Courage

I think I’ve found my coward
he’s been there quite some time
avoiding all perception
wishing on passing time.

It’s strange to feel his strength
it’s strange that he’s so strong
I always thought that he was weak
I never knew that I was wrong.

But there he is, a superhero
taking up all the space
telling me how important he is
telling me to give up the race.

He tells such tales of pain to come
he has such dire warnings
he rings alarms and blares the klaxons
from night until the morning.

He’s been hiding behind his best friend
the one that I call pride
and the two make quite a pair
when you put them side by side.

Pride is more the devil
because he does the devil’s work
he keeps me blind, infects my mind
and plays a trick on my self worth.

But when the pride is busted
and the facade falls to the ground
and you are left stark naked
the coward comes around.

He reminds me of my youth
before I created pride
of a time I was so scared
I just wanted to run and hide.

I was a little boy
so bright and fresh for the day
and all I wanted in my life
was to play and play and play.

I didn’t want to save the world
I didn’t want to stand up tall
I didn’t want to do “the right thing”
or anything at all.

What I wanted was to run and yell
And jump and play and shout
what I wanted was to live in life
having fun without a doubt.

And, I suppose, that’s the best of childhood
to build a foundation out of joy
of living life without the worry
oh, to be a boy.

But that is not how life is.

That is not the way of our society
That is not the way of the adult
Worry is our joy
Punishment is our cult.

And the little boy believes this
he believes what he’s been told
he has nothing else to go against
what his parents say is gold.

And that little boy must face it
in a shocking and dreadful way
he must face the worry and the blame
and do what his parents say.

And when he does, and no one’s trained him.
the little boy, he is not strong,
He’s soft and understanding
when the first hit, it comes along.

And of course he is a coward
even if he strikes back
because fighting back is not the issue
it’s that he was attacked.

It’s that the worlds not safe
the world he thought he knew
he can’t make sense, he doesn’t see
beyond the pain, so new.

So the little boy, he pulls back
not fully, not for now
he’s staggered and now shaded
by the darkness that’s come down.

And more attacks will come
he doesn’t take them on the surface
his little heart gets battered
and he’s introduced to worthless.

And so the boy, without his knowledge
begins to build a wall
he thinks he can protect his heart
and thus begins the fall.

So up it goes, and that’s the pride
just trying to feel safe
the boy was young, decades to come
as he joined the human race.

The wall grew strong
and the coward stood behind it
coward was the boys young hurt
he might not ever find it.

Life’s not static, decisions made
the boys wall is now a fortress
when you turn away from your heart
you turn away from your purpose.

A boys pride knows this but the boy does not
and the pride becomes the purpose
and the world is made by many men
who teach this on the surface.

And the surface becomes the purpose
and the purpose becomes the fortress
and the boys are lost and the men are weak
and pride rules the day on purpose.

But there are times
when the heart does speak
and loud enough to be heard
even if it’s been walled up
even if it’s been ignored.

There are times because it must be
that the walls they start to crumble
or maybe they’re shot down completely
and the man begins to humble.

And when that happens, through the fog
and the rubble of the years
the man can see the coward
through the veil of his young tears.

And the man can see the truth
maybe the first since he’s a boy
the man can see the coward
is just pain that leads back to joy.

Nothing is as it seems
except the pain of being human
everything’s a dream
except the joy that is illumined

And when the walls come down
and the heart is on display
it’s clear the heart is starving
to be with the man today.

So if you one day have
a terrible attack
and walls begin to shatter
facades begin to crack
and you can feel the pain, again
of youth and innocence
and you begin to feel the pain, again
of the original violence
you might see the Coward is me,
my boyish heart, it all makes sense.

He’s a boy
who learned
that love was pain
and soul betrayal
not for evil or for bad
but because we are so frail
in love
we know nothing of it
and why should we
when we’ve been taught
that there is so much above it.

Oh my god, my boyish heart
it’s good to see you once again,
I’ll do better,
I know better,
I’ll be a better friend.

Pride has served it’s purpose
now it’s courage time,
maybe courage IS my heart
I think that I was blind.
But my heart it does not punish me
only welcomes me back home
it would sit forever
if I chose, again, to roam
and wear a patient smile
because it knows I’m not alone.



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