Santa Claus Controversy

Hi WordPressers!

I’m sure by now, everyone has heard the whole spiel about Santa. Am I right? Good, just wanted to make sure. Personally, I find it downright irritating and I am amazed we’re even discussing (read: arguing) about this silly and dated issue.

I, personally, am appalled that we even still give a damn what color Santa, or anybody else for that matter, is. However, I do realize that some people for some incomprehensible reason still care, especially when they’ve been unfortunate enough to have spent most or all of their lives in a place where they were rarely exposed to someone who was a different color than them.

Recently, I took a trip to  a suburb of St. Louis and visited my best friend’s grandma. Very nice lady, don’t get me wrong. But, wouldn’t you be offended if someone said to you, “Why are you so dark?” with a puzzled face, “Beautiful, but…?” Having been lucky enough to never have experienced racism in my life, I was dumbfounded. I said, “Uh…” Thinking, “I’m Puerto Rican?” Like, was that the right answer? I realized later that day that it wasn’t. It was the answer she was looking for, yes. But it wasn’t accurate. You see, my sister has Asian-colored skin, if you will. Our mom, has white skin. Me, dark skin. So, considering the differences in our skin colors, the reason I’m dark cannot be explained away by my family ethnicity. I was just born this way. That’s it. That’s the honest-to-goodness explanation for it. But, I never thought there needed to be an explanation; hence my hesitation and confusion at the question.

Which brings me back to Santa. I cannot remember how that story was related to Santa in my mind, but I know there was a purpose for telling it when I started typing! Anyway, St. Nick.

Okay, so nobody ever actually gets to see Santa. If it were that simple, his skin color truly would not matter. However, we live in a materialistic and commercial culture in which Santa Claus is marketed to children and by extension, I suppose, parents as well.

I read a story in which a woman said, in other, more descriptive terms, that she felt bad about herself as a child because Santa was white and she is black. My question is, why? Why would you base your self-worth on anyone else’s (Santa included) skin color? Why did the depiction of Santa as white make you feel like less of a person? Surely someone else  in your family was black? Surely you had some friends who were the same color as you?

Moving on, once again.

So, in a society where, supposedly, people of light and dark skin alike are equals, why do we care what color Santa Claus is? Why does a white Santa make some black people feel badly or like they’re worth less? Would the same thing happen to white people if Santa were black? Is that why so many white people are defending Santa’s skin color so fiercely? Does Santa being white, as seems very important at this point, give white people a sense of pride or power? Perhaps I’m so blind to color and race that I simply don’t understand the possible complexity or emotional-investment involved in this little issue. I purposefully call it ‘little’. Trust me, we have bigger problems as a nation. Much, much bigger.

Has Santa historically been white? Yes. Am I opposed to stirring up the status quote? No. Do I think it’s okay to change Santa’s image? Yes. But, do I think we’re doing it for the wrong reasons? YES. I’m partial to the notion that children should be allowed to believe that Santa is their same color, that he matches whatever family he’s visiting. I also don’t think that’s necessary. I don’t think we should teach children that a stranger coming into their house unannounced is somehow more acceptable or less frightening because he’s the same color as that child’s family. Or, for that matter, that if he comes baring gifts it’s all okay. It isn’t.

I don’t think we should be shielding them in this way from other races. They do exist. It must be impossible to avoid or ignore. And for that matter, why shouldn’t there then also be an Asian Santa, a Native American one, a Middle Eastern one, and so on? Why even choose? Santa was depicted as white in my family when I was growing up. I thought he was adorable! But then, I never even noticed the color of his skin. Just his rosy-red cheeks (which can happen on black skin as well) and his awesome bright red attire. That’s it. Oh, and I loved Rudolph and thought it was really cool that he lived in a place as cold and snowy as the North Pole. I love snow! Okay, that’s it. Really, though, why are all the reindeer brown? Were Dasher’s antlers a lighter color than Prancer’s antlers? Seriously, how far are we going to take this?

I’m with Slate! I love the view Slate put forth that St. Nick should be a penguin. Why? Because, penguins are black & white! Gotta love the penguins. Here’s the link to the brilliant article, enjoy.: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2013/12/santa_claus_an_old_white_man_not_anymore_meet_santa_the_penguin_a_new_christmas.html

 

Just Jump {Frankenstein’s Grand Finale} – End of the Dear Frankenstein Saga

What happens when your only way out is so final, yet so beautiful?

When the only one you’ve got is your captor, your abuser?

When your chance at a legitimate escape is too far away, when you’ve just got to get away now?

I’ll tell you what happens:

You get a little crazy, a little careless.

You can’t remember all of the people who care for you, the ones who would miss you.

You get selfish.

You can’t see what causes it, so you can’t fix it… this dysfunction.

You know you can’t just change it, because you’re not the only one involved.

So… You run.

The first chance you get, you run.

But there’s no where to go.

You know they’ll come.

You know they’ll find you.

So, you run.

Just until you find a beautiful space.

It’s so beautiful, it might already be heaven.

You’ll find out soon.

It’s a beautiful cliff.

Maybe they’ll think you fell.

It doesn’t matter.

Don’t leave a note;

Let them think what they will.

Jump.

Now’s your chance.

Hear them coming?

They’re closing in.

Quick!

Before they catch you.

This is your last chance to escape.

Jump.

It won’t hurt once you’ve hit the bottom.

It can’t be any worse than everyday.

Do it now,

Before there’s anymore pain.

Don’t start thinking.

They’ll get over you.

Move on without you.

Jump.

Before it’s too late again.

Just jump.

Nothing will ever hurt again.

Quick!

Do it quick!

Jump.

… Just Jump.

*This is the end of a tortured life.*

Turns out…

The bad guys win.

…………

Home (A Prosy Piece)

I spent my first 8 years calling a prison my home. I spent my next 7 thinking there was no way out. Looking out at the busy world beyond those walls; breathing in the cool night air at 3 AM, when everything was still and quiet. Leaning longingly over that 12th story balcony, thinking maybe, just maybe, I might finally fall. The asphalt below held such promise for me. So, why then, did I call this home? Because I didn’t yet understand that home is a state of mind. That home is not physical or local. Home is not any one place, a house or a town. Home is within us; it’s always there if we can find it. I’m 19 now and I finally understand. I spent the past 3 years searching for something I always had, I just couldn’t see it. No matter where I am or how bad things get I can always go home because: home is the place we care about, it’s the people who love us. Home is the things that make us happy.

Do you know what hate is? True hate? A friend enlightened me. Now, you can’t hate a person, not really, truly hate them; you can fix people. No. A hate, a genuine hate, is a fact or a circumstance or anything you don’t like that you are powerless to change. For so long I thought I hated a person more than anything but I was wrong. If all else failed, I could’ve fixed him. No, my greatest hate, which has been there my entire life, is that… the only homes I have ever known, have never been my own. And, I believe I’ll always carry that with me, that I always hated every place I’ve ever lived; that safety abandoned me when I was young, cutting short the precious age of innocence. My second greatest hate, well… That’s another story all together.

I know now it doesn’t matter where I sleep at night or how much I hate it. As long as I have people who care about me and things that make me happy, even though it’s sometimes hard to remember, I will always have a home. In fact, I have many homes, so I will always have a safe place to land. Home is not the house I live in. Home is not any one zip code or abbreviation. My home is in all of the hearts that hold a piece of mine.

So many people spend their whole lives searching for something they may never find… because they’re looking in all the wrong places. We always look outside ourselves when, oftentimes, the only place to find what we think we need is already there inside of us just waiting to be realized.

My journey, the search for home lasted 19 years. I went from naive to angry to hopeless to crushed to numb to unaware to surprised to smacked in the face with god damn brutal reality. And, actually, angry happened more than once on that ride. But I’m one of the lucky ones. It only took me 19 years to find what I think everybody searches for at one point or another. If you think about it, 19 years feels like eternity while you’re actually living it; especially if you can hardly stand living it. But, once it’s behind you and you can look back… actually, never mind. I just looked back and it was a cruel and brutal and insanely long 19 years. But, I’ve got the rest of my life ahead of me. Or, I could die right this minute. If I live for another 30 years or another 30 seconds, I won’t have died searching. I know where my home is, I found it. I’m a lucky one. I’m lucky not just because I found the true meaning of home while I’m still young, but also because I don’t wish to change the ride that brought me here to this understanding. Sure, the ride was rough, but I’m here now because of it… and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, I might but I know that if changed anything I wouldn’t be the same person I am now and I’m happy with the person I am now so if I had the chance, I’d pass.

Welcome home. Turns out, no matter where I lived, for the past 4 years, I’ve always been home… I just couldn’t see it. And if you had told me that 10 years ago, when I was 9, I would’ve laughed in your face. Oh well, learning takes time. Sometimes, for the lesson to really stick, you can’t learn from other people’s mistakes; you’ve got to make those mistakes for yourself.

So, it turns out, home is something that no one can ever take away from us. Go figure.

_ _ _ _

I called it prison, they call it home. Oh well, two each his own.

Glory [A Poem]

Freckled and spotted

She stood but a twig

Lost in a forest

Of abandonment

Tires and barbwire

Surround her by day

And at night she suffers

The coyotes cries, not far away

Left with no food

Or water to drink

She stands by a tree

And hopes for relief

Halter grown in

And hooves overgrown

Not a grain in that belly

And left all alone

Withering quick

She stands by her tree

And hopes a kind soul

Will help her to see

There is life still

No matter how grim

Things seem from beneath

This horrid, old tree

This halfhearted twig

Awaits her relief

As the days pass her by

And she writhes with grief

Her name is Glory

All freckled with spots

Like a giant Dalmatian

Trapped in this spot

At the end of her lead

She was finally freed

Not a day too soon

She’ll now find relief

Halfhearted no longer

And happy at last

Whom once was a twig

Knows Glory at last

Halfhearted no longer

And free from that mess

Glory has found relief

At Horse Creek Ranch*

*Horse Creek Ranch is, to the best of my knowledge, a fictional name.

Coming Soon!!

Hi WordPressers and Poetry Enthusiasts!

I’ve seen that a lot of people have been reading my blog recently and know that you guys deserve more interaction on my blog and I’m sure you’d like some insight into the thoughts and emotions that go into my poems and my process as well. So, in the coming months, I’ll be posting information about my poems that I’ve already published and every time I share a new poem with you guys, I’ll give you it’s background story  in a separate post soon after. I also might post tidbits in between about things I’m working on and things going on in my life that will likely inspire a poem in the future.

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you all truly like what you see here at One Poem Shy Of Dead Inside. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

P.S. If you know of a poetry contest that’s free to enter or any magazines or publishers that accept poems for review and possible publishing without a reading fee, I’d love to know about it!

Forever,

~ML

My all time favorite quote:::…

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption and once our eyes watered.

By Tom Stoppard

Tick Tock

 

Tick…

Tock…

 

Tick…

Tock…

 

Watch the sand

Pass through the hour glass

Grain by grain

You’re watching it fade

 

Tick…!

Tock…!

 

Your time is up.

 

 

Sometimes it is too late

The fact is

The minutes do fade

 

There’s never forever

Tomorrow might happen

Then again

We may never see the end of today

 

Time keeps running

With or without us

Hard as we try

But we cannot outrun it

There is no way

 

There always will be an end

We never can tell when it will be

But it will be

 

Time runs out

Without a doubt

There’s always an end

Sooner than when…

 

When we like

When we’re ready

When we want?

 

We never know

We never can tell

 

Time is tricky that way

 

It makes us feel like we have forever

Like forever can never end

 

Well guess what

You missed out

Because time ran out

With the last…

 

Tick.

Tock.

 

 

Now I hope you believe

As well as me

That now’s the time

To make it count

 

To live your life

Without any doubt

 

Before your last…

 

Tick…

 

Tock.