thoughts, stories, and opinions
Can you hear them?
Telling you something that you always wanted to hear
Or needed to hear
But couldn’t find it anywhere else.
I want to tell you some things that I’ve learned from only living nineteen years,
You probably know some or all, but it doesn’t hurt to remember again.
One. Every time a person is born in this universe, a star is born in the sky. And when that person dies, the star still survives and that’s where their soul goes. Living in the night sky and watching those people that he or she remembered while they are living.
Two. Love can never be defined. Liking someone is not really love, it’s just a crush, infatuation, or obsession. At least, that’s how I’ve learned to see it. But seeing isn’t the same thing as defining.
Three. Hate shouldn’t exist, but it does. And it consumes some people. Don’t let it eat you and turn your insides as black as a furnace.
Four. I’m not a poet. I’m not God. I’m not even a man yet. I’m just a boy.
Five. Don’t let time stop you from anything even though you feel as though you are trapped in that hourglass that’s filling up with sand. Make time, for your friends by hanging out with them and having a few drinks and a couple of laughs. Put some things aside for your family, because they were the people who were closest to you first and cared for you the second you were conceived.
Six. Remember you are human.
Seven. Luckiest number of them all. And how many wishes did we make together? How many wishes actually came true? On genies, fairy godparents, lit birthday candles, eleven-eleven’s, and prayers. How many times did we wish we can go back home again? Go back to a time we had before. A time machine to revisit our happiest of memories, but knowing that we were trapped in the present and the clock’s hands seemed to grab us and never ever could let us go.
Eight. It’s never too late to right a wrong. Forgiving is difficult. Sorry is just one of those words that you can’t help but say, but make it count with your actions.
Nine. They say that three hugs a day makes a happier person. Hug someone as much as you can and never let go. Imagine how many times you wished someone back alive just to feel their touch again. Embrace those that are still there, while they are still there. You don’t have to limit yourself to hugs either. Hug. Kiss. Hold hands. Put your head on their shoulders and let their heads rest on yours.
Ten. Writing is not easy when you strip yourself in front of an audience that watches you, judges you, for what you say. So,
Eleven. Take criticism as long as it’s constructive. Know that some people will just criticize for the sake of criticizing.
Twelve. Believe in yourself.
Thirteen. Believe in yourself even more. It has to be repeated to really sink into that mind of yours.
Fourteen. Don’t let the media be the thing that creates what is successful and what is not. You don’t need six-pack abs, a tan, to be skinny, wear certain clothes, to be a lawyer, doctor, or engineer, to be successful.
Fifteen. My definition of success is happiness. So, smile for me and I’ll know you’re doing something right.
Sixteen. As these years go by and the going gets tough, learn to wipe the dirt off your knees like when you were a baby and learning how to crawl before you knew how to walk. If you fall, just get up. Easier said than done and actions speak louder than words, so scream out your actions as you do them.
Seventeen. You will get lost. Guaranteed once, but it doesn’t have to be a lifetime guarantee. So, find your way out by yourself or with the help of others. Never be shy to snatch that other person’s hand. There is a reason why it’s there.
Eighteen. Know that being sensitive, doesn’t mean you are weak.
Nineteen. The number of years that it took for me to know most of this, but I still have a lot to go. An endless road, a path, a journey, where the destination doesn’t matter and only that I’m happy. So, now I’ll take a deep breath, breathe, and believe.
I look back and notice all those homes that I built along the way
Inside of people’s hearts,
And how I became a part of them
By putting myself out there
And walking on these streets for years,
I’ve learned to do all of this, share my stories, and even though those are the things that I passed,
I still look back
Knowing what I have accomplished and take another step forward, into another year.”
The man on the microphone walks off stage,
But his story, his rhymes, his words still remain.
Song: "The Best of Times" by Sage Francis
Youtube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA8hzUDXvtk