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Shenita Etwaroo

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A light burns in me
sometimes bright and strong,
sometimes quiet and soft,
but always it burns.

I see a light burning in you,
I see a light burning in us all.

Each of us has a wick
and fuel to burn,
a light to guide us
and to keep us warm.

Why douse others’ flames?
With cold water
and hate?

Why bring others down?
and dim their beautiful lights?

I will fuel the lights
of everyone around me

And watch their flames grow
tall and proud.

I will bask in the warmth
of my friends’ lights,

Smile at the flickering lights
of flames across the globe.

I will fuel the light in everyone
because I know
the world is brighter
when we light it up together.

Claritin,
Advil,
anesthesia…

All things designed with one purpose:
to block pain.
Dim pain,
shut it out,
make it better.

What if pain
has something to teach us?
What if pain
is a sign?
What if pain
is something we can gain from?

Pain is hard,
but pain shows us
where our problems are.

Pain hurts,
but pain tells us
we can be stronger.

Pain is rough,
it chafes,
breaking us down
and eating away at us.

But sometimes,
out of pain,
a new
and stronger
and healthier
person emerges.

My heart is very strange altogether:
At times it’s covered in fur all around,
Or wool, skin or even feathers,
Depending on what animal I’ve found!

For no human love is more pure or true
Than a beloved pet, a love so strong,
And full of simple beauty, through and through,
A love which remains as a life is long.

A human, with a flawed human heart, may
Love on his own terms; but a pet I know
Who snuggles close on a wintery day
Loves no matter which way the wind doth blow.

And so I resign my heart and my mind
To the great love of rabbits, cats, dogs, and their kind.

I will always love the way you smelled like sweet vanilla bliss,
The way you’d grind your bunny teeth, and share a bunny kiss.

I will always love how you could dry my eyes when I was down,
You knew just the touch I’d need, to vanish my every frown.

I will always love how you gave me hope, whenever I was ill,
When my life was looking grim, you gave me some extra thrill.

I will always love how you were there, even when I was wrong,
I had made some bad decisions, but you were never mad for long.

I will always love the memory of when we first linked eyes;
From right then I knew we’d be a match, with very special ties.

I will always love your selflessness, yet how you stuck around,
When I felt my feet were losing grip, you kept them on the ground.

I will always love how you would wait for me to return home,
And when I appeared you would act as though I’d just taken a throne.

Such a tiny friend, with such a true heart, one larger than more than a few,
I will always cherish the fact that you were able to love me.

I have a special affinity for the x-ray machine,
Faultlessly highlighting my bones, heart, and spleen.
It penetrates deeper than my skin and hair.
It reads me thorough, exact, and fair.

It looks past my appearance, my clothing, my occupation
Doesn’t consider my income, race, or political affiliation.
It states the facts, pretty plain and simple
Doesn’t care if I worship in a church or a temple.

It doesn’t limit my abilities based on my gender
Doesn’t care if I’m tall or short, round or slender.
It doesn’t bully me because I am different or strange
It doesn’t coerce or pressure me to make a change.

The x-ray machine makes a profound proclamation
That not much differs from our initial creation.
Our bodies are created, essentially the same
The organs, the blood, the skin and the frame.

My purpose is not determined by outward characteristics
My ability’s not governed by culture or linguistics.
The x-ray machine shows us that we’re ultimately equivalent
Isn’t flaky, unreliable, hypocritical or ambivalent.

It’s been happening forever, and it still exists today
There are no signs of demise
Only too much suffering.

Bullying affects those who are bullied, but they’re not alone
Those who bully are victims
Even witnesses are victims.

The effects of bullying are damaging to all
Mental health, substance abuse, and even suicide
There is no limit to its impact.

Knowing what is considered bullying is very important
Threats, spreading rumors, physical and verbal aggression
They’re all examples of bullying.

Knowing why people bully is also important
Whether it be social or family issues, power, or cultural
It must be confronted.

We don’t have to run from witnessing bullying.
It’s important to talk to others about it
You can save someone’s life.

We must stand up to bullying.
Tell someone, stand strong, and do not show any weakness.
You can make it.  You can do it.

I am more than a genetically modified organism
That was constructed for scientific research.
I am more than just pretty colors and silly talking tricks
Caged upon this perch.

My body was created for a purpose
Other than your dinner plate.
Why must you kick and hit, scream and scold
Then lock me for hours in this lonely crate?

My soul cries out as I am forced to work
Beyond my strength and will.
Although I push with all my might,
You are only standing still.

I am more than just a breeding factory
Giving birth to endless brood.
Only for my children to be torn from me
And sold away as food.

How would you feel if someone cut away your hair
And turned it into a coat?
Only for a thoughtless soul
To parade around and gloat.

That overpriced purse you clutch
Was constructed from my skin.
For years I’ve been living in restrictive pain.
I’m starting to wear thin.

I’m more than your convenience
Your entertainment or nutrition.
I have feelings. I have desires.
I even have ambition.

© Shenita Etwaroo

Have you ever looked at the patterns on the back of a turtle shell?
How about our skin cells under a high powered microscope?
Imperfect pieces with a very perfect purpose.
This can give us hope.

Have you ever felt like you were useless?
Beaten down, exhausted, or abused?
Perhaps your life has been thrown upside down,
You’ve made mistakes that just cannot be excused.

Your heart is weary and your eyes are teary.
Your soul has reached rock bottom.
But remember the fact there is now solid ground beneath your feet.
It’s only up from here. It’s your turn to blossom.

Although life can certainly throw us curve balls
And place unwanted obstacles in our path.
We are bigger than the sum of our problems.
No doubt, God will overcome Satan’s wrath.

We must choose to face the day with a smile
Persistence and optimism are a must.
We should hold tight to the ones that support us
And in God almighty, we must place all of our trust.

Although He won’t take our problems away
He will hold our hand and see us through.
For it is by His grace and unending love that
Our sins are washed clean and we’re born anew.

Let your story be an inspiration to others.
Encouragement to those in similar situations.
For we have the tools to overcome any challenge.
Let your own accounts stand as an affirmation.

Together we can form a community,
One that spreads love, hope, and support.
A group of people, whose voices unite,
Who won’t allow you to sell yourself short.

Each of us is imperfect.
Full of scars, blemishes, and flaws.
But together we can create a perfect group
That unites to bring light to a critical cause.

We share the Earth with beautiful creatures
People and animals of all kinds, in all areas of the world.
We differ in appearance…but share a common problem:
We are slaves to abuse and cruelty.
 
Though many souls are kind and pure
Evil shadows them.
We often say we care enough
But efforts cease to follow.
 
Domestically, all fit the bill
Held against their will, at any costs
People and animals treated as property, with no choice...
Cruelty and Abuse.
The acts of slavery.
 
We must shine a light on slavery.
No human should be treated as less than equal
No animal should be physically harmed
No creature should be starved or forced to struggle
All should be free.
 
Many who harm one another have harmed animals
Noticing one can help prevent the other
If you stand up, you can be a hero
No one else needs to suffer.
 
Evaluate the situation that stands before you
The more you learn, the more you can help
Let others know, so you can save another.
Less slavery in our world.

A golden, and radiant bright light Injecting my eyes with a dazzling white Falls on my slippery skin as it climbs, As I flop lightly out of the foaming brine.

I look to my brother, and see pride in himAs he goes about teaching me how to swim, So the sun won’t make my soft skin blister.And that I may protect my mom and sister, Making me more fine at coursing for krills, Allowing me to have more playtime and thrills.

My brother teaches me how to sail, To protect myself from the killer whale, Though the whales themselves tend to decline, We know only our own endangered shrine;Because of the humans hunting us for a while.

My brother swam with me for only for a mile, Before a harpoon pierced straight through his skin; My eyes filled with tears, though the humans did grin.

Though my brother now lay in their boat, I could see, I knew he was dead, with no need now to plea;I fled to my mother and sister, in a rush, But when I did find them, my own heart was  crushed, As I saw them lying dead; I didn’t know their faces, My soul came to pain and unrest, at all paces, When I wonder how humans could wear coats of our flesh, And use our blubber to make makeup and blush.

I’m alone now, with my loss and my pain, Any hope for man’s mercy would just be insane, But still do I beg, to those who have heart;Please stop the poaching, it tears us apart.

For God made us all with the same eyes, Set greed aside, if you yet wish to rise;Help us lessen the agonized noise, At least—you help me, by spreading my voice.

Life is like a grain of sand.
A grain of sand lies at the bottom of the sea.Just off the shore.
Only feet from the place where the waves kiss the beach ever so softly.
This tiny piece of sand is just one of millions
That collectively form the floor of the ocean.
Oh the life of this grain. This tiny fleck of sand and all that it does see.
It sits idly as the tides roll in and out overhead.
But, it is violently uprooted by the sudden force of a stormy surge.
It floats along to the rhythm of the powerful waves.
And slowly drifts away from the coastline.
It falls into the deepest waters and wanders through leagues of darkness.
But, eventually, the grain is swept to the surface.
Where the sunshine warms the grain of sand and reminds it of the sky’s beauty.
It swims past some of the most stunning sea creatures and colorful coral formations.
It brushes against graceful ocean beings as they elegantly glide through clear waters.
It encounters ominous predators, deep caverns, and dark holes.
And just when it gets to used to the glowing daylight,
Dusk slips into night.
Some grains travel around the world, while other grains stay on the same beach.
Some flecks sift through the innocent hands of a curious child
While others are stuck to the bottom of feet and carried away from sandy shores.
Some grains are collected and stored in a jar.
And others blow away with the wind.
Some grains have a marvelous story to tell,
Of all the places they’ve been and the things that they’ve seen.
Some grains may not have much of an exciting past.
And others never leave the dark.
But each grain of sand is a vital part of the whole.
A component of the shore that completes the beach
That creates a surface for the crashing waves and the floor of a magnificent sea.
The sand wouldn’t feel the same beneath our feet without each grain.

As the tears spilled down my cheeks,
and my soul cried out for sweet release,
I prayed one last time for what the heart seeks,
despite the bitterness that had become my beliefs.

In the darkness that became my breath and skin,
I suddenly witnessed a streak of light,
that wakened the dormant soul within,
and taught me that things really could be right.

My angels, more beautiful than any known,
with hands so soft and gentle and warm,
healed my shattered heart and shattered bone,
around me their love and compassion did swarm.

I learned finally that I was not to blame,
that I had done nothing so terribly wrong,
and though I might never be the same,
my hurts could become what made me strong.

With love so determined and endless pride,
I blossomed beneath their soft hands,
as I became who I always was inside,
and found the strength on which to stand.

I was born into a world shattered,
into chaos and hatred and misery,
but finally someone showed me that I mattered,
and finally I learned that I truly could be free.