On Diversity

Two poems in a day. It must be a record.

A difference in hues
Of eyes and of faces
Of homelands, of gods, and of races
Is this variation, this mixing of sorts
Inherent in conflicts, our disgraces?

The opposite case is hardly yet made
Homogeneity, no fill-in for peace
Why then is the difference, in any mild form
Labelled, often by many, with derision?

Perhaps it is fear
Perhaps it is not
Perhaps we’re too impatient to grasp
For diversity in thought, where we seek out the Truth
But instead build our walls with the same.

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Statues

AristotleHeed not the statues lining the hall
Ignore their entreaties, go on.
The smiles of a stone can flicker by fire
The beauty of bronze will soon fade

The pedestals, crafted by years of long work,
Just distraction. A fool’s wasted day.
The heroes of yore reduced to a mound
All stones can be sand given time

How odd that the elements, though not as out here
Can effect those statues within
The pantheon crafted by the work of one’s mind
Can be fleeting, can be blunted by age.

Apatico’s Den

Amazing to see what a flippant comment on election day can produce! Granted, there are people out there who refuse to vote but do tremendous work outside or within the political sphere. As the title suggests, this poem/rant is directed at a very particular audience.

Lounging in hubris
Apatico’s den
Shunning calls for any action at hand
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I get out of bed?”

Understanding our faults
Apatico’s den
Yet our fingers, not scheming, but still
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I think with my head?”

Convinced of half-truths
Apatico’s den
While half-lies are what guide your thoughts now
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I care if I’m fed?”

Primed for extremes
Apatico’s den
Doing nothing to make it more real
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I do what I’ve said?”

Whining, not acting
Apatico’s den
And the world just goes on getting worse
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Who cares if one day we’re all dead?”

The End

This is the way, the world it will end
Not with a bang but with laughter
The last man alone with his jokes
(And yes it’s a man, let’s just be clear
That the women, they were smart and they left)
But the last man will laugh
Between coughing bouts
For the air of this world, all afoul
“To whimper is weak, and these tears that I shed
They’re just from the smoky dense air.”
Even at last, man is over-absorbed
With his pride, even if all alone.

This is the way, the world it will end
Not with a bang but with glitter
The party is raging for emptiest minds
Who prefer the bright colors to truth
Damnation rain down
Or rise up from the sea
To engulf the orgy-porgy of now
The dancers will dance
Drugged minds in the trance
Ignoring the end that engulfs.

This is the way, the world it will end
With ignorance reigning supreme.
We’ll ignore every sign
Even as our best die
For we’re enamored so much with ourselves
Come hell or high water
We just can’t be bothered
‘Til the end, when it’s simply too late.

The Gilded City

Actually surprised that this poem wasn’t posted earlier as I wrote it back in 2013. I can thank Mayor de Blasio for reminding of this poem with his latest headlines.

Spires rise from the darkest of nights.
A city struck by crises in the dawn of an era
Looks to recover the innocence it has lost.

But while the building goes on
And life attempts to restablize
An incessant pursuit acts
As cure to our ills.

The mantra to buy
Or to simply engage
A marketplace of petty baubles.

Light is restored to the darkened regions
As rebuilding does goes on
But for all our will to come back better
We are drawn like flies to fire.

Our goals, to acquire
To continue the monotony
Of the rat race to which
We have all been played.

While abstract numbers reach new record heights
And mirror the rise of our fallen ashes.
We still allow our neighbors of this fair city
To be ignored by the march for a new Gilded Age.

Hang banners of patriotism and superiority
Hold true to the dream that crafted our crises.
History is dead. The good times are coming.
Forget the losers of the Great Rat Race.

How can it be that such a powerful place
A center of commerce, culture, and life
Can fail to invest in its very own future?
How can the greatest city on earth
Forget its responsibility to humankind?

There was once a dream
For a city upon a hill
Shining and glowing
For all the world to see
To believe, to aspire

While our centers of finance continue to blossom
Our hubs of education fall into decay.
As our stores grow larger and with more variation
Salaries and pensions are cut by the year.

As buildings rise to greater heights
In an effort to show our unbreakable will
To our foes both near and those afar
We neglect our own friends who seek shelter below
In the tunnels and subways that span the Great Gilded City.

What can be done to address this challenge
Without subverting the promise the city does bring?
How can the gold that gildes our fair city
Go deeper and into the streets without?

Tomorrow

Today marks my last day working with NYPIRG. Tomorrow, I begin the next step of my career as Lead Organizer at La Fuente. I can easily say that working with NYPIRG has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, giving me tremendous opportunities and teaching me countless lessons over my 3 years there. As my first job out of college, NYPIRG will always have a special place in my heart. I am indebted to the staff, interns, and many students for the wonderful memories of inspiring activism. Looking forward, I’m excited for this next chapter of my life. It’s a bittersweet moment, and I hope this poem helps to capture a sense of my sentiments today.
——-

For My Friends at NYPIRG

Tomorrow will come
As sure as the sun
And with it, opportunities new
But before you head on
Racing off for the dawn
Remember the gifts given to you.

Recall every challenge
That came and that went
And the rush to meet them unafraid
Even if it’s demanding
You were always still standing
Friends and allies always coming to aid.

In victory or loss
It mattered very little
For every step you were never alone
Whether fighting for law
Or moving boxes you saw
Through it all you have come out and grown.

It is bitter and sweet
Exciting and sad
To leave for the sunrise ahead
Don’t go and forget
Keep your memory set
Be grateful and loving instead.

Tomorrow will come
As sure as the sun
And with it, opportunities new
But before I head on
Riding off for the dawn
In every step I will always thank you.