New Year’s Eve, 2019

As a general rule, I don’t write poetry. But once in a while, I do.

I’m Staying

The most I could expect was two years.
Twelve to fifteen months, they say,
Is still the average survival rate.

Sometimes I feel like I won the lottery.
Sometimes I feel like a bulletproof superhero.

Sometimes I feel like I sneaked into
Some kind of exclusive private club,
A VIP area of the universe
I didn’t even know existed
Until I walked in
While the bouncers on the door
Were looking the other way.

Now everyone here
Takes it for granted that
I’m allowed to be here, too,
To walk around,
Strike up conversations,
Eat the hors d’oeuvres and canapés,
Drink the good stuff,
Listen to the music
Lounge on the comfy couches and chairs,
Breathe the air.

I’m staying.

If Security somehow find out
That I’m a crasher and
They try to make me leave,
I’ll dig in my heels and refuse to go.
If they bring in a team to drag me out,
I’ll go kicking and screaming.
I’ll grab onto door jambs,
I’ll hug the floor,
Sink my nails into the carpeting,
Twisting and turning so
They can’t get a good grip on me.

I didn’t come here to leave.
I won’t go quietly—
‘With dignity’, as they say.
Dignity, my ass.

They can keep dignity.

If—when—I’m outside
The velvet ropes again,
It won’t be because I bowed my head,
Folded my hands,
And didn’t make a scene.

It will be because an irresistible force
Dragged me away––
Still kicking and screaming, of course.
I don’t care if kicking and screaming
Won’t make any difference.

Kicking and screaming is how I roll.

I don’t rage against the dying of the light—
I am the rage that keeps the light on.

I’m the rage that won’t do as I’m told,
That won’t surrender.
I’m the rage that burns bright
And refuses to burn out.

I’m the rage that won’t quit and
I’m staying.
I’m staying.
I’m staying.

It’s Christmas Eve and You Know What That Means…

It’s time for my favourite Christmas story!

Long-time readers will know this is not your standard Christmas story. It’s not an actual Christmas story at all. I heard this story for the first time years ago, and when the holiday season rolled around, it was the first thing I thought of. So I’ve been posting it every year, and I’ll be posting it every year until further notice:

One night, Confucius had a dream about chopsticks.

In the dream, he was transported to Hell, where he saw multitudes of people sitting at enormous tables set out with wonderful foods of all kinds. There was so much food that the tables groaned under the weight and the various delightful aromas made the mouth water.

But the people sitting at the tables had not touched any of it.

They had been told they could eat as much as they liked but only if they ate with chopsticks that were five feet long. None of them could figure out how to feed themselves with five-foot-long chopsticks—it was impossible. All they could do was stare helplessly at the delectable feast before them and cry in hunger, misery, and despair.

Then Confucius was taken to heaven where he again saw multitudes of people sitting around enormous tables laden with glorious foods. They, too, had been told they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted only if they used the five-foot-long chopsticks. But these people were not crying with hunger and misery and despair. They were eating their fill, talking and laughing together, enjoying themselves.

Because in heaven, they were feeding each other.

My friends, whatever holiday you celebrate, however you celebrate it, I hope it’s heavenly.