[spoken word - final rough draft]

Hello there 2022.
I am staring out at you 
from my comfy kitchen window
and your green hopeful arm is reaching 
through the dirt and it's like 'hello'
have we met?

And I’m like I am not sure yet. 

Now, no lies 
the temp outside
is still sorta cold sometimes 
so It did not seem rationale or wise 
to let the moment set up 
any expectations because the 
sight was way too magical.

and illogical

And it might not be fair right now 
to check hope that's up in the air somehow
like a pop fly, a lie, a ‘why’?
a moment stretched 
and ship wrecked
over a two year rhyme, 
like castaway time 
spent hanging out online.

But back to that little eager plant 
at the end of my deck.

i know the science, i know facts
and the truth is chloroplasts 
hold chlorophyll which grabs light 
and light acts 
as fuel for photosynthesis
a genesis 
that creates food.
it uses light as food?

just imagine this 5.6 degrees 
Celsius starts the magic 
that sends messages 
inside plants to activate and go 
and then what do you know 
one sprout more 
is reaching up and out
people are just like this little plant 
they too want to show winter the door.

my daughter says 
‘lean towards the natural light’
well alright and 

my friend teresa is
‘planting and tending seeds of hope’
that too’s kinda dope and

and lisa will say they love 
‘the parade of colour against  
the sidewalk’s grey’

and my friend Matt reasons
‘seasons have changed’ 
but why haven’t we?

I kinda connect most with that last phrase.
cuz it pushes me 
to think clearly
- so where are we 
in our cycles of change?

Matt also cautions about how simply
‘we all so nonchalantly’ 
may have returned 
to old school mentalities 
You know that promised new normal 
that was actually the old normal 
waiting for us patiently-
while we forget problematic 
past due protocols and policies-
old normal slid back into our DMs 
so easily.

these days i think a lot ‘bout light
i think a lot about the fact 
that right 
now it might take a bit 
a far sharper sight 
to see the courageous fight
that the little plant is showing 
despite the weeds to get to its needs.
especially since we don’t always
know who buried those seeds.

When seeds are planted, 
they first grow roots. 
then little invisible shoots 
form that lift and push and climb and hold
and after explosive effort 
a small plant will begin to show
and eventually break through the soil.
That toil is entirely invisible.
but it's there, 

just beyond our awareness.
so we can’t be care less

When this happens, we say that the 
seed has sprouted. 
scientifically speaking
this process is germination.
In school, we say determination. 
But if we underestimate 
the might of an organization
to keep that seed from breaking through
its no different than dropping the temperature
and turning off the lights in school.

the average power of teen is 700 psi
their hands can apply
700 pounds per square inch of pressure
as they text
how many kids you know 
that are trying that hard to flex
in your classroom?
an oak seed has 600 psi 
and look what it can do
with barriers as real as to those 
kids in front of me and you.

that sprout can lift foundations
shift sidewalks, split rock
build nations experience frustrations
shift sideways and find liberation.

all this effort may be hard to see.
each scale is relative and honestly
every challenge is juggled subjectively
one seeds struggle is only one seeds struggle
i wonder with my friend Matt are we 
still searching the spaces of all possibilities 
to see the efforts of every seed?

this place is our place
but my space is different than your space
and everyday i remind myself
that everybody is going through life 
in their own way and own pace
pulling supplies from their own shelf
seemingly depending only on ourselves
but this can still be a good day.
and I know that it seems like the world
asks for all of us to take off our masks,
slowly slowly we all grasp 
that each of us moves in our own time
in our own way.

just like this rhyme, 

some people have smiles of relief
as they walk in to rooms
when they hear ‘yup the meeting’s 
in person as well as on Zoom.’
other’s lean into the light in their own ways.

towards a feeling that they are not alone
towards a moment away from their phone
towards a friend they have finally seen face to face
towards a teacher who gives them some space
towards the light, just like that little plant.

I want students to know that 
I am still here 
and that the people in this building 
still care and 
despite their same fears are trying 
to grow hope in this world.
now I know that quote about planting a tree
and I get that someone will get its shade eventually
but still I want something cool
just for me.
right now.
right away.
am I right?
is that okay?

we know that in order to get
a flower to grow
we do not change the flower
we change the dirt
and so I am pretty sure
that after two years
the soft curl of craving is unfurling
and has everyone 
reaching towards the sun.
please believe that in order
for people to reach their potential
lets behold each other, be reverential
and admit
people need to feel their supports
so that people won’t resort
to only believing grim reports.

in short 
the art we all have a part
in will be 
helping each other 
to bloom.


where you at
in answering
the question
will we return?

and if you
respond with
i'm really
not that sure,

do you make
small despairs
of the thoughts
you affirm?

or take pride
in the air
you have dared
to disturb?

or escape
or avoid
the pain 
at your curb?

by playing
this loosely
with people's
need to discern,

it shows you 
forgot hope
must remain
as a verb.