Lion

lion

Last night I lost sleep

Over the opinion of a sheep

I could not ignore the bleats

As I rolled beneath the sheets

 

 

When I woke I frowned with dismay

Due to the mistake I made yesterday

Disgruntled by my lack of composure

Falling prey to a poser

 

 

I’ve learned my lesson now

To not furrow my brow

But to ignore the talking

And keep on walking

 

 

My patience will be tested

Though I’ll remain invested

For only the weak

Lose sleep over sheep

Co-Exist

 

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From mountain to mountain

And isle to isle

I can’t help but stop

And reflect for awhile

 

Our beautiful world

So blatantly misused

Tarnished for profit

Leaves me confused

 

Why don’t we stop

And admire what’s here

A world so perfect

We mustn’t interfere

 

I say we unite

In mother Earth we stand

A battle royale

To save our homeland

 

When victory is ours

We must make a pact

To never neglect

The following contract:

 

We shall conserve mother Earth

For we are her guests

Never again

Will we invade like insects

 

From here on out

We shall co-exist

And those who decline

Will cease and desist

 

Let’s take care of our home

The one we all share

And admire her beauty

She won’t mind if you stare.

Father’s Day

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Sometimes, I believe that it’s far too easy to take for granted character traits and skills that others have ingrained in you from a young age, as they seemingly have always been there and were inherited, not taught. However, as I reflect on this idea since Father’s Day is coming up, I can point to numerous personal strengths I’ve picked up due to my upbringing and I want to take a minute to discuss a few. I am forever grateful for the things my father has taught and instilled in me to make me who I am today and believe they’re more than worth reflecting on for Father’s Day this year.

 

Athetically, I was always a stand-out – or so I thought. I took the time to really think back, not just in the last five years, but back to the third grade, where I was an uncoordinated and overweight child who was socially awkward and had very few friends. Though this was a tough stage early on in my life, the defining moment came when I decided to try out for a soccer team, not even because I liked it, but because I thought my cousins were great and they were trying out as well, so I wanted to be like them.

 
Tryouts came around, and I made the “D” team, the worst team in the entire club, yet I was delighted. At the beginning of the season, the team was awful, and I was not one of the better players. However, by the end of the season, I was likely the team’s best player, and was no longer overweight, or uncoordinated. Before my reflection on this time in my life, I assumed this improvement was solely due to me growing up and that I was simply getting older, but this truly wasn’t the case. A certain presence on the sidelines was encouraging me and pushing me to be the best I could be every day, and I would not have made it without him.

 
From day one, my dad was my number one supporter. Every game, he was there on the sidelines, shouting positive encouragement, and occasionally berating a mediocre referee for a blown call or an opposing player for a cheap shot. Also, when the game ended, my dad was always there to speak of the positives and negatives of my game, helping me find ways to better myself each time. This was always great for me, but his influence did not end there.

 
Growing up, my dad himself was a phenomenal athlete, as he still holds records at his high school thirty years later and also ran track at the Division 1 level. Track is a sport that requires unbreakable determination and grit unlike any other sport, and my dad was the grittiest of the gritty. To this day, he speaks of track with such passion and detail that I can imagine him, barreling down the track, adrenaline pumping, with a look of pure determination on his face, daring any other runner to pass him on HIS track.

 
From the marathon my dad ran at eleven years old to the hundred mile running weeks he completed on a regular basis, his love for his craft was clear to anyone who took the briefest of glances, and was passed on to me instantly. This passion fueled me to be the best in whatever I wanted to do, not only on the soccer field, but in the classroom as well. I was the child, who, at ten years old, would reflect on a loss of a meaningless soccer game for hours after the game was completed, nearly inconsolable.

 
Although I wasn’t the most talented player, that undying passion took me to unprecedented levels in my sport due to my sheer hatred of losing. My senior year of high school, very early in the year, I received my first scholarship. Eight months later, and I had six offers to mull over. On top of that, I graduated with a 3.7 GPA, and finished my senior year with a 4.0. My father’s role in these achievements were undeniable, as I see the same determination and passion in myself in competitive situations that I’ve been in awe of for years when speaking to him. I’m proud to have came to be like my father in that respect, and cannot send enough thanks his way.
At the end of the day, my father has given me so much more than just a burning passion and competitive spirit. Another standout trait of my father that I’ve also been gifted is his charitability. My dad teaches and coaches at the same high school he attended years ago and has been there for around thirty years, yet still goes at his daily tasks like it is his first year.

 
As a coach, my father will go further than any other coach would even think to in order to see his athletes achieve their goals. I’ve heard countless stories of my father, driving students home when their parents never showed up to pick them up, or buying their cleats and pre-game meals because their families couldn’t afford them.

 
In one particular case, my dad called the University of Washington head coach nearly thirty times, attempting to get one of his athletes a spot on the team, and was repeatedly denied. Despite this, he was persistent due to his love for sport and helping others succeed, and the coach eventually succumbed to his efforts. His athlete, Mark, ended up being the University of Washington’s best runner for three straight years, and the coach still thanks him for his refusal to take no for an answer to this day. Stories like these are not one-offs, but instead are examples of the millions of amazing things my father has done to help his athletes succeed, always there to lend a hand, just as he was for me.

 
In addition to this, my dad’s teaching abilities and efforts match his coaching ones, too. My dad chose to teach math support, meaning many of his students have learning disabilities, solely because he loves nothing more than helping students who struggle succeed, as he believes they simply were not in a situation that bred success. He’ll go to the greatest lengths for each student to ensure they can be the best they can be, giving each of them the same level of encouragement and advice that took me to where I am today, and does so each day without faltering.

 
In one memorable moment, I went to ratemyprofessor.com, interested to see what students thought of my father’s teaching. His rating was five stars out of five stars. I smiled, immediately sending the link over to my father. He texted me back, so excited to see how much his students appreciated his efforts, as it is easy to forget when teaching in a high school full of unmotivated students.

 
Though this is a brief and seemingly irrelevant anecdote, the five stars meant more to me than just as a teacher. My father was a five-star father to me, turning me into a successful, passionate, and giving human being who is proud to share many traits with the one who raised him. As I continue to mature, I appreciate the traits we share more and more, and decided it was time to share my appreciation with the world. So, thank you, dad, for helping shape me into someone I’m proud to be and for being the positive role model every child would love to have. I’m very blessed to have grown up with you as my dad and never again will I take for granted what you’ve taught me. Happy Father’s Day.

Irony

When I put all my efforts

Into one face

Things never work out

It’s always the case

 

Though when I try less

It’s always a surprise

To find who I don’t want

Staring into my eyes

 

Why it’s like this

I can’t comprehend

Though my efforts won’t cease

Until time’s end

 

Maybe one day

I’ll meet one who values my time

I’ll love her to death

And she’ll always be mine

Used

destroyed book

 

As you grabbed me from the shelf one fateful day

Commenting on my spectacular, albeit morose, cover art

You immediately were interested

Flipping through my pages

Fascinated by my unintelligible contents

Seemingly written in their own language

And took me home, determined to figure me out.

 

From the get go, you were different.

Most spend a few minutes attempting to crack the code

Then return me, no longer interested.

You, on the other hand, did not give up.

Your diligence caught my attention

And I decided that it was time.

 

I blessed you with my delicate contents

Decoding what you previously could not understand

And opened myself to your seemingly great intentions

Delighted by your apparent interest in me.

 

The only problem was

You weren’t delicate.

Or truly interested.

 

You were selfish.

Blazing through my pages

Not out of genuine interest

But to find comfort in our shared pain

Offering half-hearted advice and sympathy

While damaging my pages further as you read on

Looking to improve yourself through my mistakes

With no regard or care for me.

 

When you reached the end

You left me in worse condition than before

Then found a new story that piqued your interest,

Placed me on the shelf you found me,

And left me at the mercy of the next careless soul to open me

And further destroy what once was so pure.

Sunset

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As I passionately wait for the privilege to see you during the golden hour

Where every minute spent with you is genuine

I reflect on your beauty

A sight so addictive and one that never grows old

 

However, your allure lies not in your appearance

But instead in your complexity.

 

I see dark red during your happiest, most open moments

When you pour out your heart to all of those there to witness your grandeur

 

Other times, I see orange or yellow when you’re content

Smiling for viewers and offering a friendly wave through your change in color

 

Some days, I see rays of multiple colors, shining between the clouds as you’re trying to remain positive.

You’re not so outgoing, but folks who pay attention still can spot your charm from a mile away.

 

And, on your rough days, I see nothing.

On these occasions, the clouds cover you, overshadowing your magnificence.

 

However, I fear not

For I know you’ll be back soon

And I’ll wait patiently, for your elegance and beauty are unmatched

Nor will they ever be. 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Tristan White

@Twhite.Photos