Twisted

People,

In the wake of all that is going on with the violence, fear, hurt, and anger in this world, I challenge all of us who are seeking to transcend status quo to read this poem and take it into your heart. If you get something out of it share it. It’s autobiographical, but in the end, it isn’t about me. It’s about taking responsibility for the world that we are all creating. It’s time to wake up or die in our sleep.

The Love,

Pedro S. Silva II

Twisted
Open up your ears and hear
The story that I’m telling you
When I was a little kid
I used to get dissed on the regular

I used to get picked on
Poked at and made fun of
Because I was a sensitive cat
Always talking about One Love

Other kids my age
Had multiple distractions
Where as I was more focused on
Putting words into action

So when I took it to the streets
I didn’t expect to get straight dissed
‘Cause my shoes had too many stripes for Adidas
But not enough for K-Swiss

My words were for nothing
I only evoked laughter
I tried to get them focused off my clothes
But it just didn’t matter

They called me church boy
They said I talked “white”
But they were living cartoon
While I was living real life

I wanted to show love
But all they knew was hating
Perpetually playing themselves
Because they were mentally masturbating

They believed the lie
It had been passed down from their mama
Generations infected by an attempt
To keep the black man in drama

So I took it to the adults
I thought they would understand
But they were too “whitewashed”
To see this burgeoning black man

So I took it to my history teacher
Then he said this to my face
“You’re a smart boy
And a credit to your race”

He thought it was a compliment
Only a white man could say that
If he understood anything about me
He’d have known I wouldn’t play that

But I knew he had good intentions
I could tell he didn’t know
He was caught up like everyone else
So I decided to let it go

I then took it to my Grandma
But what she said left me unsettled
She told me tell white people I was Portuguese
So that they would treat me better

What the hell was that?
Was this some conspiracy?
Everyone and their mama working together
To try to instill fear in me

They saw something I thought was impossible
While I saw something else
They were choosing to believe a lie
But I chose to believe in myself

I knew that God had made me
And I know He only makes the best
So I knew the fact that I was not white
In no way made me less

Someone had gotten it twisted
And I was going to find out who
There was no way I was letting these scared victims of society
Tell me what to do

So at first I examined the white man
Since everyone thought he was so smart
I discovered so many despicable deeds
It was as if he had no heart

Then I checked out the black man
I figured they were more like me
But I got pissed to find out some of them helped
When we were sold into slavery

My mind became consumed with anger
I had to let it out
So I decided to tell every black and white
What I was all about

Well both sides called me a racist
In that they agreed with each other
Whites said I was an uppity nigger
And blacks called me siddity brother

So I then turned to God
Well turned on Him is more accurate
Because I didn’t like the way He made this world
I told Him I wasn’t having it

I said “You better do something
Before I fix this world myself
If You are the One responsible for this
I might as well pray to someone else”

He responded, “While you’re sitting here pointing fingers
How about looking in the mirror
I am the One that made all you see
Call nothing I made inferior

Who are you to judge?
Are you the scale by which all things are measured?
Are all things imperfect as compared to you?
Did you put this world together?

There’s a point to all of this
Just listen to what I’m saying
Perhaps I created this entire world
Just to have you right here praying

In Me anything is possible
To all those who believe
This world is as beautiful or ugly as you see it
It depends on what you choose to perceive

I made this world out of perfection
But in your Ego you thought you could fix it
This world will change when you change your mind
You are the one that got it twisted

© Copyright 2004 Pedro S. Silva II

 

 

Prodigal Planet

I had a realization on the other side of light,
I see the darkness that we are when we give into our fright.
Don’t want to lose. Get ahead of the game.
Borrow from the future? Can’t we see we’re insane?
Spend what we don’t have. Take from tomorrow.
Where’d it all go? Now we wallow in our sorrow.
How did we get here from where we began?
Did God see this coming when devising the “Plan”?
Free will prisons that we make on our own,
Built on illusions that we can ever be disowned.
Guilt is our garment. Robed in despair.
We reap what we sow and say, “God doesn’t care.”
Wanting to be masters we make a world built for slaves.
We try hard to live forever while we’re digging our own graves.
Now at the bottom, we want to go back,
To the place where we came from–before we knew lack.
But “Do we deserve it?” is the question on our mind.
We’ve lost ourselves in a place that no one else can find.
Can we ever go home? We decide we will try.
Anything’s better than staying here to die.
On the way home, our head down in shame.
We are brought back to life at the sound of our Name.
Instantly restored as if nothing ever happened.
Suddenly we see the true value of the world and its trappings
We always had it all when we remained with Our Source
A single thought of separation and a whole planet’s off course.

© Copyright 2016 Pedro S. Silva II

The Indefensible Truth

Truth doesn’t need our protection

It is beyond all of our defense

So our beliefs that we are its safeguards

In reality makes no sense

How can we secure what made us?

Be the fulfillment of what’s been done?

As if a lie can make the Truth pronounced

Or a shadow that shrouds the Sun

I’d call it “The Great Deception”

But it falls quite short of great

Being shaped by Truth’s rejection

It has no place to situate

These lies have no foundation

Despite the appearance that they do

We can never tell a lie enough

To ever make it true

The truth we think we are protecting

Is often just our own position

Seeing only a piece of the puzzle

Then framing it with our traditions

Now in its own way this is beautiful

Like when children are at play

But when we cease to celebrate that it is art

We know we’ve gone too far astray

The Truth is all-creating

There’s no way we can contain it

It is Art in its Highest formless form

Life-giving and all sustaining

It’s dynamic by its nature

It’s beautiful being is never static

Hence the thought we can ever make it so

Is the beginning of all things tragic

Still-life is an oxymoron

As far as The Truth’s concerned

Our self portraits giving a clear impression

Of how much we have to learn

There’s nothing more unique than Truth

For it, there is no match

That’s why we make idols of our pursuits

Because Truth’s impossible to catch

Which brings me back to my earlier point

About how Truth does not need our defending

Which when realized will free us from making wars

To create more peaceful never endings

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

The Man I Am

The Man I Am

I am the man society made

I had no choice in me

Your anger, your love, your joy, your frustration

Are all that I can be

I am a man without a Voice

All I say is what you need

Never able to speak for me,

Until all of us are freed

Have you ever felt like you had no choice in the person that you are?  It’s as if everything that you do is interpreted in a manner over which you have no choice.  I’ve felt that feeling and I have known many people who have.  Sometimes it works for you–at least until you start to question it–and sometimes it doesn’t.  For a long time it worked for me.  I ended up looking like the good guy no matter what I did because that was the role people assigned to me.  There were even times where I deliberately set out to do wrong and it turned out good.  I couldn’t stand it.  I was trapped by goodness.  I couldn’t even be a jerk if I wanted to. I was what they said I was and there is nothing “they” hate more than being wrong. The ego is so crazy that even when I admitted to being wrong and tried to punish myself, the people who were invested in my goodness would not support my own summation of myself. That is how crazy we are sometimes. Here’s a good example.

When I was in the military, I started out as a super shiny and crispy airman. My uniform was pressed, my boots were shiny, and I was super respectful. I drank the kool-aid in basic training and asked for seconds. I liked the order and the core values and all that rut. When it came time for the reviews, I deserved a 5 out of 5 and expected it. I honored the system, followed it, and deserved to get the scores it said someone who followed it was supposed to get. So when my first supervisor who didn’t know anything about me since he was deployed my entire evaluation period tried to give me a 3, I let him know that wasn’t happening. Everyone else who got to know me in the office knew I was a 5 so they would not accept his recommendation.

I know I sound arrogant, but is it arrogant to call a red rose red? No. I was a 5, because “they” had already decided I was a 5 because I did what 5s were supposed to do. I had paid enough attention in life to know that there was nothing he or anyone could do about it without getting into some serious crazy stuff. Of course, he doubted my take on things and went into the NCOIC’s (Non Commissioned Officer in Charge) to tell him I deserved a 3. His reasoning was that I did not work well with others, because he heard me tell a fellow airman to do his job or get out of my way. Well, after a few minutes, he emerged from the office looking like he was going to cry. He wouldn’t even look me in the eye. I was then called in the office where the NCOIC proceeded to tell me to ignore everything my supervisor said. “Obviously he does not know you. I will do your evaluation and it is a 5.” All I said was, “Ok. Thanks.” After that, my supervisor and I never really talked much. He knew his opinion didn’t count for anything. The irony is, neither did mine.

Fast forward 2 years. I went from shiny and crispy to dull and flaky. I was overweight, angry, and was sweating alcohol. I put getting haircuts off to the last minute and my pseudofolliculitis barbae (that is medical talk for razor bumps) was getting out of hand since I had finally started to grow facial hair. I was a mess and I knew it. On top of it all I was having crazy heart palpitations. I was no longer 5 material even in my own summation–especially in my summation. In retrospect I guess I was in mourning from a relationship ending. But at the time I did not have sympathy for myself so I decided that I was just a punk. I felt so crappy I didn’t even think God wanted anything to do with me. And so out of anger, I turned my projection of God’s imagined sentiment toward me back onto my idea of God and then rejected it. In short, I didn’t even have God to lean on at that time. And I started going out to clubs and drinking and generally trying to make up for lost time when I was “good for no reason”. Still, somehow, like Solomon I was able to see myself acting like a fool with some clarity.

When evaluation time came around again, I was able to be honest on the form where it asked my opinion of myself. Being a little generous for the extenuating circumstances of my break-up, I gave myself a 3.5. I didn’t care that the lower score would effect my ability to get promoted or anything. I still had respect for what the system was designed for. I didn’t think someone acting like I was acting should be headed toward promotion anyway and so I told the truth about my decline. Guess what happened. I got called into the office and was essentially told what my old supervisor had been told. I was not getting anything less than a 5. I protested that it was unfair and that people like me deserved 3.5s or else the whole system would be corrupted. My new supervisor eventually begged me to accept a 5 for his sake and I told him, “I don’t care what you do because this system is fake.” He told me that if it made me feel any better, he would write in my areas of improvement that I talked too much and was too hard on myself. I remained a 5.

So you see. In that case, I was the man that society made. I had no choice in me. Unfortunately, I know several people who did not benefit from this human tendency to see what they want to see. And believe me, I have been on that side too. This place has a way of trying to force you into conformity with the story “they” have already written for us. I could have easily told you a story about brothers in my neighborhood who were convinced that there was “nothing for a nigga to do but sling” after being crushed by the pressures around them or of a friend who was so tired of being looked at like he was going to steal something that he snapped and did it and was consequently labeled a thief. I could have, but I used the example above because I think it is important to know that there are people who benefit from some of our systems who are just as trapped as those of us who don’t seemingly benefit. We’re all in this world together and I think that the sooner we realize that we are serving systems instead of being served by them and serving humanity as a whole, the sooner we will be able to erase the lines we think separate us from one another. Jesus told the religious robots of his time that the Sabbath was created for humanity, not the other way around. The same is true for all of the systems we have in place. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with systems, but when people are being herded into them like cattle forced to play roles that may run contrary to their spirit, those systems need to be questioned. If they are not open to questioning then none of us are free.

This poem calls to consciousness that feeling of despair that colors many of our lives. Like Eminem said, “I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t then why would you say I am.” That’s what many of us feel like after years of being fed this story of who we are or who we are supposed to be. I want you to know that we have a choice. When you read this poem, I hope that you acknowledge any feelings that come up around it and then decide whether or not you want to keep allowing them to dictate your life. Because you do have a choice even if it may not seem to be an easy one. The key is to follow Jesus’ advice to the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-27. If we can do that, then we go from being someone society made to someone God created. That’s where the freedom lives.