Before We All Forget

If you haven’t yet heard

There’s a new spoken word

Whispered here to the hills

As the breathing grows still

People waiting and praying

And displaying broken hands

Hearing token plans

Pleading with the man

To treat them with respect

Before we all forget

And move on to the next big thing.

And this is why the caged bird sings:

This land gave a promise

That the great and the common

Can be treated the same

In this God-forsaken game

So fight for their lives

Now is the time

Or they’ll come for you next

After we all forget

 

 

 

The Littlest Lamb

As the littlest lamb that the shepherd adored
Lay awake in the night as the mommy sheep snored,
All the thoughts in his head were about what was said
By the sheep to the shepherd who rested in bed.

“We will grow big and strong, and produce lots of wool!
So when winter arrives you can take up your tool,
And just shear off a little and make a wool cap,
Or a coat, or a blanket to cover your lap!”

Yet the littlest lamb had a problem, he knew,
That he could not grow wool like the other sheep do.
He was made a wool sweater which kept him from cold,
But it made him an outcast, or so he was told.

“Little lamb, little lamb, who cannot grow a hair,
Do you know what will happen to you at the fair?
They will judge you as weakest and cheapest of all
And the shepherd will sell you when leaves start to fall.”

And the littlest lamb, who just wanted to cry,
Overcoming his feelings, decided to try
And discover the reason that he was a lamb
Who had nothing to offer the shepherding man.

As the dawn of the day lit the green of the hill
And the sheep in their slumber were quiet and still
Went the littlest lamb to the edge of the wood,
and encountered a rabbit who saw him and stood.

“Little lamb, little lamb,” said the rabbit of white,
“Are you searching for home? Were you lost in the night?”
But the lamb was so focused on what he had seen
It was fur that was beautiful, white, and pristine.

“I am looking for answers to how I can grow
A nice coat of white fur that can blend in with snow.
If you tell me the secret then I can return
To my shepherding master whose love I must earn.”

“There is no other animal able like me
To acquire a fur that’s so pleasant to see.
I know not how I do it but maybe elsewhere
In the forest is someone with answers to share.”

So the littlest lamb ventured deeper inside
To discover whatever small thing he can find.
As he wandered he saw on the branch of a pine
Was a feather as vibrant and blue as the sky.

“Little lamb, little lamb,” chirped a bird from her nest
“You appear to be out on an urgent request!
For a sheep such as you has no wings and must walk.
What could bring you so far from your shepherd and flock?”

“Does a feather like that,” asked the sheep with a frown,
“Only come from a wing?” to the bird looking down.
“Can a sheep such as I grow a feather like you?
If my master could see it he’d quite like it, too.”

“You do not have a way to grow something so grand.
But you worry the master you love could demand
That his sheep do a thing that is not meant to be?
Is your master so strict that you yearned to be free?”

With the words that were painful to hear and receive
Did the littlest lamb say his greetings and leave.
And as sunlight streamed down on the leaf-dappled path
He encountered a fox who had seen him and laughed.

“Mister Fox,” said the lamb, who could not grow his wool.
“Do you know how your fur is so orange and full?”
But the fox was amused by the sight of a lamb
Who was dressed in a sweater, and started to plan.

“Little lamb, I can tell you the secret and all,
But the fact is the sweater you wear is at fault.
If you give it to me then these questions of yours
Will be answered and you will have trouble no more.”

But the littlest lamb could not dare make that trade
For the sweater was something his shepherd had made
And a symbol of how much the littlest lamb
Was beloved by his master, the shepherding man.

“Suit yourself, little lamb,” said the fox with a yawn,
“May you safely complete the adventure you’re on.
For the forest is full of surprises enough,
So my only advice is to act like you’re tough.”

With a swish of a tail did the fox disappear
As the warning he gave filled the lamb with a fear
That he ought to accept he’ll be sold for his flaws
At the time of the year when the leaves start to fall.

But a rumble and growl shook the lamb to the core
As a slumbering giant rose up from the floor.
With a jaw of sharp fangs and a coat of gray straw
Right in front of the lamb was the wolf’s gaping maw.

With a bleat and a cry did the lamb run away,
As the predator wolf decided to stay.
For the wolf was still tired from hunting all night,
He had yawned a great yawn and returned to sleep tight.

But the littlest lamb in a panic he ran
Soon entangling himself in the thorns of a plant.
As he cried and he cried for the shepherd to come
He regret ever leaving the place he was from.

He was hungry and lonely, the littlest lamb
As he cried and he cried for his shepherding man,
But between all the noise came a shout from outside
From a voice that he knew and that he recognized.

“Little lamb, little lamb!” said the shepherd again,
“I can hear you are calling, my littlest friend!
Stay right there, do not move! I am coming to you!
You are scared, yes I know, but I’m just about through!”

With a push of his staff did the shepherd arrive
With a sigh of relief that his lamb was alive.
While the thorns all around had entangled the sheep,
The good shepherd could see just the thing he would need.

With a shear in his hand and a flick of his wrist
Did the sweater get torn down the middle and split
And the littlest lamb was now out from the thorn
As free and exposed as the day he was born.

Though the sweater he loved was now tattered and ripped
He was saved by his shepherd who loved him to bits,
And his fears disappeared as the shepherd embraced
His dear littlest lamb in that forested place.

And as summer rains ended and autumn leaves fell
For the shepherd the time came to judge and to sell.
But the littlest lamb had the noisiest snore
Since he knew he’s the lamb that the shepherd adored.

The Given Abyss

My shadow cast against the grains

As sunlight fades across the blue.

A wetter shade than what remained

Untouched and radiantly new.

 

The coastal creatures teeming on,

I dove a little deeper more

Until the warmth relied upon

Became a chill I can’t ignore.

 

My sight accustomed as I sank,

My breathing muzzled by a thread,

My life reliant on a tank

Receding past horizon’s edge.

 

That distant home at shores afar

Was where I learned to walk and run,

But now I float within the dark

Until the day my mission’s done.

 

A Pillar of Stones

My regrets were a pillar of unsteady stones

As it propped up a roof that was littered with holes.

In the rain I was cold and at night so exposed

But I knew nothing else but this shack I called home.

 

With the threat of collapse looming just overhead

Came a knock at the door from a stranger instead.

“I am sorry… I’d answer your knocking,” I said,

“But I’m holding the pillar upholding this shed.”

 

Silhouetting the doorway, the man had begun,

“I have heard from your friend, which is why I have come —

He’s the expert repairman, and I am his son.

Please let go, and then exit this shanty at once.”

 

“I refuse,” came the words before I myself knew,

“I’m afraid to let go,” were what followed them too.

His response was a sigh as he entered the room,

“I suppose I must break some unfortunate news.”

 

“There’s a storm on the way, and the biggest they’ve seen.

And a storm of that size will wipe all of this clean.

So it’s hopeless to tie yourself down to that beam.

If you stay, you will die, do you get what I mean?”

 

“So I’m destined to perish here no matter what?

Since my arms are the only thing holding this up?”

To my horror, my hands began shaking because

I could not even stomach that sickening thought.

 

As the pillar responded with creaking and groans

The repairman supported the column of stones.

With his arms wrapped above, he responded below,

“Do you see? I will hold it so you can let go.”

 

Though my body was stiffened and stuck in one place,

I released my two hands ’til they hung at my waist.

When the thrill of the motion had coursed through my veins,

I took off like an animal fleeing a chase.

 

I was greeted by clouds hanging low to the north

With a wind and a fury of waves surging forth.

As my eyesight adjusted, I turned to my home

Whose foundations had caved with a terrible force.

 

Was my life in that shack worth the risk for this man?

Was there something he knew that I can’t understand?

My regrets were a pillar of now fallen stones

That collapsed on my rescuer, breaking his bones.

 

In a rush I collapsed to my knees and began

To unearth all the ruins as quick as I can.

With complete disregard for the pain in my hands

And a fear that his trade was a part of his plan.

 

From the rubble he rose slightly worse for the wear,

“I’m afraid that your home is in need of repair.”

He remarked with a grin and a brush of his hair,

“We were lucky it fell when you weren’t in there.”

 

“Let us leave for my house while the weather is fair.

We’ve a room you can use that’s already prepared,”

He was hurt but unfazed like a victor declared.

“And we’ll start the rebuilding whenever you care.”

Snow Numb

There are echoes of snow-crunching boots

On these tracks I have tread in the past,

With a new slice of ice underneath

That has deepened a fear of my mass.

 

As my tremorous knees seek relief,

Through the fog I perceive solid ground,

But the crackings strike chills in my ears

As the stinging of frost bite my crown.

 

Yet the sight of the driftings above

Which are pregnant with blanketing snow

Are the markers of time marching on

Never pausing or ceasing to flow.

 

‘Though my feet, which are frozen in fear,

Are unwilling to move like the skies,

I shall do as the heavenlies do

And awaken this sleeper of mine.