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White Carnations

November 25, 2015

whitecarnationsI do not know you.

I do not know what struggles you have endured.

But I am thousands of miles away trying to.

I am thousands of miles away breaking bread wondering.

What can we do?

What can I do?

Wondering, how badly does the human spirit have to break to stop valuing their own life?

I do understand pain.

I do understand loss.

I do understand murder.

I do understand hopelessness.

The human spirit binds us in this way.

I see you on the news.

I see your faces, your eyes.

I look in your brown eyes, with your thick brown hair.

Your weapons.

And, I see the boys I went to school with.

I see my brothers.

I see family.

I see pride.

I see fight.

I see fear.

I see that your eyes are not yet dead.

Not most of you.

I know you know what it is like to watch someone you love


As do I.

I know you know what it is like to live with nothing.

To see others with everything.

I know you know what it is like

to not fit in.


To be alone.

To feel death is at your door.

win or lose

your only choice is fight or flight

offense or defense

and you have made a choice.




I know something else.

I know you still think about your Momma.

I know you still think about your baby sister.

I know you have had arguments with your brother, your uncle, your Father.

And in hindsight

You were both wrong.

Here we are.

Face to face

Wondering who is wrong.

We are both wrong my friend.

I do not understand you.

You do not understand me.

Because we aren’t trying.

And we’re scared.

And you have that gun.

I have all my judgments and my peace telling me about a life that maybe you’ve never lived.

And I am offering you white carnations.

Because I surrender and they smell sweeter than gun powder.

They smell sweeter than the blood of your enemies.

They smell sweeter than tears after it’s done.

They smell sweeter than victory.

They smell sweeter than your Momma’s perfume.

They smell sweeter than home.

They smell like hope.

They smell like tomorrow.

They smell like peace.

See, you have been through so much.

You were supposed to have lived.

for a purpose.

To prevent others from going through what you went through.

You were supposed to have lived to make this world a better place.

You were supposed to have lived

for life.

for children.

for your Momma.

for your baby sister.




Go with me…

Close your eyes.


Trust me.





Can you picture the ocean?

Have you seen it before?

Can you hear the waves?


Can you smell the salt?


Is there a breeze?

Feel it on your skin.

Are you standing on sand?

pay attention to your toes.

Are you safe?

don’t look over your shoulder.

You’re safe.

Is your Momma there with you?

Is your baby sister?

Is that beautiful girl from up the street?

There she is.

I see her now.

She is beautiful.

She stands beside you now.

She can’t believe you have a beard.

And a deep voice.

and a weapon.

You’re a man now.

And she weeps.

She weeps for the hate that you have let fill your heart.

You were her sweet boy.

You were her honest, protector big brother.

Now, you are one of ‘them.’

“How can you not see it,” she asks.

No matter.

She holds your hand, she loves you anyway.

She is here now.

This love

This love of our family

This love of our Earth, our ocean

To hold a hand that wants nothing but to hold your hand.

To love.

This is it.

This is all there is.

This is all that life is.


and to suffer

is to know that you’ve loved.

To cause others to suffer doesn’t lesson your suffering.

It only amplifies it.

These are universal truths.

To fight, at times, is important.

To fight

When someone threatens to take your life

When someone threatens your family.

To fight others who are no threat.

Who offer you carnations.

Who don’t understand.

Who are ignorant in their peaceful existence

Who love you

Who welcome you

Who want you to live

Who want you to succeed

Who want you to find your love.

Who want you to marry her

Who want you to have your Momma there.

And your baby sister.

And have your own family

in safety and peace

And live a full life

of health

and peace.

These are the people

Who will bring you what you so desire.


Find a way.

To believe in their ordinary nature.

Their love for all of human kind.

Their love of you.

Find a way

To forgive them

To Love them.

We are not as different as you think.

The only difference between us

Is while you are hatefully and fearfully holding that gun hoping to find peace

I am honestly, quietly, lovingly holding these white carnations hoping the same.

For You.






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