Monday, May 31, 2010

The Price They Paid

Thursday, May 27, 2010

White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i, Braddah Iz

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Deliverance from the Robed Boogeyman

Blessed Father, oh how you have sinned! 
Has it been 5, 15, or 30 years since
the dates infallible Joe Ratzinger omitted? 

This madness, this crime committed:
   Names crossed out
     Faces obscured
        Defilement in Shadows,
     Little boys' screams silenced,
   Truth be damned, 

Predators'---yours!--memorized verses
   uttered behind polished mahogany screens,
Robotic rituals--cleansing, you say--,
   Insincere atonement,
     A mockery of (y)our God's Grace.

This sickness, this monster
Boston-Belfast-Berlin Migration. 

 Boogeyman in Sacred Robes,
           May God deliver us from your evil


You carry the weight 
   of numbers unknown
The cries of those who fell
   so long ago
Across the desert
   nameless and faceless.

This moment, these memories
   Slither past the borders
It lives.
It  grows.

Father to son,
   son to daughter.
And like
   those who came before

'The other must pay,'
   you say,
'95 years later the blood
   is still a splendid red.'

Eternal feud revisited
between -yan and -oğlu unborn,
     innocent brothers
      whose only sin
          was to come into being
into the borderlands
of political hate. 

Friday, May 14, 2010


Meme courtesy of the lovely V. The ones in bold font are those I've done so far. 

1. Touched an iceberg 

2. Slept under the stars. (One of my favourite things to do!)
3. Been a part of a hockey fight. (
Accidentally and off the ice. It was during a Beanpot championship, and my friends I were seated smack dab in between fans of rivals BU and BC.)

4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula

10. Said "I love you" and meant it. (I mean it each and every time. Life's too short for insincerity, eh?)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Once You Label Me, You Negate Me: A Requiem for Larry King

Society declares the others out of those who they neither understand nor able to neatly fill the ideals set forth as norms. The demarcation of social constructs render the other as devoid of worth. The moment that a living, breathing, human being is relegated to caricature or stereotypical othering, it then becomes much easier to commit and justify atrocious acts to our fellow man. 

His name was Larry king, and he was a boy who just happened to discover his true self at the age ten, and had the convictions and courage to refuse to live a lie. He was unapologetically gay, and like many teenagers who have to wear school uniforms, Larry asserted his individuality by wearing make-up, jewelry, and high-heeled boots. 

Unfortunately, this annoying little social construct called gender roles dictated that Larry and his choices were wrong. That he chose to be true to himself was a concept that made a lot of people uncomfortable. On February 12, 2008, Brandon McInerney's discomfort at his classmate's so-called otherness led him to bring a gun to school. While inside English class, he did an atrocious, cowardly act: he shot Larry in the back of the head. Larry was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead less than 24 hours later. Just as bravely as he stood up for his choices in life, in death Larry did one final good deed: he donated his organs. 

Brandon McInerney should be held accountable for his actions, but in the end, he is just one person. He could be sent to jail for the rest of his life, but sadly, there will be another person just like him, pulling triggers. We can rehabilitate people one at a time, but unless we challenge and actively exhaust all means to change the system of othering, then more Larry Kings will be slain. It is othering that needs to die. 

Rest in peace, Larry. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Momma's Eyes

The adage goes, “Behind every successful man is a strong woman.” Seeing as I myself am a woman, I would like to re-word that and say, “Beside every strong woman is an equally strong woman.” Luckily for me, God was being benevolent when He assigned children to mothers the day I was born: He sent me to my mom. 

Like most little girls, I fell for the Disney fairy tale version of love: singing birds, red roses, declarations of undying love whilst sitting on a magic carpet. But in 2001, all that changed when my dad had a cerebral aneurysm that led to a stroke. He was in a permanent vegetative state—much like Teri Schiavo—for almost two years. My mom stayed at the hospital—and later the skilled nursing facility—every single day, from the time visiting hours began until the staff politely yet unyieldingly told her to leave and “get some rest.." Without words, she stripped me of my love-as-a-Disney-fairytale blinders about love and showed me its meaning, its essence: love is the overlooked, small details in life—as simple as brushing bangs from a sweaty forehead—that when added up, create a lifetime of memories that transcend death. My mom loved my dad and saw him, not the bed sores, gaunt face, or the tracheotomy and feeding tubes. In his frail hands that she held in her own, mom felt the strength of a man who was her first date, first kiss, first love, first everything. And because so much of life is created from memories and my dad no longer had them, she whispered a re-written version of the vows she made years ago: “I will love, honour, and cherish you for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, even if death do us part.”

My mom also taught me about worth, and of sacrifice, too. After my dad passed away, we hit a rough patch financially. We were  born into privilege, sheltered, and were always taken care of. But that was then, and mom understood our new reality. My mom went from being a housewife and a mother with a degree in teaching, to a minimum wage worker. She’s intelligent enough and has the education, but unfortunately so many in society judge other people’s abilities superficially. My mom’s accent has been a hindrance in other people seeing past the ethnicity to get to her capabilities.

It’s not just from strangers that my mom had to assert her worth. My mom bore the brunt of insults from my dad’s family, as well as faced ridicule from her own sister, who scoffed at her minimum-wage employment and told her that she shouldn’t reach for the skies by sending me to college. And yet even at the face of this indignity, my mom held her head defiantly and told naysayers, “My daughter has the brains and she can do it. I believe in her. I know her worth.”

“I know her worth.”

I think it’s ironic, actually, because sometimes I wonder if my mom knows just how beautiful and strong she worthy she is. I know it’s difficult for her to remember how we used to be, and to watch other people live out her dreams—teaching. Because of her sacrifice and because her eyes are a daily expression of her faith in me, I am a strong woman who believes that the word “impossible” should only exist in theory, but not reality. I have learned that though society is a collective, it is not an accurate judge of a person’s strength, beauty, or worth. Both can only come from within, and is most truthful when viewed through the lens of love. And wouldn’t you know it? With my mom, I can see crystal clear.

We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl