“A Citizen’s First Responsibilities”

Defined by Merriam Webster, the word “citizen” means “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.” This is a simple definition for a complex topic, because each citizen is an individual person, with different perspectives, opinions, allegiances, and responsibilities. Each citizen is in a different situation, either in their relationships, economic standing, and political preferences, yet they all belong to a common country. A citizen’s responsibility is very much a personal choice, but looking at it in terms of importance, responsibility should lie first with family, secondly with the country, and thirdly, to a political leader. Allegiance to a political leader should not take away from the betterment of a country, and the betterment of a country should never take priority from caring for one’s family.

The least important responsibility a citizen has is to a leader. Firstly, the very concept of placing loyalty to one person above everything else is illogical. In theory, one would look to a political leader to guide their country and make it better. This would be attributed to loyalty to a country, which isn’t inherently wrong. The problem is becoming so caught up in the leader as a person and following their every word without question. When the leader has amassed a multitude of followers, they essentially have permission to do whatever they want. No matter how delusional and corrupt their decisions and rhetoric, people will listen to them, because they take it as Gospel truth. History isn’t a fan of absolute loyalty to one person either. Take Nazi Germany, for example. No matter how outrageous his propaganda, Hitler had amassed so many followers that they took anything he said and accepted it. This blind discipleship of the German people led to concentration camps for Jewish people, and much more. It is clear that loyalty to a leader, when it gets out of hand, can have catastrophic results.

Of the three discussed, responsibility towards a country is the second most important attribute of a citizen. While it should not even come close to the responsibility one should have to family, one does have a responsibility, albeit not a requirement, to be involved in their country. Citizens have a say in how their country is run and what happens politically, so they have a responsibility to act in a way that changes the country and makes it better. As discussed, loyalty to a leader of the country must not be mistaken for loyalty to the country as itself. It is actually the opposite. Loyalty to a country is the willingness to stand up against corrupt leaders in order to make the country better, not to follow them blindly. This is why loyalty to a country must include active participation in the betterment of this country and the world.

The most important responsibility of a citizen is to their family. Without the family itself, “the basic unit of society,” the rest of society could not function. Support of family is completely necessary for society to prosper. With the help of families, future leaders are nurtured and protected. One can never let loyalty to a country or leader get in the way of their responsibility as a family member, especially as a parent. Once those loyalties get in the way, the family becomes meaningless. If the purpose of a family is to support and nurture the next generation, there needs to be a certain level of commitment. With all of this considered, there is also a direct connection to the other two aspects of citizenship discussed. Without family dedication, those leaders everyone looks up to may not have existed, and if families foster good morals and intelligence in their children, those children certainly could grow up to make their country a better place to live. In the article, “The Family Unit and Its Importance,” Lawrence Wilson, MD, writes, “When the families are strong, society is strong, as a rule.” This direct correlation proves why responsibilities must lie first with the family.

Though citizenship is thought of as loyalty to a country, it is an extremely personal and diverse topic. Each citizen has responsibilities, both in the personal and political sense, but it is clear that responsibility to the family is the most important, because from there branch out all other aspects that keep the whole society together. Loyalty to a leader can be a positive attribute, but it can also get significantly out of hand and lead to catastrophe. Loyalty to a country is also a positive attribute, as long as it involves trying to make it better, but still must not take away from the value that families have.

In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, there are several examples of these different responsibilities, but in the play, responsibility does not seem so black and white. In the play, Macbeth shows loyalty to all three. At the beginning of Act I, Macbeth shows great loyalty to his country through his success in combat and is referred to as “Bellona’s bridegroom”(Scene II, Line 61) by Ross. Since Bellona is the Goddess of War in Roman mythology, this quote illustrates Macbeth’s violent success. The loyalty and responsibility he has for his country, because of these feudal times, is extended to loyalty for his king. This shows that Macbeth doesn’t have many ideas for how to make his country better, like actual loyalty to a country would be, but rather does what he’s told, showing only loyalty to his political leader. As he says in Act I, Scene 4, lines 22-23, “The service and the loyalty I owe, / In doing it, pays itself,” showing his loyalty to the king. The problem in this story especially comes with the responsibility to family. Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, is a character whose desires come into conflict with those of the king, and, to a degree, Macbeth. In Act I, Scene Three, the Third Witch proclaims that Macbeth “shalt be king hereafter!”(Line 52). Soon after, Macbeth begins to have evil thoughts, but decides against killing the king, because he knew he would be king anyway. This showed, once again, loyalty to his leader. In Scene V, however, Lady Macbeth finds out about the witches and worries that Macbeth won’t have what it takes to kill the king, saying “yet do I fear thy nature; / It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.”(17-18) This is where Macbeth comes to a dilemma, of whether to kill the king and be responsible to his family or let the king live, and be responsible to his leader. It is clear, though, that responsibility to the family should not go as far as succumbing to manipulation. One of humankind’s first responsibilities is to the concept of honesty, and justice. Killing the king would not be a just, nor honest way for Macbeth to become king, so in this case, the most responsible thing he can do overall is not to act on his, or his wife’s, murderous desires.

“Who is Jesus,” by Peter Kreeft – Analysis

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ has had an immense impact on the world. While some continue to debate whether or not He was a real person, the idea of Jesus brings countless thoughts to mind, different for each person. Some say that He was simply a moral person who taught wise lessons. Others say that He was a prophet, who shared the Word of God, but nothing more. The majority of Christians truly believe He was both God and man, that He is Divine, much more than a moral person or even a prophet. In Peter Kreeft’s text, “Who is Jesus,” he explores different possibilities, in the form of a discussion between two people. One is an atheist, Sal, and the other, Chris, is a Catholic. They have an honest chat about who Jesus was, or is, what Christianity truly means in the context of the person of Jesus, and how it was impossible for Jesus to be simply be a good man or a teacher.

Kreeft’s character Chris discuss how the only true, honest way that someone in this modern era can know Jesus is from the Bible, because that’s where all the information Christianity is based on is contained. People have interpreted the person of Jesus differently, but in reality it doesn’t matter who people say Jesus was, because it won’t change a thing. What people need to do is look specifically at the Gospels to learn everything they possibly can about Jesus. For humans to relate to God, it was necessary that God become man and be among them. To expand upon this, Jesus was fully human in everything except sin; He had a personality. While humans might never know exactly how Jesus acted and what His personality traits were, there are hints to it in different spots in the Bible. One problem people might have in relating to Jesus is that He always seemed really serious, and never seemed to laugh. It’s no secret that everyone likes to laugh, but Jesus isn’t usually depicted with that kind of joy: smiling and laughing and enjoying Himself. It doesn’t make sense that the greatest, most joyful person in  the universe would never laugh, does it? Perhaps this is because of the way that the Gospels were written, and the reason they were written. The Gospels, the “Good News,” were written to show the world that Jesus came to the Earth to save those who were sinful, lonely, and outcast, so the Bible showed us this side of Jesus: the side that mourned and sorrowed. This is evident in the verse, “Jesus began to weep.” (New Revised Standard Version, John 11:35). There may not be explicit examples of Jesus laughing, but there are examples where it would be difficult not to picture Jesus smiling. An example is when Jesus was about to heal a girl that had died, where, “he said, ‘Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him.” It’s difficult to imagine this without Jesus showing at least a hint of joy. When Jesus healed people, it had to be a personal experience, so He could connect with those who needed him so desperately. This tells readers something about his character.

While the Bible may tell readers a bit about the personality of Jesus, it describes more who He was and what significance that has on the world. During Kreeft’s text, Sal and Chris discuss the person of Jesus, and who He really can be based on the Gospels. Sal says that Jesus is, “A good man, a great moral teacher.” Chris points out that “That’s the one and only thing he couldn’t possibly be.” Christians can’t pick and choose what they believe out of what Jesus said to believe, because, as Chris said, “Christianity is a package deal.” One can’t, as Sal suggested, believe everything in Christianity except that Jesus is God, because that fact is the central part of Christianity. Muslims, for example, believe that Jesus was a great prophet, who was close to God, but they don’t believe He died on the cross. Why don’t they believe this? Perhaps it’s because that doesn’t correspond to their belief system. They believe that someone so close to God could not have been killed, so they omit the part where He was, ignoring the fact that Jesus dying was the most important thing He did, besides His resurrection. True, “honest seekers,” a term used by Kreeft in “The Reasons to Believe,” have to be completely, 100% honest if they want to find answers that are 100% correct. If a Christian believes in the Bible, they’d better believe in it 100% to claim that they are a Christian. It’s true that it may be hard to do, but that’s where strong faith lies. Kreeft’s character Chris says that weak faith needs to be lost, so that strong faith can be built up, but honesty will always lead to the truth, and therefore to Christianity.

Jesus makes a number of claims that seem outlandish at first, like when He alluded to the fact that He was one with God, saying, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:48-59, New Revised Standard Version) but He also taught lessons that made sense to people even today, like when Jesus says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 New Revised Standard Version). So what does this reveal? That He was smart, but crazy? That He lied but had some good lessons? That He was truly God? This leads, now, into the “Lewis trilemma,” which was C.S. Lewis’ way of describing what and who Jesus truly could be, and mentioned in Kreeft’s story. This quote from Lewis summarises the trilemma: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell.” In other words, as it is described, Jesus could be “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.” If Jesus was a wise man but wasn’t God, why would He claim to be God? Either He could have been completely crazy, a lunatic, which would discredit all of His lessons, or He lied, which would make Him a terrible person and definitely not a “good man” as Sal suggested initially. The third possibility is that Jesus was exactly who He said He was, that He was wise beyond anyone on Earth and had Divine nature. If Jesus was good, this is the only possibility that He could have been. If He was not good, He was a liar. If He was crazy, He was a lunatic. If He was telling the truth, He was the Lord. This is why Jesus must have been the Lord, or else everything else good about the Bible doesn’t matter, and why Christians can’t pick and choose what they want to believe about Jesus if they want to call themselves Christian. Instead they must find out why they’re Christians in the first place, in order to build their faith.

Kreeft’s story of two friends having an open discussion about the person of Jesus was an effective way for Kreeft to get his message across, because he was able to acknowledge other points of view in the form of a sceptic character. I agree with the points that Kreeft made in his story, that it’s important for anyone to be honest in their question, whether a believer or an unbeliever, and that they need to acknowledge proof where proof lies, not trying to find ways to escape the truth in front of them. I agree that the Gospels are the source of how to find out who Jesus was, and that one can get to know Him that way. I also agree that Jesus must have been much more than a good man, because all of the good, holy, and miraculous things that He said and did. Peter Kreeft’s “Who is Jesus” offers a positive start to anyone who is looking honestly to find out more about Jesus.


Prayer From the Reading:

Based on a line from Chris, top of page 2


Lord, I know faith is a precious jewel. If my faith at any time is weak, please help me to lose that faith so I can grow to eventually find real, true, honest faith in You. Please tear down my old, weak faith so You may build in me a stronger, better faith.







“The Problem of Evil” by Peter Kreeft – Analysis

Evil is a very commonly used word, defined by Google’s dictionary as “profoundly immoral and malevolent.” Evil is such a common term that people lose faith in God because of it. In Peter Kreeft’s work, “The Problem of Evil,” he describes the “problem” found with evil: the question of why God would allow evil to occur in His creation. Peter Kreeft explains why evil exists and provides evidence for his reasoning, based on all that humans know about God. Providing descriptions based on free will, God’s love, and the concept of hell, Peter Kreeft analyzes and considers all there is to consider about evil, and what it says about who God is.

In his writing, Peter Kreeft mentions the concept that humans have free will, and that is a gift given straight from God’s love. God is Love, so it’s only possible for Him to create something out of love. If that’s true, why would God create evil? He didn’t create evil, and that’s Kreeft’s whole point throughout his article. God is Love, and Love is selfless. A selfless God would never want to force anything, so that’s why free will exists. Free will is the ability given to humans to make decisions, live their own lives, and, simply, choose. If God limited this free will the smallest fraction, it would no longer be free will, because all the options of choice aren’t there. In this way, if humans aren’t given the option to do evil, they don’t have free will at all. If humans were forced to make the right decisions every second, every minute, every hour, every day forever, that is not free will: that’s barely even living at all. It’s like a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner makes the “right choice” by sucking up unwanted particles off of the ground. But that’s not a choice at all, because there’s only one option. So God gives us all the options, including the option of doing evil. Evil is simply one of the choices that humans chose, and choose again and again, because they can.

Kreeft, in his article, discusses more deeply into how God’s love has been used as the tool for dealing with evil. From the moment Adam and Eve sunk their teeth into the forbidden fruit, God has been trying to save humans from sin, the act of evil. He does this not by forcing, but by giving the option to choose good rather than evil. The Bible shows this time and time again. The most obvious of these include the Ten Commandments, which are ten reasonably simple rules for humans to follow, always. Reasonably simple, yes, but humans still disobeyed those simple rules constantly, as a result of their free choice to choose to sin. God didn’t give up on the human race or force them to obey him even after this; rather, He tried, over the whole course of human history, to help people come to Him, and trust in Him. God has never stopped trying to eradicate evil. The most significant example of this is when God the Father sent His son, Jesus, into the world to save people from their evil ways, by being with them as a human. One Human, teaching other humans how they can live and not be a slave to evil. He was mocked, tortured and killed, because He wanted people to choose Him over their evil ways. Jesus’ message has spread all over the world, and it is a good message. Anyone who says otherwise does not yet have an understanding of how significant the message is. The problem with the world in the present is that people firmly believe they will be happier by choosing whatever they want. This makes sense, but because of where free will has led the human race, the line between evil and good has become very blurry. People who do evil often believe that they are doing good. Terrorists terrorize for their idea of “God.” Ideas of sin are different, all because of desires that are contrary to God’s teachings. Since people see God’s teachings as being unimportant, or too hard to follow, God’s rules, made out of love, are ignored. Those who claim evil is because of God are the ones who have simply witnessed what happens when people use free will for evil. They themselves, at one time or another, have likely done evil that they didn’t know was evil. Most people have done this.

It is difficult to talk about evil in the context of religion without discussing hell, which is thought of as the place where “evildoers” go once they die. Kreeft shines some light on this as well, saying, “… hell is the consequence of free will.”  What Peter Kreeft’s writing reflects is how, as a result of free will, there’s no way hell could not exist. As was mentioned earlier, God does not want to force people into choosing “rightly,” so He always gives the right of people to choose between right and wrong: between Him and sin. Because of this, people must have the option to choose other than God, even though God can give them eternal happiness. The result, because of free will, of not choosing God, must be hell. Free will is a gift, but when people use it wrongly, they will face consequences. Revelation 21:8 states, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” This second death, that comes after the Final Judgement, is a result of free will, and free will is a result of God’s love. God is just, and justice will be reflected in the Final Judgement. Right now, though, humans must use their free will for everything that’s good. God’s love is offered to everyone, it’s just up to everyone to take that offer of love, mercy, and forgiveness and spread it all over the world.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this: 1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: ‘He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. 613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell.’” This quote, directly from the Catechism, connects to Peter Kreeft’s message directly, because it shows how humans, using their free will in certain ways, leads them to hell for eternity. The result of Hell has to be the result of the choice(s) of a person, in full knowledge, acting against their conscience and morals to do evil.

I agree with Peter Kreeft in his article, although there is one area I wish he had expanded on. I agree that evil was brought about by creatures of free choice (fallen angels and humans) choosing wrong. God is a good and loving Father, so He wants what is best for all of us, his children on Earth. Humans are given countless opportunities to turn from their sinful ways and follow Jesus, the conqueror of evil. I also agree with Kreeft that hell is the result of free will to outwardly choose against conscience, morality and every sense of good that exists. These explanations are in line with Church teachings, and make sense in the context of the Bible. However, there is one part of Kreeft’s article that readers might interpret a different way than was intended. The part in question is Kreeft’s quote, “God does not cast anyone into hell against his will.” I do not, according to all I’ve read and been taught, believe that upon death the word “please” will get someone into heaven or out of hell, and that’s not what the quote implies either. What the quote means, in context of Church teaching and the Bible, is that people committed their evil acts knowingly doing evil, and  to do such evils can lead to hell. The Bible clearly shows that people will go to hell for eternity. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, and no one, in full knowledge, would wish this on them self either, but people end up there. The Bible does not specify, however, names of people who will end up in hell, so it is our mission as believers to follow God and introduce others to His love and mercy. Perhaps we can help people to be saved from the endless suffering that is hell. This is extremely important for us to do.

Additional Sources:







Figures of Speech From “A Sunrise on the Veld” by Doris Lessing

Personification means “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.” Doris Lessing uses countless comparisons between humans and other non-humans. Lessing at one point describes the house as “crouching there under a tall and brilliant sky.” She uses this to show just how amazing the sky, or creation as a whole, is compared to a small house. The boy in this story doesn’t crouch against the sky, though, but he feels as though he is greater than it. He even said “I contain the world,” when, quite literally, the sky contains the world, and it doesn’t even realize it’s own beauty. The boy doesn’t realize he is simply as the house is: only a small shape against the vast beauty of creation.

A metaphor is “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable,” or it can be defined as “a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.” Doris Lessing uses a metaphor when she writes, for example: “He was a small boy again, kicking sulkily at the skeleton, hanging his head, refusing to accept the responsibility.” This is a metaphor used to describe the fact that when we are young, we don’t like being blamed for something, even if we did it, and don’t want the guilt. When we become older, we still don’t like the guilt, but can become courageous enough to accept when we’ve done wrong. There was a more significant metaphor, though, and it was in the buck that the boy saw dying. The buck was once much like him: free, happy, and healthy, but when it was shot, it found out what agony was. The boy didn’t end up being eaten alive by ants, but something similar could have happened to him. If he got injured out in the woods, there was nothing stopping the ants from eating him, like they ate the buck. The metaphor of the buck and the boy taught him a lesson that he, too, was mortal.

Simile means “a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.” Lessing uses simile countless times in this story, but one of them is very relevant to a main theme in this story. When describing the buck before it got shot, Lessing describes it as “Walking like kings and conquerors.” This simile is actually more relevant to the boy, and is more proof that the buck is a representation of the boy. The boy walked and ran “like kings and conquerors” because he thought he had power and control over the world, like he was a king or conqueror, which he wasn’t at all.

Synecdoche means “a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa.” Lessing uses this when the story says: “As soon as he stepped over the lintel, the flesh of his soles contracted on the chilled earth.” This is synecdoche because the boy’s feet contracting represent all of humankind contracting to the will of nature. The boy walked from man-made to earth; from what he could control to what he couldn’t control. His body contracts with cold, physically, but it is a sign that man is not in control of what happens in nature, and when one steps onto the earth, away from the man-made, it’s a different place entirely, where unexpected consequences happen to those who believe they are in control.

Irony means “a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.” The story discusses how the boy feels in control, as evidenced by when he says “I contain the world” and other lines, but the irony is that he leaves his man-made house every morning so he can go and feel free and powerful in the woods, where he has no power at all. Nature wouldn’t bow to him, ever. He would have better fortune trying to rule all of humankind than trying to rule nature, but nevertheless, he is convinced of his control.

Word Craft for “A Sunrise on the Veld,” by Doris Lessing

Lintel means “a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window.” The word lintel is used once, in the context: “As soon as he stepped over the lintel, the flesh of his soles contracted on the chilled earth.” While this doesn’t seem too important, the word can be interpreted as a figurative “line” that he crosses later in the story. He goes from carefree, ignorant of danger, and prideful, to learning of danger, and realizing the need to accept responsibility. He figuratively “steps over the lintel” from having next to no knowledge of the world, to knowing some of the less pleasant concepts about what the world is really like.

The definition of the word “vigilant” is “keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.” In the story, it describes how the “dark half of his mind” had been “remaining vigilant all night and counting the hours as he lay relaxed in sleep.” He describes himself as vigilant, but actually isn’t as vigilant as he thought he was. Although he is very careful around the house, so his parents don’t find out he’s leaving, the most that would happen is that he’d get in trouble and not be allowed to go back into the woods. When he’s in the woods, he is completely ignorant of any danger, not paying much attention to the fact that if he tripped, some wild beast, or even ants, for that matter, could come and eat what was left of him. He was vigilant where there were no real threats, but wasn’t vigilant at all where it mattered.

The definition of “tumult” is confusion or disorder. The story describes “a tumult of crimson and gold” in the sky, almost as though there is a fight as to which colour will fill the sky. Lessing used this word as a foreboding of what would come, and that there would not just be confusion in the sky, but within the boy, as well. He was so carefree, and sure of his control, so when he found out a buck that was being eaten alive because of his carelessness, there was a “tumult” of feelings inside him, and for the first time, he wasn’t so sure of himself, and the world wasn’t exactly as he thought it was.

Fastidious means “very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail.” In the story, the context is: “Standing poised with his hands on the sill for one proudly fastidious moment, looking on at the stuffy blackness of the room where his parents lay.” The boy obviously loved adventure and risk, otherwise he wouldn’t be standing at the window of his parents’ room for so long. He is, however, careful not to wake them up, and is fastidious enough to make sure they don’t find out he’s there. The problem is that he has so much pride and confidence in himself that he doesn’t realize his incapability of perfection. Attention to detail isn’t enough to get everything right, all the time. He doesn’t realize this because he doesn’t pay attention to when he gets something wrong. This made it all the more surprising when he found out that it was likely him who shot the buck in the first place. It was him, who shot carelessly at a faraway buck, and him, who never went to find out if he hit the buck, but instead went home without another thought.

The definition of “incredulously” is “in a manner indicating disbelief.” When the boy was looking at the skeleton of the buck, “He bent over the bones and touched the sockets in the skull, that was where the eyes were, he thought incredulously.” Incredulous very accurately describes the boy when he finally “woke up” and saw what the world was actually like. He thought he had everything figured out, that he had control, and that he couldn’t make a mistake. Then, to his surprise, he realized even the greatest of creatures can get injured, and die. He realized even he could make mistakes, and he had to be responsible for his wrongdoings.

A Break in Hawaii (Five Easy Pieces)

His hands were quite smooth, but strong.
Seemingly huge veins stuck out on the backs of them, from the warmth of the room,
And his short, stubby fingers wore no rings,
But shone from the reflection of the light in the room.

They flew across his keyboard
At a rate that you couldn’t match if you trained for ten years.
When they stopped it was only for a few seconds
And then they kept typing.

The climate of Hawaii is a warm blanket on a winter’s night,
And he hadn’t taken many vacation days that year, so I asked him the question I’d been meaning to.
“Ever been to Hawaii?
“You could use a break from typing for awhile and Hawaii is a warm blanket that just covers you up”

His hands paused as he raised his head to look at me.
"Why do you ask?
“Are you saying I should go to Hawaii because I’m not doing my job well enough,
And so you can find a replacement while I’m gone?"
Of course I didn’t mean that, but he always seemed to misinterpret what I said.

Where Memories Await (Emotional Landscape)

The sunlight shines through the trees, even though they are dense.
Bark peels off of dead trees, remnants of seasons past.
A bird chirps its beautiful song, and flies above me.
The leaves crunch under my feet as I walk, not fast, but not slow.

I walk through the Provincial Park
On trails I know better than my own house.
And as I walk, memories start filling my head
Of events I haven’t thought about in years.

I walk down a hill, and I can’t help but remember
The many times I had fallen skiing down it
When I was younger, and more carefree.
I smile at the joy I used to have.

Just a few feet away I see the ditch by the intersection of the trails.
I remember when it was filled with flowing water,
After it had rained
And we spent time putting sticks in the water, and racing them.

I keep walking, up a small trail in the woods,
Which connects the Walter Scott Trail to the Fescue trail,
And I remember many times walking up this trail,
Even once pushing a bike up it.

Eventually, I make my way home,
My head still filled with adventures long past,
But I know that it isn’t the end of my adventure,
Because my head always has room for new memories.

Revengeful Chaos (First Line Auction Poem)

Society is a harsh whirl of chaos.
The powerful and selfish rule the Earth,
Ignoring those who suffer.
Trust has long since been vanquished.

The word unity seemingly hasn’t been used in centuries.
People must fend for themselves. 
When asked for help, those with the power to help turn their backs
And then leave, without a second thought.

People run to hide.
They stay indoors, and close their curtains
As the gangs come by,
Ready to kill anyone in their way.

A young man grew up in this chaos,
Raised in an environment without hope,
But he developed it on his own
And knew that the he couldn’t just hide away while people were killed.

This young man stands in the path of the killers.
He hides his fear well,
But his left hand twitches violently,
And he shudders all over, frozen in fear.

He tells them that they won’t get past him,
They won’t hurt anyone else.
He lifts his right hand, which was concealed,
And points a gun at the gang.

He hadn’t planned on killing anyone two weeks ago,
But then he saw his sister brutally murdered,
And his father, mad with rage, went to seek revenge.
He was killed too. 

The young man’s finger trembles as it loosely touches the trigger,
And the gang simply laughs at him
As they reveal their own guns,
And open fire.

The man wasn’t just a nobody.
A son, a brother, a friend, a student.
This was his identity,
Ripped away in a moment.

His gun falls, hitting the street loudly, though no one notices the sound
They are too busy noticing the look of despair on the man’s face
As he falls to the ground,
His last thoughts full of failure, guilt, and regret.

He is Here for Us (The Terminal – Found Poem)

I'm about to tell you something,
But it's almost suppertime.
Would you like to get eat to bite?
You'll get really fat with all the food I'm going to give you.

There's a man walking around the terminal in a bathrobe.
That's something a person like you could never understand.
You been spending too much time inhaling them cleaning products.
You watch yourself.

It's Navorski, he's figured out the quarters.
You could learn something from Navorski.
Yes, yes, we all wait,
But Navorski is living at Gate 67.

I need your help finding the truth.
Do you understand? It's a secret.
What's so complicated?
Why is he still here?

Airports are tricky places.
He has to break the law by leaving.
Somebody else can have the pleasure of catching him.
Come on, leave.

This guy is here for a reason.
Do you understand what I am saying to you?
Nobody will die today.
Remember us.

What Happens When One Rushes (Ten Minute Spill)

Rushing will only lead to disaster, and I know this for a fact.
At first woken up by the voice of my mother
Screaming at me to get up.
I fell out of my bed with shock.

The sound of the blender awaited me in the kitchen.
I had to gulp a strawberry smoothie because I didn’t have time to eat.
We went outside and looked up at the lone cloud in the sky,
And then we rushed into the car and away.

It was then that I realized it was Saturday,
And we weren’t going to school.
My mom drove up to the hospital.
I was going to get a needle.

Since I had been hurrying, and afraid of needles
I was panicked, and couldn’t breathe.
I felt like the world was crushing my lungs,
But when the needle stuck in, everything relaxed.