Seasons- A collection of poems

By Gideon

If there’s one change I can deal with, it is definitely the change of seasons, especially heading into fall and winter. There’s few things like drinking hot cocoa on a chilly December day or seeing the wonderful sight of desert blooming in the spring. On the other hand, summer weather is just torture to me (110 degrees isn’t my thing), but at least I have it to relax. It’s an odd situation. Anyways, because it is fall now and that means transitioning from heat to (at least for me, really) cold, I thought I would be a nice time to share some poems relating with seasons. Enjoy!

Springtime

In springtime,

That glorious time,

The smooth green

Of the trees,

Is only seen

Behind a curtain

Of yellow,

Brighter than the sun

Vibrant in the way

Only nature could design.

 

An Arizona Summer Can be Quite a Bummer

Heat is heading to people’s heads,

The sidewalks are ready for grilling,

And a/c is your best friend,

Welcome to an Arizona summer

 

No one walks at noon,

The pool is a bit crowded

With all those seeking some refuge

From this terrible torture,

And everyone prays for an end,

Welcome to an Arizona summer

 

Water is your life’s longing,

Vacation in Cali sounds like an adventure,

And we hope Seattle has rain to send,

Welcome to an Arizona summer.

 

Fall is Here

The temperatures fall but the

Leaves seem to stick to the trees,

Kind of like not letting go

Of what came before as the

Harsh sun finally cools to

A pale yellow, a good sign

That fall is finally here.

 

A Winter Morning

I wake up one winter morning,

Wishing I was still snoring,

But here I am, covered in tons

Of blankets, wanting some other ones

To sleep on too

 

Finally out of my bed,

I drink some hot, hot cocoa,

Richer than one million bucks

And burning my tongue like a lit match,

Leading me to find water to snatch;

But it’s way too much for my head,

Just to be faced with such a silly

Little burn on my tongue this

Early on a winter morning

So I crawl back into bed.

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Fall Update- Cooling Temperatures, Warming Blog

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By Gideon

Welcome back! Summer is completely behind us now, the thermometers are dropping and if you actually live in an area with lots of seasonal trees (I don’t), the leaves are falling. I’ve got some really good news this month! Let’s dig in.

General Updates

  • This is probably the biggest announcement ever for this blog: as I announced last night on Twitter, there is now a 2nd writer! My friend Aden will be writing some posts here, keep your eyes peeled for some of his work coming soon.
  • These updates are going to reduce in frequency, I’ll only do 4 regular updates a year from now on (that breaks down to 1 each in December, April, June and October).
  • I’ve changed the slogan to “a thinking place”, I think it still keeps the gist of the old one.
  • Also, I’ve done a minor redesign, changing the old Seattle street photo to the one above, which was taken at the 3rd level of the Surprise, AZ City Hall parking garage, the mountains in the background are the White Tank Mountains. That redesign also includes a change in the shade of blue used in the background (if you see this blog on a desktop or tablet, you’d notice it a bit more; on Chrome for Android or iOS, that color is the top bar color) and a change in the fonts used. I know that is minor, but just pointing it out.
  • Keep an eye on the Twitter for some cool events in Surprise, AZ.

Creative Updates

  • I’m currently working on a few poems about seasons, they’ll be up by Friday night (10/13).
  • I’ll be continuing a series on friendship soon, no definite date for that yet.

Commentary Updates

  • I’m working on something that uses the format of “For Goodness Sake, Be a Good Friend!” (the whole idea of fusing poetry with commentary), it is about a recent event, that is all I’ll say for now.
  • Aden will do some rebuttals of my commentary pieces from time to time, those will come eventually.

That’s all I have to say for now, have a fun-filled fall!

As always,

Gideon

My Voice: Let them Serve

By Gideon

Well, I’m sure by now you’ve heard the announcement from Trump about trans troops. Well, if not, here it is.

Where do I start with this bullcrap? Thousands of transgender individuals already serve in our armed forces! What are we going to do with them, discharge them? Not even to mention the absolutely horrible irony of this being announced the same day, 69 years after President Truman signed the executive order that desegregated the armed forces. Now, we’re taking a step backward. Instead of letting all those who have the capability and willingness to serve our country have an opportunity to do so, Trump (and maybe some other officials) has decided that if you are trans, that opportunity should be closed to you. Odd, coming from a draft dodger.

The argument of trans soldiers bring a financial burden is just bunk. According to one study (here’s an article on this entire story, the study is referenced a few paragraphs in), trans soldiers make up a fraction of a percent of all soldiers and their care costs would also only be a fraction of a percent of the whole military healthcare budget. As to why he did this charade, I think this is a huge distraction from the fact that he’s politically useless and under investigation. But that my friends, is a whole other story.

To conclude, this sudden proclamation was a terrible and bigoted move. There’s no rational, factual, non-political reason to ban trans troops. Let them serve.

My Voice: Freedom

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By Gideon

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

                The Declaration of Independence

That sentence above, from the Declaration of Independence (signed 241 years ago today) basically summed up the dream and hope of the United States of America. There are many horrific chapters in our story as a country (slavery, genocide, segregation, et cetera), but the tide has always moved towards ensuring all Americans are guaranteed their inalienable, God-given rights. Today, let’s just talk about freedom, and how some give up the familiar just to seek it.

About Freedom

Freedom. Such a powerful word when you when think of it. The simple way of letting people choose their own destiny within all their means, is how I would look at it. It’s the cornerstone of the American dream. It’s one of the reasons my parents left behind everything they knew to start a new life here.

What Brought My Parents Here?

Let me tell you a little about my parents. They both were born in Kenya, and both of them basically started from scratch when they came. You know what drove them here? Freedom did. When they came over (my dad in the 80s, my mom in the 90s), Kenya was a dictatorship ran under the brutal Daniel arap Moi (side note: he’s still alive, but he retired from the presidency in 2002 due to high public pressure for him to do so). I’m not going to go into Moi’s human rights record in this piece, I’m not writing a novel here (just search his name and add “human rights” if you’re curious). My parents knew America would give them a chance to make something of themselves and their children one day, a chance that they couldn’t see happening back home at the time. They’re still working so hard, and sacrificing so much to ensure my siblings and I can have a good head start in life. I wish I could adequately express just how much I look up them.

Conclusion

Let’s also take this time to remember the heroic veterans among us who have gone off to places most of us have only heard of, just to defend freedom. Also, remember the millions of immigrants who moved here in search of freedom. This Independence Day, let’s remember this one universal value, freedom. People fight for it, people defend it and people strive for it always.

The above image is courtesy of techavy.com

June 2017 Update- Stepping Back

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Hello again, readers! It’s been a while and I haven’t written much lately. For that, I’m sorry. This update is going to quite brief. Right now, I’m working on a play (not divluging any details here, for now), that will not published on this blog. Also, my posting on here is already infrequent and will defintely become more so from August onwards (I’ve got a lot commitments next school year, so this will have to take a backseat). Hopefully I’ll have more for you soon. Stay hydrated this summer folks! See y’all around.

Much love,

Gideon

Above photo: A panorama of the port area in Westport, WA, taken last summer by me (visible as sillouette in bottom left corner)

My Voice: For Goodness Sake, Be a Good Friend!

By Gideon

Let’s talk about what it means to be a true friend… (I’m trying something new with this, bear with me)

Friendship. According to the Oxford Dictionary, that is the state of being friends. Oftentimes, we make mistakes that could hurt others unintentionally, which can lead to trouble with a friendship. Other times, we turn off our conscience just to spite a friend for one reason or other.

Trampled on by the world,

Betrayed by her own friends

And left feeling alone,

Sat my dear friend Blondie

 

Blondie was hilarious

She was outgoing and kind,

But the world wanted her for lunch,

To consume her inner beauty,

To crush what made her so great

 

Blondie felt discouraged and down

Feeling alone can make one so

Bitter and angry at the world,

Blondie was no exception

 

But that’s when Blondie found out the

Simple truth about all people:

We can not shut the door to all

Without shutting the door

To even ourselves;

No man can be an island, ever

 

As for those mean people, they had

No achievements to speak of,

Because they tore down instead of

Building and growing everyone

Like Blondie did and will always do.

Why do we do and say such malicious things to our own friends? I don’t know and I can confess to doing that to some of my friends. But what I do know is that we have to step up to the plate and confess what we had done wrong, even if we as the wrongdoer feel justified (99% of the time that is just ego talking). Because if we don’t, not only will guilt eventually catch up to us, but we could escalate the problem. I assure you that nothing good comes from fights with friends. In the future, let’s all think about what we say about or to our friends and make the right choice the first time. Stop creating unessessary drama because of a loose tongue. Let’s choose to put a friendly touch back in our friendships, because what is an unfriendly friend? Not a friend at all, that’s what an unfriendly friend is.

My Voice: Yes, dear friends, the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and treason

By Gideon

For many of you who know me personally, you may know that I’ve had the experience of living in an another country (Kenya, if you’re curious). While living there, I figured out that little truth that most Americans don’t realize: most of the world loves America, but everyone hates Americans. If you’re American, and you don’t understand why people think that way, well here goes. We Americans tend to be ignorant. Most of the world that interacts with American tourists in their countries tend not give them points for knowledge (I’m not generalizing here, just using an average, there are smart American tourists for sure).

One anecdote I was told by one of my cousins who lives in Kenya, puts this in perspective. Once she met with an American for a work project and takes her out to the mall for lunch. The American lady was shocked at how the mall was there. She told my cousin, “I never imagined that there are malls here!” How does this relate in any way, shape or form to the Confederate flag? It’s a really simple extension, we Americans tend to be ignorant- of our own history too, especially about the truth behind the Confederate flag and why it truly is such a racist and treasonous symbol.

Why the Civil War was Fought
Let’s work our way forward in this timeline, beginning from 1860. Abraham Lincoln was just elected as president and many Southerners were alarmed. This was because he was known to have an anti-slavery stance, which they thought could lead to slavery being abolished nationwide. Lincoln on the other hand, did not actually want to abolish slavery where it already existed. All the same, Southern slave-owning states decided that slavery was worth breaking up the Union for, so they seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. (Fun fact, the so-called “Confederate flag” was not the Confederacy’s actual flag. That flag we refer to as the Confederate flag is actually the battle flag for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.) That’s the treasonous part, but unfortunately is only the beginning of the racist part.

All this does affirm, very negatively, claims of Confederate flag sympathizers: that the Civil War was fought over “states’ rights”. Yes, “states’ rights” to allow people to own slaves. If all that didn’t make it clear, South Carolina’s Articles of Secession will definitely do that (FYI: South Carolina was the first state to secede) I searched the word “slave” in that page, and it pops up 18 times, most referring to anger at Northern states for not returning runaway slaves and for many in those states wanting to end slavery. Yes, the Confederacy definitely fought “Northern tyranny”. The “Northern tyranny” of not getting their slaves back if they stepped foot in a free state.

The Resurgence of the Confederate Flag
The Confederate flag begins to fully take on it’s racist attributes in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. It wasn’t much of a popular symbol in the South before then. It became popular due to the rise of the Civil Rights Movement. Many Southerners used it as a symbol of Southern defiance against attempts to have the federal government abolish Jim Crow laws (for those who slept in their history classes, that was the common name for the racial segregation laws in Southern states). The flag went from a little presence, to flying on state flags, over state capitols, in Ku Klux Klan rallies and as the primary symbol of the Dixiecrats. I’m not going to into detail about the State’s Rights Party (aka the Dixiecrat Party, I’ll leave you a link to read further), but their main platform idea was opposition to desegregation. This isn’t looking great, is it?

Conclusion
Why does it seem that so many unsavory characters and ideals lie at the feet of the Confederate flag? That’s a simple question to answer, it’s an unsavory symbol and does represent ideals like racism and treason. I am in no way stating that all people who fly the Confederate flag are KKK members, promote rebellion or are even racist at all. I am simply letting the facts and history of the matter shine for themselves. If it is such a terrible symbol, why fly it? My simple advice for Southerners who see it as a symbol of Southern pride: please, for the sake of progress and reason, put that flag away. I’m sure a less problematic symbol could be found for the South. Until then, all of us will always have the American flag, which does represent something good to all Americans, things like one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

(The above photo is courtesy of Snopes.com)

My sources