I don’t think I understand
How we have the world in the palm of our hand.
We’re expected to nod our heads, zip our lips,
And hope that we get something out of this.
This life that we’ve been provided
Where we can reach the sky,
But authority has us tethered to the ground,
Holding onto their busted crowns,
And hoping that we’ll just shut up,
So they can keep their facades up,
And our heads down, ensuring that they only see us frown.
A world of opportunities.
More like a world of ways to be stuck;
Keep your minds open and reach for the stars, they say,
But they teach us to keep our thoughts closed off in the caverns of our brains,
And our heads down low,
So we don’t oppose those who preach and pry,
Because corrections show weakness and
Improvements show faults.
Call our generation complacent and incomplete
Because we’ve conquered more feats than you could’ve in your dreams;
Squash our beliefs on the bottom of your boot,
Just like you do with the many truths
That no one ever seems to hear until they’re far past overdue.
Waco, Kent State, Salem –
Is there something wrong here?
Government and authority
Do you hear our fears?
We may not always be right,
But we do deserve a verbal fight,
Can’t we express our ‘valued’ beliefs,
Or will your feet squash them just as you did with our shattered dreams?
I’m coughing up the lies and blood of generations before
Because you refuse to acknowledge and apologize for the mistakes you formed;
Legalize weed, ignore equal rights, and let a man who cops a feel
Run the biggest superpower in the world – like a kid who found a pot of gold.
Protect us from the truth and fill us with fake news,
Treat us as paper dolls – disposable and in over abundance
Because that’s all we are – youth to control and youth to mold.
Believe we are thoughtless and crude – but wait till we rule the world;
Racism and hatred will take a back seat to the needs of a country;
Failing because we can’t buckle up and shut up
When people need us – even across the sea.
But now – we are left to suffer in oppression;
We may have it good – but what happened to dreams?
No one seems to be investigating the disappearance of our good friend creativity.
We are taught respect, and respect is good;
But is the definition of respect to clasp our hands and ignore our views?
All to ensure we don’t offend a singular point of view,
But isn’t that what we’re told to do – to respectfully oppose and debate;
I guess that I’ll wait to see the date,
When that’s accepted with open arms and a warm smile.
Show me how to live,
And leave me in the cold
Because the truth is too cruel for our fragile minds.
Teach us taxes, respect, the law:
“Sorry Ma’ams and pretty pleases.”
I didn’t mean to get in your way,
Please excuse my caveman ways,
And my plain face.
The model body – the American dream –
I’m sorry I’m so pudgy!
Does my hair affect your view?
Did you say my clothes look like a shrew’ ?
Perfection is false – but apparently not to you.
My looks are offensive and my clothes out of style,
But maybe if I spruced up a little and shed some baby fat,
I’d fit in with you
Isn’t this what you taught me?
Your constant contradictions:
Stand in a corner and hug the wall,
But never forget to be bold,
And accept others,
But not if you’re different,
Because we don’t want change.
We want control.
This poem is filled with frustration and angst. I guess you could say that is a fitting description of me currently, as well. I have an inability to do much about the issues I care about, and that torments me. I want to be able to help people, to talk to them, possibly even aid in the act of educating, but I feel trapped due to our current times. There’s so much going on in the world that needs to be solved and addressed, but there’s no one available to do it. It feels as though we’re slowly going back in time – visiting a period where racism and hatred were considered an openly accepted, everyday occurrence. What a shame.
I’ve always been interested in history, but I think that I found a greater love for it this year. It seems that I’ve finally recognized the impact our history has on the present time – and it’s not a small one. If you are unaware of the issues I stated in my poem (Salem, Waco, and the Kent State Shooting), I will provide some links that will hopefully provide further insight for you. All of these horrible situations were caused by the ever-present authority versus the people issue – with none of them ending well.
In my opinion, creativity has taken a back seat to the expectations we have as citizens of the world. We are expected to let the government run the country and protect us, while we are biting our tongues to avoid letting opinions slip through the barrier of mind to reality. But aren’t we allowed to have opinions? New thoughts that are provided are often shut down – especially when they’re from normal, everyday people. And when we take them to a new level with protesting, or letters to government – we are most often criticized. So, I guess your opinion is relevant when you’re someone who is of “importance.”
I think that there are a lot of unjust actions in the world, but nobody can raise awareness for issues all alone. And I think that’s one of the reasons this piece was created. The world needs help; people need help, even though we refuse to recognize that sometimes. There are people in power who focus on degrading others based on their religion, race, sexual orientation, and other aspects no one should be judged on – this happens continually. We let authority tell us what to do and forget that we have minds of our own. We need to stop taking our varied strengths for granted and come up with ways to face the situations we are stuck with.
There is always a possibility for change and growth when people want it.
References: Clasped Hands
Links to articles: Kent State Shooting Article