you are your own responsibility (classic)

This post ran originally in June 2009, after I found
the guts of this poetry scribbled on three tiny pieces
of paper stapled in the corner. I then discovered the work of
Steve Banks, a wildly creative artist from Davenport, Iowa.
I couldn’t resist this image, or his description of it,
“…The all-seeing Priestess straddles two worlds. One of technology
and sensory over-stimulation, and the other world,
one of loosely flowing organic serenity.”

Priestess, by Steve Banks, mixed media

You are your own responsibility
Uphold your end of the bargain!
You have been asked to walk in fields of glory
To sing with angels and push through idle fear.

Time after time,
You have been given the wisdom to make choices that will reverberate beyond eons
The strength to catapult rippling beacons of hope over fiery ramparts
Greater fortitude than you could scarce imagine
Lambent predisposition in endless supply
Still, you have faltered in the shadow of hesitation.

Your influence, called forth to righteousness
Has sputtered and arced by the side of the road
You have radiated a whiter shade of pale
Voiced arguments laced with rhetoric yet weak in substance,
Relied on the machinations of uninformed minds
And demanded that others listen
Whether or not you had anything worthwhile to say.

With responsibility comes reward
With devotion, amaranthine recompense
The sparkle of salubrious reclamation echoes through unmapped canyons
What rests at your feet is yours alone!
Do not let precipitous pride disallow your kneeling to pick it up,
All you once sought now fades in the rearview mirror
A newly visible landscape unfurls before you (did it ever exist?)
Unseen by eyes half-closed in limitation.

Step up into the face of your own ill-served behaviors
Old assumptions must be cleared to make way for the new!
Question each action as it careens helter-skelter the ziggurat
Temple steps recede beneath your every footstep
So-called mistakes require correction and nothing more.

Reach past your paralysis and speak the words I Love You
Travel beyond your blockades of fear and cry as the eagle, I Am
Shatter the walls you have erected in the name of protection
It is no one else’s job to scale your breastwork with blood-scraped hands!
Step aside with a smile when asked to dance with charlatans
Save your deepest bow for those cloaked in naught but truth.

Your response is the initial salvo in a heart-splitting symphony
How long must others peer deeply for a glimpse of recognition…

…before you deign to raise the shades?

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