I wrote this poem on Dec. 7, 1990. It has served me well over the years in my own comfort. I share it now that it may comfort you also if it resonates. In balance, it is about questions in the face of human controversy – the struggle to be oneself. These were some issues I faced all those years ago. I don’t suffer from the emotional frailties of youth any longer. I don’t struggle to be myself any longer, as I simply am myself. I don’t question controversy anymore, because I accept it as a natural way of human nature. This poem, in spite of this,  continues to have meaning. It is not a victorious poem, but neither is it a poem of failure.  As the seeds of knowledge grow, the shell thins and disappears. Transformation is the nature of life, and change is an opportunity. Opportunity for learning knowledge, learning the ways of love, refining the self and making an effort to get along with the people we know. To avoid disagreement and make personal sacrifices to keep the peace is a good thing. These are substantial motivations that require a humble and more gentle view. Respect, in a word, which requires some release of the ego. Listen:

Respect (12/7/1990)

Respect is everything the man said to me,
For this bit of advice I’ll charge a small fee
He pushes  Into the realm I fell,
Suspended in darkness  an infinite well
Just arrived He pulled back on the reign,
To fell pleasure dear boy, you must know pain.
I jump about and thrash around,
Longing to feel my feet on the ground.
Relax, dear boy, you’re making it worse,
You’ll pay a price for this extra line of verse.
Tighter on the reign he pulls with a laugh,
A mind splitting strain reducing me in half.
I struggle no more against his hold,
That’s it, dear boy, now do what you’re told.
Give me what I want and Ill set you loose,
Or else these strings can become a noose.
I must give in to the master of my fate,
Becoming the plaything of his whimsical state.
You know your place, dear boy, you get a prize,
Pleasure is the feeling as he cuts the ties.
He doesn’t need to push  Out of the realm I fall,
Thanks for coming, dear boy, hope you had a ball.
I respect the words in the way he taunts,
Knowing I may return in time to face my wants.