Selective Empathy

“I’ll never eat there again, they still use plastic straws.. disgusting.”

As I carry my take out in styrofoam cartons, held neatly together in a plastic bag along side my plastic fork and knife.. Held in another plastic bag.

.

This sports players death was an absolute tragedy.. I’m devastated, they were such a idyllic person.

-Over 150 dead in Beirut with thousands injured- ran across the news feed.. “damn, that’s crazy”

.

“I cannot believe they eat bats, rats and dogs.. the savagery”

As I devour a hamburger that contains three separate animals all slaughtered in factory farms and lived in conditions so horrid there’s legislation in place to prevent it from being exposed to the general public.

.

“I posted a picture to support Australia after those horrible fires.”

“Wait, Siberia has been engulfed in flames for months?”

.

“Oh my goodness, I’m such a flower child. I just LOVE spring and nature! So beautiful.”

Before crushing the spider that crawled up my leg. “Gross.”

.

Why are some plastics awful, but others are acceptable?
Why do certain lives outweigh the lives of thousands?
Why are certain species sympathetic, while others are simply food?
Why do certain tragedies hold the spotlight, while others are left masked to the world?
Why do we love the beauty in the world, and shun what isn’t picturesque?

How do you define important?

Vulnerable

Your approach spurred a flood of memories.
Dreams and fears of years gone by.

What words could be shared.
Between pieces of the same.

Are you still the friend I remember?
Am I still yours?

Everything is different.
Aged not through years.

Yet very the same.
Hearts entwined without missing a beat.

Dear friend,
Hello.

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Peal of Thunder

Night sky illuminated without sun,

As drums echo across the skies.

Blood pumping fast,

With rain running into our eyes.

Calling reveille to the sons and daughters,

The devout and the devoid.

Cower in fear or be lost in the thrill,

Our story ends the same.

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In the Garden

Rich smells of earth,
Rising high into the air,
Like autumn in the woods,
After rain softens the fallen leaves.

Every morning reveals the nights growth.
Promising sweet fruits,
And alimentary greens,
Offered in mutual exchange.

Health, wonder, and joy,
For safety, care, and propagation.
We thought us the masters,
But who really trained who?

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On Touch

It’s a time that feels so long ago,
When you’d grab my hand, pulling me down the trail,
Desire to share your discovery glowing behind your eyes in the morning sun.

Days spent with minds and arms tangled in the kitchen,
Ingredients and instructions shouted over the melodies filling the air,
Hips bumping me away from the counter, because I’m chopping entirely wrong.

Evenings gathered around a table too small,
Nearly tipping your beer as you reach to smack my hand.
We never read the rules, because it was the company we truly gathered for.

Sleepless nights,
Minds happily lost in sweet sounds,
While our hands explored, eager for new discoveries.

.

Today we’re found in different times,
An opportunity to develop our words,
Where a simple touch could have spoken volumes.

In letters without voices
Through phones without faces,
Over videos without graces.

But when tomorrow comes,
I’ll carry you away to my favorite horizons,
While painting pictures in your mind.

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Parallels

He was born to a powerful family.
Her birth cost her her mothers life.

His parents left him to the servants, who raised him as another head of cattle in the stockade, a product with a function.
She cried as her father walked away from her life, disgust twisting his gaunt face, he never could forgive what she did.

He woke with tears in his eyes, after nightmares of leather splitting the skin on his back,
While she lay awake each night, clutching her aching belly.

His imagination gave him his only friend, who chased him down the halls. After colliding with a servant, spraying wine into the carpet, he was beaten until his screams went quiet. He never saw that friend again.
When the hunger brought her to her knees in the street with tears wetting her cheeks, strangers would throw a coin, clattering to the ground after reddening her forehead. She winced, they laughed.

Cruelty was the only life they knew. Abuse around every corner, malice behind every eye.

When she saw a child lying alone, with snow creeping up their back, she built a fire, and offered her bread. She slept hungry that night.
When his kid brother would cry, he kicked him again, chastising him for showing weakness. The weak could never survive.

She spent her nights building walls and a roof, until her back spasmed, and her fingers bled.
He learned that brutality inspired fear in his enemies, and his subjects alike.

The sign over her finished door read “Orphanage: a home for the abandoned, a light in the dark”,
As the hearth in his keep burnt down to ash, while he sat ruminating on his hate, in the shadows.

Soldiers stormed the orphanage, razing it to the ground, as he sat on his horse, sneering. The ugly blight on his land now dealt with.
Sorting through the ruin of her work, she salvaged where she could, and began to rebuild.

As his soldiers returned, she stood sentry at the gate.

“Where you born with this venom in your veins?”
“I’m a product of a cruel world”
“I am who I am, despite it.”

Two mountains, one cast in shadow, the other bathed in light

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Dear Fellow Traveler

Dear Fellow Traveler,

Tell me about your journey,
The places you’ve seen, the people you’ve met.

Tell me about the sights that have changed your life,
The conversations that shattered your reality.

Don’t leave out a single detail,
The good, the lousy, or the mundane.

If you have the time,
I’ll pour the tea.

Your Fellow Traveler,
Tony

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On Waiting

Nine,
I take a seat.

The morning sun highlights the dust dancing through the air,
As soft rhythms form sweet melodies through my head.

Just past the window a young squirrel leaps between trees,
Cheeks chubby with new spring seeds.

Breath in,
Cool scent of lavender stirs life into my sleepy lungs.

Breath out,
Muscles relax into the soft fabric beneath me.

Nine thirty,
Sorry to keep you waiting sir.

No problem,
I wasn’t waiting.

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On Weeds

They were seen as a nuisance,
Devoid of value,
A mar on a pristine green canvas.

Bees relished in their pollen,
Bird found nourishment around them,
The Earth celebrated their diversity.

They are natural,
They are essential,
They are beautiful.

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Farewell Address

The snow was my farewell address,
For this moment when our lives converged.

Free your mind of me,
And continue your walk resurged.


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