When you were young | spoken word


Once upon a time

we were young.

We were wild things belonging to nature.

We were curious creatures,

creatures of light-

Dreamers and weavers.



When we were young

we were told that the world is at our finger tips

Instead of the truth

which is that worlds lay within them.

That, in our blood, instead of cells

swim stars

belonging to the many galaxies alive in our skin.

That, like the universe,

we are still growing




But we’re told to have more

rather than to be more-

Or at least be us

Instead of making ourselves bleed more.

When we were young

we were inventors

who believed in wishes, shooting stars and adventures

We were not yet deprived of the light that shows us who we really are to each other:

Sister, brother

One bound to the other.

We were not yet polluted,

our minds not yet molded.

We were not yet transformed

or shamed

or scolded.

When we were young we didn’t question our own beauty,

we saw it in ourselves and in others-

untouched by human cruelty,

our thoughts were free to form and release

with conviction and ease-

our bodies were our own,

not touched and changed to please.

From children to grown-ups

like sinners trying to own up

to the lies and the faults of ancestors passed

instead of choosing our own stories

and forging our own paths.

We are told, over and over

who to be,

who to love

how to think-

as we grow older

we disconnect from one another

eyes outward instead of inward

chanting “we are free!”

while unknowingly being shackled and bound

unable to flee or

even just be.

So please tell me

how my dreams have turned to dust

and my love to rust.

How has my soul turned so cold?

And how did I come to hate my body as I grew old?

How can I go back to the way I once was

without spilling stars like blood

from hating this self and everything she does.



Un-cage and undo me

all that has been done.

Unravel and reveal this self

brighter than the sun.

Wake my sleeping bones

and set this soul on fire.

Feel my heart beat slow and fast

with steadfast desire

for all this earth-side life has to teach and to tell

to my aching spirit

to my wanting flesh

that wraps me up so well-

So I call on you

to take my hand,

and his

and hers,

carry who you can!

Build your castles up

and leave no song unsung.

Live the life you always imagined

when you were young.