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Shenita Etwaroo

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As you barbarically rip the skin from my back
No thought given to my pain
I cringe and howl in absolute agony,
As your treatment is anything but humane.

My coat was intended to keep me warm and dry
Yet it’s stolen for your selfish appearance.
Cut and pieced into clothing and accessories
Stamped with a price tag, eventually thrown into clearance.

How would your feel if your own human skin
Was violently torn from your frame?
Squandered for profits, looks, and prestige.
Who cares? You’re one and the same.

That knife cuts much deeper
Than my external flesh, fur, and skin.
The lack of compassion or thought
Cuts to the core, where my soul begins.

Although the physical pain is unbearable
It is minimal, you see
Compared to the torture, the heartache and anguish
Of a life lacking purpose and quality.

There once was a girl who had it all figured out.
Her life was perfectly planned.
She had an abundance of knowledge and confidence.
All the tools she’d need to meet any demand.

She was aware of her strengths and didn’t dwell on her weakness,
Alone she could conquer the world.
But soon her assurance was sent for a spin.
Life’s plans were different - her strategy came unfurled.

Her mind was set on a narrow tunnel.
She failed to keep her options adaptive.
She was stubborn and selfish. Unwilling to bend.
Fear was holding her captive.

What she failed to understand
In spite of the present obstruction,
Was the fact that this curveball
Was all part of a greater production.

It wasn’t what she wanted,
It didn’t fit into her arrangement.
Life had completely changed directions
Without asking questions or consent.

But slowly she realized
As one door was abruptly closed,
Many more opportunities were presented.
A new life plan became exposed.

This new path wasn’t what she originally intended.
It gave a journey she’d never expect.
But as she overcame the unexpected challenges,
She felt a new level of success she could never object.

For God had opened her eyes to His plan instead
And taught her she couldn’t do it alone.
His plans for her were far more amazing than hers.
This hurdle was merely a stepping stone.

With a leap and a hop and jump over the raging waters,
These stepping stones led her to an open field
That was full of miraculous opportunity
And freedom as her selfishness had been healed.

She realized this obstacle was a piece of her whole,
A dilemma that would help her to grow.
It opened her eyes to a loving God,
Who she would yearn to trust, love, and know.

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.

It only takes a touch
to remind me that I am lucky,
that I am loved so much,
that my little miracle is just for me.

It may be a light caress,
against the back of my hand,
it may be a chaotic mess,
that only I can understand.

It may be a soft cry,
it may be a joyful squeal,
both can inspire a grateful sigh,
and have helped my soul to heal.

It’s her loving presence,
whether quiet or loud,
that sweet unconditional essence,
that makes me so very proud.

How many times have I walked on by,
Past the fluttering dance,
of a perfectly beautiful butterfly,
without ever giving it a second glance.

When she is near,
I never miss a sight,
because everything is so much more clear,
and she teaches me to delight.

Her constant awe
teaches me to pay attention,
to everything I never saw,
to the way nature can offer affection.

She’s opened my eyes
to the rainbow that shines above,
as it stretches across the skies,
an example of celestial love.

She awakened my spirit within,
to the truth that all things posses beauty,
and that no matter how hard it’s been,
joy will always outweigh misery.

She’s my little miracle, that’s for sure,
as she warms my heart,
I know I could never ask for more,
I know that we will never be apart.

She’s my blessing, a wish come true,
she’s the reason I wake,
she’s what paints the sky blue,
she’s the sun’s reflection on a still lake.

She’s everything that takes my breath away,
and I can’t believe she’s mine,
I know she’s here to stay,
a truer miracle I could never find.

No matter how many moments remain,
each one will be filled with joy,
because her light has chased away my pain,
and a miracle is something no one can destroy.

If one day I am gone I can only hope,
that everyone will have a chance to know
that this little beacon found me at the end of my rope,
and taught me to grow.

Miracles come in many different ways,
they come at exactly the right time,
and for all of the rest of my days,
I will be grateful that she is mine.

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.

Take up your cross, so Jesus said,
And follow the one true Christ.
He did not say to take your crown,
For first there is a price.

We cannot reap where we’ve not sown,
For there’s work to be done;
We are called to do God’s will,
To let his kingdom come.

We can’t demand reward from God,
For he already gave,
A priceless gift of salvation
Through the one who came to save.

And if we live just for the crown,
And not for love of God,
Does that not make us selfish?
Does that not deem us a fraud?

So stay headstrong and carry on,
Through the trials of life;
For Jesus bore the weight of sins,
And through him we bear strife.

The sufferings of this world are great,
But you are not alone.

Take up your cross, don’t be afraid;
For this is not your home.

One day you will earn your crown,
So keep that day in sight.

But first have faith in the old rugged cross,
Lest you lose that right.

There is always reason to hope,
sometimes you have to look,
past all of the difficulties with which you cope,
and all of the wrong turns you took.

But there is always reason to smile,
sometimes you have to wade through,
the pain that follows you mile after mile,
but the joy inside of you is still very true.

There is always reason to believe,
no matter how many times you’ve hit the ground,
no matter how many losses you may grieve,
there’s always a new path to be found.

Take a moment to breathe,
take a moment to remember,
choose what to take and what to leave,
one experience is not forever.

Look for the light,
in your own eyes,
look for an excuse to delight,
savor the bluest skies.

When you come to see,
that giving up is not a choice,
you can rise above your misery,
and begin to rejoice.

One foot in front of the other,
will lead you to new opportunities,
one, and then another,
each day full of new journeys.

There will always be a new friend to meet,
there will always be a new sunrise to see,
listen to the sound of your own heartbeat,
follow its rhythm and set yourself free.

Each day is your gift,
given to you to use as you will,
will your spirit fall or lift,
how will your spirit be fulfilled?

Take this day,
and make it belong only to you,
find a new way,
to paint your sky blue.

Never give up, never give in,
because there’s always another day,
there’s always another dream within,
and there’s always a brand new way.

1

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.

Silence.
Forgiveness.
Grace.

This is what we learn:
Be meek, be kind, be silent.
Accept abuse.
Accept pain.
Stay silent.

But silence,
forgiveness,
grace
cannot always save us

When silence covers up abuse,
forgiveness prolongs pain,
and grace enables an abuser,
we must change what we have learned.

No more silence.
No more
tolerating abuse
for empty values.

No more silence.

In the beautiful world I see,
there is enough love,
to reach from sea to sea,
from the ground to the sky above.

In this world there is plenty to share,
no reason for war, no reason for hate,
and every being have arms that care,
harmony and wholeness are our fate.

This the world that I see,
when I close my eyes,
to block out the misery,
of a world of hatred and lies.

A world where the gentle hearted
are punished for their affection,
a world where families are parted,
and no one bothers to pay attention.

In the world I wish I did not see,
all pure things are broken,
by unrelenting cruelty,
and acts that remain unspoken.

Those that love unconditionally,
animals or people who care,
are faced with endless tragedy,
with only the solace of prayer.

It baffles the mind,
to think that anyone could destroy,
what is so warm and kind,
what only seeks to bring joy.

But time and time again,
those that hate seek to harm,
and in the end,
they disguise it with wit and charm.

When I close my eyes,
I see that beautiful place,
where all of the hurt and the lies,
has been permanently erased.

Here there is only hope,
and the chance to love one another,
there is no need to cope,
no hurt from which to recover.

Instead those born to love,
are allowed to roam and be free,
from the ground to the sky above,
from sea to beautiful sea.

But I never keep my eyes closed long,
as beautiful as it may seem,
I know I must be strong,
I must not be lost in my dream.

Instead of drifting away to a safe place,
I must pour my love from my heart,
so that one day that world will occupy this space,
and finally we will all be given a loving start.

No more strikes will fall,
on backs never meant to be broken,
no more dirty cages or tiny stalls,
no more abuse and secrets left unspoken.

No more lost and lonely,
wandering the streets alone,
no more unfathomable tragedy,
no more left without a home.

One day I will open my eyes,
and that beautiful world I long to see,
will be what before me lies,
from ground to sky, an sea to sea.

Dear Lord, accept my special friend
Whose time on Earth is done.
A beautiful and tender friend
Whose life had just begun.

They’ve left me alone too early, I feel
They scarcely had their chance.
I pray, dear Lord, to help them find
A bright new place to dance.

I’m grateful for what we did have
And thank you God for such.
I pray that they can be at ease
As I love them so very much.

I find that through you, Jesus Christ
My mind comes to some ease.
I know my prayers are heard by you
And that my friend is at peace.

Thank you once more for helping me
To get through these hard days.
Every night I’ll pray down on my knees
For Heaven’s morning rays.

If we see ourselves as living beings
Things are quite straightforward seeing
Yet our neighbors right beside us feel
The bias in this whole ordeal

All animals exist in life
But we commit to bring a knife
Such tragic slicing, with no buffer
We observe as creatures suffer

Can we see ourselves in place
To be dissected, head to waist
Does it make one feel awful when
They put themselves in that spot then?

It sounds absurd because it is
It’s simply evil to dismiss
All righteousness we’ve had since birth
We’re taught to love all on the earth

Infinite ways to test our drugs
Replace those knives with little hugs
We don’t need any sacrifice
Instead some ears to hear advice

We need to keep all life alive
And find new methods to survive
No vivisection’s life or death
So let’s give them another breath.