Offensive

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Flinging
Barbs like
Throwing stars,
Flaming arrows of
Frustrations
Boiling over
Scalding the nearest
targets,
Watching in grim
satisfaction
Tinged with guilt,
Anger and past
resentments
Held up like a shield;
The will to draw
back the string
Fueled by voices
in our heads
Chanting ‘just desserts’
and ‘consequences’
And reassurances
of being ‘right’
As we watch sparks
Flare into flames
And flames turn into
A blazing inferno
of insults
and raised voices
And offended
Righteousness,
The hatred
burying pain
and fear,
The fists of our
False courage
pummeling blindly;

Then inferno
runs out of fuel
And blaze
collapses into
ashes
And smoky anger
dissipates,
Revealing crushed
dreams and
Broken hopes
And lost relationships-

And we think that
This
is how to
Love.

-KJ Roe

Breathe

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Breathe
Breathe in me
Your stillness, your quiet
Breathe in me
Your peace
Your hope
Your love so unbelievably deep

Breathe
Spill your laughter
Into my soul
So that it spills
Out of my lungs
Bubbling up in joy
And smiles
And moments of contentment

Breathe in me
The life you meant
For me to live
Whisper away
My fears and insecurities
Still the nervous
Echo of my heart
And the worries writhing in my veins

Breathe
Like the breeze in trees
Air currents on water
Breath that gives life
And words
And dreams
And peace

Breathe.

-KJ Roe

For the Lost

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Hey you.
Yes, you. The one hiding behind a façade of laughter and everything’s fine.
You, too exhausted to get out of bed.
You, crouched in anxious trepidation behind walls of independence and strength.
You, who are busy, busy, always moving, always going.
You.
You’re not alone.

Look around. There are others near you, fighting the same fight, scared to let it show. Others who are lonely, and frightened, and lost. Who feel the air suffocating them and the darkness of the unknown looming. People you see, probably even people you talk to, who wonder if anybody cares. Just like you.

I’ve been there.
Been so worn down I fell asleep standing up.
So scared, I couldn’t see a way out.
So wrapped up in murky despair that I had to consciously name reasons to be here. Some of them seemed ridiculous (chocolate? really?), but when you’re down, anything can be a lifeline.

Others are oh, so worthwhile. Family, or friends, or the way you feel when you hear a beautiful piece of music. The sunlight, the raindrops, the stars, the shapes in the clouds. The first time you mastered – anything: Catching the ball, turning a screwdriver, beating that game. Being held, or the touch of a hand. Simply making someone smile.

Whatever your lifeline is, grab ahold and don’t let go. When it seems to get dim, hold the light it brings right in front of you. Make that decision to keep it in your sight, even if you have to consciously force it to be there. When the voice in your head speaks darkness and negativity, fight it with words of brightness and positivity and self-affirmation. You are unique. You glow. You deserve the good that you long for. You are worth it.

You are a beautiful soul.

It’s okay.
You’re not alone.
Take my hand.

We’ll get through this together.

 

Jericho

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It seeps beneath the walls
of our defenses
Finding weakness that
is really just vulnerability
undermined by uncertainty
and fear
It goads us into
retaliation
Or collapse,
Knocking the legs out
from under our confidence
and leaving us gasping
and searching
for a lifeline
As the panic sets in
And we recognize the
shadows were locked inside
us all along
We scream in secret silence,
hide it all with
brave smiles,
Take a breath, and another,
Open our eyes to find
Hope shining through
the cracks we thought
only pain knew;
Reach out a trembling hand
cry out with anguished heart
To discover the Light
conquers the demons
With renewed promise
each time we
Let down our walls.

-KJ Roe

Listen to the Music

When we choose to look beyond the clouds of misinformation and slay the demons of prejudice and animosity, we can move towards a world of life rather than destruction.

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Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people, living as foes
(Crazy Train, Ozzy Osborne)

Song lyrics speak what so many of us think and feel. They question why we have so much violence, why, month after month, war after war is waged on the only planet we have to call home. It’s no secret that the majority of people are against war: thousands killed, hundreds of thousands homeless or disabled or starving, homes destroyed, water sources irreparably damaged…When we think of our loved ones, none of us desires these things to happen to them.

Nations droppin’ bombs
Chemical gasses fillin’ lungs of little ones
(Where is the Love, The Black Eyed Peas)

The mystery is in how we continue to allow and even cheer on the indiscriminate destruction of various peoples around the world. On the micro level, we profess ourselves to be kind and virtuous and to only act in self-defense. We express shock and outrage at those who attack innocents, and disbelief when people carry on revenge in Hatfield-and-McCoy fashion.

I got my finger on the trigger
But I don’t know who to trust.
(Devils & Dust, Bruce Springsteen)

On the macro level, however, that is exactly what we, the human race, or more specifically, the first- and second-world nations, continue to do. Except that it’s the Hatfields and McCoys and whoever Continue reading “Listen to the Music”

Expendable

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You are the expendable.

You choose to embody love, kindness, and forgiveness as far as you can safely do so, and further than you should reasonably do so. You choose to consider others’ viewpoints. You think about how their lives may have led them to believe certain decisions were okay, or the only option available to them. You ponder the interrelatedness of people and events, and the ensuing results. There is little that you do not think about, for everything merits consideration. In the same way, everyone has worth and is worth considering.

Unfortunately, in being considerate of everyone, you find that others are not the same. Others will use and abuse, until you finally find the strength to say “Enough!” Not “Enough, the world is bad,” but “Enough, I am good, and there is no room in my life for liars and manipulators.”

It may be a lonely road, and you will undoubtedly have people – the ones who are accustomed to you being understanding and pliable – who become angry that they can no longer use you. You will have to re-establish those boundaries again and again. But you will stand your ground. You will withstand the tempest. Those who leave, you didn’t need anyway. Those who stay will have newfound respect for you, and perhaps begin to recognize the strength you held all along. They will begin to realize you are not expendable, but that you – your quiet strength, your belief in them, your ability to bend but not bend over – is vital not only to their lives, but to the well-being of the world.

Their realizations, their respect, will only validate a simple truth. Their opinions of you are extraneous. Your worth is in your Self, your Soul, who you were created to be – not in what others choose to see. You are not expendable.

You are irreplaceable.

-KJ Roe