Zee and Maddox

Two poems

New Eyes and the Traveler
By Zee

Always a goofball.
Always seven years older than me.
And he always treated me as equal.
My brother had a way with dramatic humor and pungent exaggeration, and he said the most random things out of the blue that made you frown in confusion and at the same time suppress your laughter for a second and then start cracking up.
But the way he rolled with his character was so awesomely gnarly.
He portrayed a deep inner belief that leaders never seek to lead,
but to only lead naturally by example.
He was always stronger, always faster, always cooler,
and he always had way cooler stuff.
He had everything I desperately desired and more growing up.
Every quality, every toy.
Well, big-boy toys, at least, like awesome-looking intense proficiency yo-yos were big boy toys to me back then.
He could do everything that I wanted to do, be everything I wanted to be.
I never saw him much but when I did it was precious to me to have such an awesome older brother.

Amazingly, he always treated me like I was just as good as he was.
I never had much I thought he could benefit from,
his inspiration seemed impossible to pay back.
But little did I know it wasn’t in what objects I had that created our mutuality,
it was in my youthful spirit and child wonder at how cool he was that together we shaped one another’s character in ways that carried no rank, no seniority, and was irrelevant to power.

See, entrepreneurs have a 5-step rule list to success, with number one being formulated as, “Focus on the message, not the messenger.” I believe that is key, and the wonderful thing about children and youth is that they are open with wonder not closed by belief. They fall quickly into fantasy, which is the start of questioning the impossible to amount to great things.
As a child. I was able to remind my older brother of this and he was able to apply that wonder even at his age.

As a child, you do not have any care for power, rank, status, etc. unless you try to be a part of the adult world.
Adult occupations seem confusing on the surface, so children get met with a “shake your head, wait till you get there” mirror. It is nerve-racking to think about those things, so children often choose the ones they think would be fun and adventurous, like being a policeman, firefighter, professional sports player, or a job that involves something fun like driving a car, or a construction vehicle.
Children want to make a difference, go on adventures, and maybe the closest thing that encapsulates all of that is embedded in superheroes or spy agents.
Something complicated, but not so complicated that your little mind couldn’t grasp as much of the idea as you wanted it to.
A fantasy worth fantasizing.
Like if it was real, you would so do it, but the world is still so complicated.
When you open a door to let in knowledge, wisdom, inspiration, your reality is ever shifting like sands billowing around on a high windy day on the beach, or like looking through the smoke of a campfire.
But opening your doors, you never know what may come inside. For it leaves us in a vulnerable state. However, wisdom is the source that acts as the neurological filter to the newest operations that the world abides by today.

Once we let go of the way we were raised with the fear of punishment and learn to focus on what we learned rather than what we will get hurt by, we open up ways of wisdom and learn and see the benefit we can give others by positivity actions.

Children are vulnerable. When we were younger, we all were growing up, looking up to the world above us.
But I have found that the greatest benefit is not in looking up or down; for rank and status is then championed rather than character, but in looking all around.
For at 21 years of age my little brother, who’s 11 years old, taught me a valuable lesson to help someone like me, who’s a full decade older take care of myself.
“You are like a phone, if you don’t charge yourself fully at night you run on the day at 15%. You want to be at 100% at the beginning.”
He goes to bed when he needs to. No one actually tells him when to go to sleep. We advise him sometimes if he’s up late, but he actually learned to do it on his own without any real hard-edged guidance. He’s doing better than me, still. Wow, I think. I have a lot to learn. What we know is limited, what we can learn in limitless, and this can introduce us to a positive, fluid, and ever-shifting view of reality.  

About the Author: Zee was born in Northampton, Massachusetts and has traveled up and down the East Coast and lived in various other states. He excelled often in English language arts and creative arts. Zee has performed for RETN News and was elected to present the closing speech at his 2014 graduation from CVU high school. He currently resides in New York City, exploring, challenging, and serving himself and the world around him in unique ways as he journeys to find opportunities to utilize his creative sense of great work, as a singer, rapper, dancer, poet, storyteller, and athlete. 

Being LGBT
By Maddox Guerrilla

Being LGBT, Being Black, Being colored
Aspects that make up my identity
I fight to be like a condor free to fly
And live when you’re on the margins
It’s even hard to breathe robbed from
The gift which is the present moment
When your head is full of anxieties
When you want to assimilate and be
Like the others not me never again
Since realizing that we’re sonders
One in the same still acknowledging
Our differences, uniting and fighting
Together cause we’re all in the same game
Free your membrane from imposed ideologies
Imperialism spread all over the mind modern day
Plague never remain silent fight for better days
Transcend your rage radiate resilience know
That the biggest battle is with your brain
Free the bird from its cage let it gain experience
And perception watch it rise reaching larger
Dimensions past the continuum of time & space
I know the elders didn’t fight the battle for me to
Remain blind look inside see what you can find
Hold on to that gold that’s your soul that shines
Like glory never stay complacent homie
Always tell your story
Intimate partner violence ancestral karma
Seeping through my way when I’m in
The moment I’m in reality catching the play
Elevating to higher planes our history is not
A secret been deceived for ages but now
We getting up we’re reaching from the
Voices of native little girls to your average
Doormat on the block everyone’s waking up
Seeing the truths of this world breaking out
Of the outside dream finding myself climbing
Into me balancing femininity, masculinity energies
That reside in us all master your inner dance
Reap what you sow rehabilitate your soul
Breathe from your belly center your self
Make all decisions that seem “heavy”
Turn off the telly read a book it’ll take you
Places where you didn’t look

Teachers & Writers Magazine is published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative as a resource for teaching the art of writing to people of all ages. The online magazine presents a wide range of ideas and approaches, as well as lively explorations of T&W’s mission to celebrate the imagination and create greater equity in and through the literary arts.