Labels

Reads: 1125  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 5  | Comments: 25

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: 'The Odd Ones'

“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”

- R.J. Palacio


If you’re white,

you say you’re light,

and you’re bullied every day,

and your parents seem to be fighting

and you’re only in the way,

and you think you aren’t worthwhile

and you can’t come up with pay…

 

That’s okay.

 

If you smoke,

you might choke,

you might kill your lungs and die,

you might not only ruin your life,

but the ones you could make cry

when they find your limp body

after you’ve formed your alibis

as to why you couldn’t stop,

you couldn’t fly,

but guess what?

 

That’s fine.

 

If you cut,

never for fun,

never to burn up in the sun,

never to see the redness flow,

but to feel something inside glow,

whether it’s pain or sadness or something that’s dark,

the burning can help it stop,

an addiction is an addiction

and you can’t help but clot,

but if you think you’re alone…

 

You’re not.

 

If you’re gay,

and you’re hiding,

if you think what you feel is chiding,

if you think it’s not a good thing,

but a bad thing-

no, it’s not abiding.

It’s not the norm,

it’s not what’s new,

it’s not what most are used to,

but...

You know what?

 

It’s you.

 

If you’re strange,

think you’re deranged,

think you don’t belong here today,

just keep believing,

keep seeing,

keep breathing,

and please, for me, keep reading.

 

This message is for all my friends,

and for some I might not have met yet,

but that doesn’t matter, whoever you are,

you belong,

don’t sweat,

don’t fret, friend:

 

Whatever shade your skin takes,

it’s okay as it is.

If you can’t give up a blunt right now,

that’s fine to take time.

If you cut and think you’re alone,

you’re not, because we’re here.

If you’re gay or estranged and scared of that change,

don’t be.

 

Because you are embracing you,

 

and nobody can do it the way you can.



Submitted: January 29, 2016

© Copyright 2021 H. Adams. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

B Douglas Slack

Impressive thoughts, Hanorbi. Just think of all those psychologists that aren't needed if a person takes this advice to heart. basically, this is "do your thing, but don't hurt anyone." Sound advice, indeed.

~Tom

Fri, January 29th, 2016 9:25pm

Author
Reply

The only reason any of this is a huge problem is because of others and their words towards people who don't necessarily deserve it. If everybody were to take that advice, then the world would be perfectly peaceful.

Thanks, Tom!

Fri, January 29th, 2016 1:30pm

Labyrinth Black

I find this cute and really sweet. It's really nice to know that there are people like you in the world, Harry ^_^

Fri, January 29th, 2016 10:00pm

Author
Reply

Aw, thanks, Labbs. I'm glad you liked it :D

Fri, January 29th, 2016 2:03pm

Melancholic Wisdom

As per usual, this was great. I liked the message of this, there are a lot of labels out there and for the people who don't really fit with a label, it can be hard for them to accept that they are themselves. There's also the other part of that message, which is the fact that everyone belongs, something again that a lot of people have a hard time accepting. The flow and the rhyming was on point as usual. And I can see that you're tackling much tougher themes, and that shows just how you're growing up and general progression in itself. It's best to be aware of these issues and how to face them before you actually have to face them. Nice work!

Fri, January 29th, 2016 11:28pm

Author
Reply

I'm trying with tougher themes, but I'm staying away from themes that I don't believe I have a full understanding of. It's like if I tried writing a story about schitzophrenia when I don't have schitzophrenia. It wouldn't work out. With time, I'll probably feel more comfortable writing about more distant, complicated themes (I wanna major in psychology, so mental health's gonna be a big thing). Thanks, Nik!

P.S. - I looked back on the poem that I thought lacked color, and it looks waaay better now. Dunno if this makes sense, but it's more unified and complete.

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:34am

zanybelle

A sentiment after my own heart! A masquerading world only makes us feel unworthy, but what's underneath actually makes us real and special. You told this with heart and honesty. A wonderful message from a wonderful writer. Thanks for sharing this and reminding us it's okay to be who we are and let the mask fall without fear as we all belong in this world equally. ZB.

Sat, January 30th, 2016 9:27pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, zany. I'm glad it managed to reach you in that way :)

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:43am

MightyDeath

Damn, dude... That was good. Pretty impressed, I must say. Not only by your writing, but also just the way you see the best in others :3 I don't know much else to say, so cheers :D

Sat, January 30th, 2016 11:21pm

Author
Reply

Aw, thank you! Even though this comment's shorter than the others I've gotten on this, it's much more special in some way that I can't explain. I'm humbled to know that you were impressed. I appreciate you stopping by :D

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:45am

jetblackheart

i got goosebumps...
that was really good, hanorbi. it's pretty weird to say that i've been reading your older works too, and those are really impressive as well.

x jetblackheart

Sun, January 31st, 2016 1:12pm

Author
Reply

Gooseys are a good sign. Actually, sometimes they're bad. But mostly good. I think good in this case.
It's not weird that you've been reading my older stuff, that's why it's there :p
Thank you, jet!

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:47am

Mr Watson

A nice positive piece Hanorbi. Great thoughts that we all should adhere too, then maybe they'd be no labels !

Sun, January 31st, 2016 5:26pm

Author
Reply

Maybe. I can just hope that one day everything's fine, and everyone's accepted. Thanks, Mr. Watson!

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:49am

Chris Cross

Great talent! As regards the form as well as the content!

Sun, January 31st, 2016 5:47pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Chris! I quite liked the form too, might have to do some more with it.

Sun, January 31st, 2016 9:49am

James William Cooper

This fine young man has done it once again! A piece crafted with such attention and cohesion; a poem that deserves to be read by all! Fantastic job Hanorbi, you've done such a good job with this piece. For a young man if your age, your language is extremely mature and you seem to have such a moral head upon your shoulders, and that my friend is extremely admirable indeed! I loved how though-provoking your 'Summary Quote' was by R.J.Palacio. I guess that people do have a kind of mask on in a way, maybe to prevent others from knowing who they are because they don't feel as though they belong or fit into society. They probably feel like they are not wanted and not loved and not admired, but your piece shows the world that no-one should ever feel like this, that they should never feel like they need to wear a mask when out in the world - they just need to be the greatest thing they can possibly be... Themselves. I think the artwork goes really well with your piece too Hanorbi, the way this person is essentially masked and how the cracks are appearing. To me, those cracks symbolise the desire for people to want to be themselves and show themselves to the world, but because of societies’ standards and constantly judgemental views, maybe they feel covering up and being behind a mask is easier than actually showing the real self? If societies’ judgemental and arrogant views of others were to fade and disappear, I believe that people would be much happier in being themselves and showing the real self. The cracks may also be a representation of the words of others and how it can really damage a person's confidence and their whole being.

The first stanza really helped to set the scene for your poem Hanorbi 'If you're white, and you say you're light, and you're bullied every day, and your parents seem to be fighting, and you're only in the way, and you think you aren't worthwhile, and you can't come up with the pay... That's okay.' I just feel so much hope in this first stanza, that whatever someone may be feeling or whatever they may be going through, it's okay because there is always some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

What I really liked, is the fact that you go through different stages or different kinds of issues that people face in their life and the way in which you address them. Take for example, the way you describe someone who maybe smokes and how 'If you smoke, you might choke, you might kill your lungs and die, you might not only ruin your life, but the ones you could make cry when they find your limp body.' It's so effective, because you explain with great detail how it could harm someone, but what it really nice at the end of it, is the way you say 'But guess what? That's fine.' It's this idea of accepting the fact that people will smoke and that if people want to stop, then they will in their own time and on their own terms. Similarly with the second stanza about cutting 'If you cut, never for fun, never to burn up in the sun, never to see the redness flow, but to feel something inside glow, whether it's pain or sadness or something that's dark, the burning can help it stop. But if you think you're alone... You're not.' Once again, it’s like you're actually talking face to face with people, each with one of these issues they face in their life and you have a real sense of understanding of what they do and you do not judge them at all Hanorbi, which I think is really cool.

I liked the 4th stanza ‘If you’re gay, and you’re hiding, if you think it’s not a good thing, but a bad thing. It’s not the norm, it’s not what most are used to, but… You know what? It’s you.’ Wow, really powerful and emotive and how supportive and accepting your words are. No-one should ever feel that their sexuality is wrong or that it isn’t right and what others expect or are used to. So long as people are happy who they are and with their sexuality, why should anything else ever matter? Just because someone is gay or lesbian or bi-sexual, it doesn’t make them any less of a human being.

The 5th stanza was one that really stood out to me Hanorbi, because of its wonderfully positive vibe and the fact it’s so full of hope. ‘If you’re strange, think you’re deranged, think you don’t belong here today, just keep believing, keep seeing, keep breathing.’ Your words are so elegant in their ways my friend and so full of meaning and understanding. I love how you tell people to keep believing and keep seeing and keep breathing, that they are special and that they are all important, no matter what they may think about themselves. Words cannot express how positive this piece really is Hanorbi, I love it!! It’s so positive and so full of real meaning and for me, the greatest thing about this piece, is that it’s being kind to everyone, to people who may be going through tough times in their life, with their appearance, with issues, with their sexuality virtually anything. The kindness and understanding flows so beautifully throughout the poem! I also loved the part which read ‘Whoever you are you belong, don’t sweat, don’t fret, friend.’ Again, so wonderful and so compassionate to towards others.

The final stanza for me, is the best part and absolutely brilliant! ‘Whatever shade your skin takes, it’s okay as it is. If you can’t give up a blunt right now, that’s fine to take your time. If you cut and think you’re alone, you’re not, because we’re here. If you’re gay or estranged and scared of that change, don’t be.’ With each issue that arises, you provide a solution and that’s what I really like Hanorbi. I like how you don’t just give up on people, you offer sound advice, by saying that it’s fine to take your time or that it doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, or that if you cut and think you’re on your own, you’re not because we’re here. The sentiment is wonderful and the ending is spectacular! ‘Because you are embracing you, and nobody can do it the way you do.’ Wow!! You’re absolutely right my friend, everyone should embrace who they are and love themselves because as you rightfully say, ‘nobody can do it the way you can.’ That is what makes us all unique, especially seeing as there is only one of us all. That’s why it’s important to be ourselves and to forget what others may think or say. We should be true to ourselves and simply be who we are. As Dr. Seuss once said ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’ As always Hanorbi, you continue to excel yourself!! Damn you’re a good writer!! Such a lovely piece and one that I feel can help put some confidence and hope into people’s lives. I love to read pieces that write about people being themselves and how they are never alone and that they are beautiful the way they are and this piece hit the nail on the head with such precision! A masterpiece of epic proportions if I do say so myself!! Great work my friend, do keep it up! :D

Tue, February 2nd, 2016 2:52am

Author
Reply

Wanted to read this in full before responding, and I gotta say, you REALLY go into depth with your reviews. It's absolutely excellent, and I can't thank you enough. I tried to be as caring as I could. I'm glad that shined through!

Thank you for your comments, James! :)

Fri, February 5th, 2016 8:49pm

DLCannon

I really dig thee effort you put into this. You are always inspiring! I hope this reaches many hearts out there. Happy Grounds Day in about 42 minutes too. I that title of my masterpiece song lyric I wrote in late December of 2010, that I mentioned earlier to you, I think. if you'd like to read, It's called "The Lines About A Line Are Thee Only Lie In These 264 Lines", you can just type in "The Lines About A Line" in the magnifying glass, under Content, and it shows up that way faster, since It would be hard to look for on my profile's portfolio. It's about one of my exes. It's 12 verses, Hope to get readers for it.....Great poem here!

Tue, February 2nd, 2016 7:18am

Author
Reply

^^ Great poem of yours, thanks for recommending it! And thanks for commenting, I appreciate it :)

Fri, February 5th, 2016 8:58pm

berktree

You know me, not one for poetry. But I loved this. It's definitely something we could all be reminded of more often.

Sat, February 13th, 2016 8:20pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Berkley! Glad you decided to take another look at some poetry, even though it isn't your desired medium.

Fri, February 19th, 2016 8:56pm

Lillia Winter

Wow. That was really good. I'm impressed.

Tue, March 8th, 2016 1:35am

Author
Reply

Oh gosh, thank you :)

Wed, March 9th, 2016 4:54pm

LeParadisNoirPoetique

Labels is the word for this poem. Like my poem I Cherish You, which you read, the message is that if we are different and are not beautiful in the features department, we shouldn't have to wear a mask to cover it up.
It is about what is underneath that mask is what we should be showing to to world.
For such a young man, your mind is years ahead of your age, full of wisdom we normally learn from our elders. I love the message you are sending out here, and the way you word and rhyme this is quite extraordinary!

Thu, March 10th, 2016 2:33am

Author
Reply

Thank you so so much, Dex. People need to open up a little more, not everyone is as critical as society makes them out to be. Especially now, in 2016, everyone's been able to be more open about things frowned upon before. I just hope things continue that way.

I appreciate the compliments - humbling, coming from you :)

Thu, March 10th, 2016 3:31pm

SuzonneH

Oh, Hanorbi... this is just marvelous!!

Fri, April 22nd, 2016 4:00pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Suz! Glad you thought so :)

Sat, April 23rd, 2016 11:55am

hullabaloo22

Fantastic. You seem to make everybody acceptable in this poem. Wouldn't it be great if the rest of society did so too. Am going to shelf this just so I can read it when I'm feeling down.

Fri, April 22nd, 2016 8:50pm

Author
Reply

The goal was to include everyone in some way, whether directly or indirectly, and to make them all feel accepted and beautiful. Quite humbling that you're putting it on your shelf, I hope it brings some joy to the days where all seems lost. :)

Sat, April 23rd, 2016 11:58am

SuzonneH

Beautiful.

Thu, August 25th, 2016 3:57pm

Author
Reply

thank youu :))

Thu, March 2nd, 2017 8:18pm

Mystic Violet

What a lovely poem, it just felt like a warm pat on the back! I particularly liked the entire verse on cutting, I think it was phrased very well, for what could be considered quite taboo/serious themes, it was very softly spoken (I always imagine someone reading out the poem to me) and I quite enjoyed it :) would you mind reading some of mine, I'm new to booksie and don't fully understand how it works yet! And keep up the positive vibes.

Fri, August 26th, 2016 9:47pm

Author
Reply

thank you so very much.

Thu, March 2nd, 2017 8:17pm

Anastasia Kis

Totally agree with all praising words below. It's such an imressive piece of writing that makes people think and reflect on their lives and what surrounds them both positive and negative sides of life. Amazing poem!

Mon, May 18th, 2020 8:19am

Author
Reply

thank you so much! :)

Mon, June 1st, 2020 5:29pm

Facebook Comments

More Editorial and Opinion Poems

Other Content by H. Adams

Poem / Poetry

Poem / Editorial and Opinion

Short Story / Science Fiction