i am one (audio poetry)

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“In The Orchard” by Austrian painter Franz Dvorak (1862-1927)

I am One who carried water to those who were parched
And stood to the side while they quenched their deepest thirsts,
Who stepped up when so many others backed away
When the call was sounded I answered with a resounding Yes
Placed the needs of the collective ahead of my own
Renounced the comforts of center and sought out edges before repeatedly plunging to my so-called life
And walked and crawled and spilled my blood along the roadway

I am One who traveled bare-hearted and alone
Whose alienation echoed even in the crush of madding crowds
I dared to approach the unapproachable with naked familiarity
Reached out empty hands only to draw them back moments too soon
I asked Why and Why Not and Why Not Now and Why Not Me?
And for that beseeching curiosity I was flogged time and again with blistering judgment

I am One who earnestly tried to play the game
Who sought winning until I recognized that my losses far exceeded any gains
I might have accrued along the consensual path,
The one who made headlong rushings toward a brighter light’s beckoning
Who ran into granite walls and slid a-tumble in fresh mud underfoot
Until I tore away the blinders that had been provided on some haze-filled, forgotten day
And rose once again from the bedraggled and dispirited,
That One was me

The Ones who hide in caves awaiting the safety of acceptance
Who ask for naught save a welcoming invitation,
Are finding their way Home to a resolute belonging
Shucking off ancient chains of oppression
Peeling back the thick bark of becoming
Awakening from a makeshift, cobbled dream that dimmed an all-encompassing radiance
Reconstructing their very selves from the inside out
Mosaicking the jewels that once lay scattered about half-hidden in the dirt

The fruit is ripening, ready to be plucked by the fearless and the hungry
The Ones who choose to unwrap their bindings may be astonished at what perfection lay beneath
Dig deep, Beloved One
Remain uncompromising in your lust for your transcendent life,
You are the One you have longed to meet
I know this, as I am One too.

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