Day 97 – Phoenix Times

these are phoenix times, young friends,
the burning of the wilds-
when we make the rules with our fingers
tracing through the ashes
of what they tried to hold

we are rising

enflamed with the questions,
forsaking the answers
we were taught
we were fed
we were brutalized by

and there is no failure for us,
there is no dousing the fires we are lighting
for we do not walk the safe paths as directed,
we do not follow those blinding lights

we are a new resolution
men and women ungoverned;

we were born into this world
and we’re burning it down


Day 87 – Two Sweaters

I remember the same two sweaters-
one plum and the other maroon-
that had to last the whole winter
and how it bothered me
that my old Lion King sneakers didn’t match
and how it bothered me
to think everyone would notice.

I remember being so pleased
at being allowed to invite over a classmate
and taking her to my closet
to show her my outfits
and knowing those two purple sweaters I hated
were the best I had to show.

I remember the girl who came over;
her sneakers didn’t match, either.
I don’t know where she is
but I have so many sweaters now.

Day 68 – Two Camps

They say something is better
than nothing
even if it’s not your best-
to give at all
is to give more than

When I was younger
I would’ve hated that,
I would’ve said
not to bother-
I would’ve stuck my
picket sign in the ground
firmly in the camp
which demands
and kept on pretending
I could ever give it.

But I feel so old
and so grateful now,
for all the halfs and partways
I’ve been given,
all the somethings
that were better
than not.

Young Rose

Late nights into early morning,
hearts ablaze like shooting stars,
searching for a home that never came,
dashed upon the rocks and slipped away,
a young rose.

Press it in the pages of your heart
that’s cooled by now,
find it in a book that’s stored away.

But I don’t need a photo
to remember who I was
on windy days,
when I was a young rose.

Never saw it bloom like that again,
how it seems simpler now,
but roses go two ways when they are spent:

gone and remembered
or saved and forgot
and the trouble
is letting it die.

Breaking: Volunteering Voted “Biggest Waste of Time” by American Youth

A new survey of young Americans aged 18-30 shows that the act of volunteering is largely viewed as a huge waste of time. Participants were asked to rank common activities from most to least worthwhile, with volunteering earning the overall bottom spot.

“You just don’t get anything out of it, y’know?” responded one young man. “Like, what’s the point of doing something for no reason?”

A young woman agreed: “I know you’re supposed to get this warm, fuzzy feeling out of it, but I’ve got stuff to do and bills to pay. I don’t go to work to get paid in warm, fuzzy feelings. I don’t spend time with my grandma just for the warm, fuzzy feelings.”

It seems that even completing the survey was too daunting an act of charity, since participants had to be bribed with energy drinks and Steam points.

“Life is precious and we only get a certain amount of time to be alive. I want to make sure I’m prioritizing my time by not doing anything that doesn’t benefit me. I want to make sure I die happy,” said another young woman.

So if volunteering is at the bottom of the list of priorities, what’s on top? Researchers revealed that activities such as “binge-watching Orange is the New Black,” “shopping for hand-carved gauges on Etsy,” and “replaying through Ocarina of Time again” scored high on the list.

Year 2: Day 126 – Thirteen

Isn’t it disheartening to realize
that I’ll never know more than I did
when I was thirteen.
In fact I don’t know as much now
as the average teen does.
Isn’t it hard.

When I toss and turn at night,
still mulling over all the ridiculous circles
grownups make themselves run,
isn’t there all that boiling jealousy
that I’m not young, I’m not wild,
I’m not free.
And I don’t know half as much.

If I could get back the clarity of being thirteen,
don’t I think I would.
Don’t I think I’d have all the answers back,
the way I had it all figured out
when I was thirteen.

Year 2: Day 78 – Advice For Young Men From A Botanist

There’s always a chance that green leaves
which have seen no winter will not make it
into spring.

Assign strength to beauty to youth
at your own risk.

But don’t jump scale to black or brown-
the time you will invest on dead or nearly-dead
is better spent still perusing the garden.

Take some photographs but know
that reviving decay is a hobby to take up
at your own risk.

If you want to care for something worthwhile,
look for something that takes care of itself-
something in the middle of restoring itself
after it has lived through some distress.

To find a more pleasing time of caretaking-
fall in love with a flower
with yellow leaves.