One of my all-time favorite poems is this one by poet Gary J. Whitehead. I don’t recall how I came across it, I just did many years ago, probably five or six years ago by now, and it has stuck with me. I printed it out and have that folded and aging sheet of paper tucked away in random books in by bookshelf, re-stumbling upon it all the time.
I love the line “Be glad, or be sad if you want, but be…”. The poem is simple yet complex, it’s innocent but secretly daring. It’s real. I feel it. It inspires me.
So here’s my version of some Wednesday writing, inspired by Gary Whitehead:
The Leaves of Your Own Understanding
Promise me you’ll be,
you’ll always be part of something more.
That hour, where you sit and think a bit…
Go. Grasp what’s in front of you,
push past the cobwebs to the new light.
Dance down the street. Really boogie like
the blues that you never knew you had.
And be mad. When things make you angry
it’s okay to be mad and be sad.
But whatever you are being, be more,
like that sailboat when the winds have died
and the crew are sinking their oars in
and pulling back with so much desire for that
Just like the sailors love the sea,
I wish you great love,
the kind that would have knocked down the Berlin wall with a wink. I wish you no fear
so that you can walk through the dark
when there’s no light ahead.
I wish you happiness, the kind that you
feel from the inside out.
Leave what you don’t like behind, take
your passions and make them burst into millions
of sparkling pieces that scatter your life.
Grow more, grow taller, grow greener, grow higher
towards the skies, towards the heavens.
Take adventures and seek monumental changes
big like France, like Africa.
Go places, see things, be a part of it all and keep moving forward and waiting for that something,
that changes you for the better.