Self-Made

In a home of my own making
Amidst the broken glass of an abandoned Colorado factory
The hollowed-out brambles of a Pennsylvania backwoods
Shared blankets and trash can fires of a New York slum

Sticks and sheets and coffee cans
Huddled under a bridge
Decorated with a showcase of my discoveries

Cobbled together handiwork
Make the best found-item artists proud

With friends of my own making
Fellow travelers and lost boys
Street preacher questioning his book
Cop who turns an eye when I “find” bread

Songs and stories and helping hands
The few who look at me from where they are
And accept the journey to who I am

Cobbled together acquaintances
From the throngs of passersby

Through plans of my own making
Tomorrow’s landing site, today’s art medium
Who to say goodbye to, who to invite along
How to respond to the next insult, what hat to wear

Trails and trials and mangled maps
Close my eyes and point
To who I will be next

Cobbled together dreams
Building a sculptor from the clay

From components handed to me
An upwardly mobile society
A forgotten trade
Poor decisions by someone who once was me

Snips and snails and castaway coins
I pick up where you leave off
Twigs discarded at my threshold

Woven together human
Designs from a graduated cobbler

From leftovers handed to me
I weave art from the twigs

Geometric beauty
A mathematical masterpiece

That no one will see
Until the birds pick through it for food

Rose Tinted Glasses

Deep Blue was just a computer
Red, a Party of incomprehensible thinkers
I only saw yellow in my own fear
The need for everything was green’s solitary use
White was the race I was born into
Black and brown, the ones I was taught to judge

Every color of the rainbow
Useless blotches on a wooden palate
Rubbish dumped to the floor
About to be trodden on when your hand slipped underneath

Caught my sole, robbed my balance and breath
With violets that sank me, drowned me with royalty
Stars that burst orange and gold behind my eyes
Blinding me with shades of colors
I have no meanings for.


Author’s Note: While there are several paintings and artists who inspired this poem, it is more of a reaction to art itself. It can also have other meanings and connotations depending on the readers’ personality, state of mind, emotions, ect. As I have said before in this blog, this is one thing I love about art in general and poetry specifically.

I do, however, want to highlight some of the artists. One of them, Thomas Kinkade, most people have heard of. The others are great, but relatively unknown. Most of them I found by searching sites like Redbubble, fineartamerica, and Etsy.

One thing I love about the WordPress poetry community is that many of the poets seek out and support one another. I think checking out art sites, like the one listed above, shows this same solidarity to fellow artists.Several of my favorite finds from these searches (in alphabetical order) are Larisa Aukon, Megan Duncanson, Johnathan Harris, Devika Keskar, Christopher Pottruff, and Jane Small.

I encourage you to check out some or all of the links above. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments: people who help you trade your rose-tinted glasses for rainbow-saturated ones.

$99,969.50

Excuses
No money, no time
Overwhelmed by “Poverty Porn”
Exploiting the very people they’re “helping”
Giving to charity is complicated

Advertisements
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. All free
Makes money you don’t see being taken
Nothing new. Television, radio, newspaper
Look at Super Bowl commercials

Tabs
Use a computer, open a tab
Easiest way to get it done
Probably have five open now
No cost, no thought

Cause
Believe in something
Give it your heart, or hearts
Money you don’t see being given
Goes to where it’s needed

Beauty
Bonus gift for so little effort
Our world, seen through active lenses
Smiling faces of changed lives
Peaceful transitions between every next step

$99,969.50
Start of this poem, amount raised
No excuses, just advertisements
Furnished by Tab for a Cause
To create beauty that by poem’s end

Is now $101,498.64


Tab for a Cause is a wonderfully brilliant way to give to charities you care about without actually spending any money. It harnesses the current big money maker of the internet- advertisements, without being intrusive about it.

You install it one time and then every time you open a new tab you are shown a picture (usually a beauty shot of our world, the environment, or the people being helped by TfaC charities). Each tab generates money for these charities.

You earn hearts by opening tabs, and can donate them to the charities of your choice, ensuring the money you generate goes to causes you care about.

It’s an amazing program and I can’t think of much reason not to do it. Check it out here. If you want to see where the money is going, they provide quarterly reports (like this one for the end of 2014).