Your Greatest Fear

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

Your greatest fear, you said
Was that one day, you’d wake up
And the stars would have lost their light.
That a time would come when you were
Oblivious to the winds cool, soothing touch,
When you ignored the pleading rain on your window,
Or how hail would rattle the pane.

You would know it was over,
If you stopped reading the pain in people,
If you could walk through the world
Without seeing the colours that shimmer on the skin
Of every passerby.

It scared you most that you might be dead,
Before you ever really lived.
That your heart, would keep beating
When your soul had packed its bags,
And headed home for the winter.

So, wind in my face,
Spray on my tongue,
Armed with the courageous ignorance of youth
And the simple knowledge that I loved you, answered.

“You’re the bravest person I know.
You’ll never die. How could you?
You’ve never been afraid to live.
I’ve seen you leap from cliffs
And laugh as the icy water
Twenty feet below embraced you.
I’ve watched you stand in front of
Two hundred bored sixteen year olds
Telling them why condoms are important.
I’ve seen you love people
Who never deserved it
Forgive the man who took your trust
And ground it in to dust between
Loving hands.
All this and more
Is how I know.”

Things That Are Not

Life is not a heartbeat monitor
Beeping insistently in the background of
Some cold clean hospital cell.
It can’t be found in the pages
Of glossy magazines,
Or the latest, greatest, most versatile
Piece of furniture from Ikea
Or whichever home improvement titan
Is currently in fashion.

But i’ll tell you what it can be.
Or at the very least,
How it seems to me.

I see life in your eyes,
As you talk to me about love
Or poetry, your passions, your fears,
Your hopes and dreams.
All of these
Make the air around you shimmer
With a vibrance that cannot be ignored.
Life is in people my dear.
Not in the beating of our hearts,
But in the way that they sing!