Some people collect stones, others take photographs, and a select few simply choose to remember in effect letting time decide whether or not a memory shall fade.  The most important moments in my life are preserved not only by some of the means above, but also in poems.  I am a poet, and I capture my most intense feelings through writing; the short spurts I write encapsulate my experiences as perfectly as God has allowed me to express them on earth.

Quarter

Today, I am going to share a moment with you that didn’t occur too long ago.  I figure that my first poem that I allow the world to see should be fairly universal, so I chose a poem about my brother, Jeff.  Read through it once and I’ll explain how it relates to all of us:

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“We are on opposing sides of the same coin

Two faces stemming from the same heritage,

but facing two different directions

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I am the side of the coin always facing up

when flipped

He is the weighted side of the coin and is always

facing down

His inhibitions hold him back from being

what he could be

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He never strays far from whence he came

the table upon which he rests

He just looks down in negative fashion,

and his prospects are so grim

The darkness seals off his hope

and consumes his being

I have tried to pull him up

If only I shall stand on my side

and help him half-way up

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It may cost me the stars,

but he is my brother and

I cannot leave him behind

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The heaviness that is his

weighted side

Taxes my consciousness

and my time,

But he ain’t heavy,

he is my brother

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I will have to keep trying,

but I cannot say what will be

as I do not know this myself

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I do know however that I will

keep trying

Until the light that shines from

above

Touches both sides of the coin

that is our existence

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Yeah, I would like that

I will succeed

And help him find his way”

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[01/13/2011]

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Quite often in life, we are faced with the decision to help a loved one.  My brother, Jeff, is a nice guy, but he sometimes loses focus on what is important in his life as well as the values in the lives of the people around him.  My brother Jeff is a student teacher, and frequently he runs out of gas money to get to the school in which he works.  I wrote this poem shortly after my brother realized he didn’t have enough money to get to school on the date above; of course, in a panic he made our mother feel guilty about not having enough money to pay for his car’s much needed gasoline.  I offered up my last money in my bank account to get him to school on time.  The last money in my bank account was my money to go to the movies with some old friends.  As I was pumping the gas for him, I noticed that someone had dropped a quarter by the gas pump.  I picked it up and thought that’s the relationship I have with my brother.  We are two sides of the same coin that was minted in the currency of our mother.  The responsibility therefore lies on both of us to balance ourselves so that the other can be blessed with the rays from God above as in the poem.

Sometimes we sacrifice ourselves or our time in order to make someone’s life just a little more comfortable.  All too often though, it is easy to say that maybe Jeff or another person should have a job while going to college to pay for his or her expenses.  Maybe one could argue that he was wrong to put emotional stress on our mother.  None of that matters now because I am not the one to pass judgement on him.  As the Bible states in regards to a group of sinners surrounding an adulteress, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)  Only God has the power to do that because only he knows the situation in which my brother is experiencing.

As frustrating as these road bumps in life can be, I don’t give up on my brother.  I know God put me on this earth to help him refocus and find his way.  I will help him find the light that is clarity even if it means that I may be a little inconvenienced.  I don’t do this because I have some moral complex or I am altruistic, but I know in my heart that helping others in their hour of need is the right thing to do.  I didn’t give into selfishness even though I could have easily went to the cinema that night, but God gave me the power to reason and help me serve a greater purpose.  If my brother ten years from now effects just one student’s life, then I will have accomplished my goal.

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