Dallas Rally '94 poem

By Ben |

I wrote this after attending one of my last YRUU conferences (which were then called "rallies" in Southwest District) as a youth. To attend the Dallas Rally, I had to drive an hour from Bartlesville to Tulsa, then ride 5 hours to Dallas in a 15-passenger van full of other teens and luggage. It was worth it.

 

Bullets poem

By Ben |

I wrote this poem in the early 2000s at a UU youth conference I attended as an adult advisor, where a number of the youth had said they were struggling with depression. Having navigated my own way out of depression with the help of a therapist, I thought I'd share my experience. After I recited the poem in the conference's talent show, one of the youth came up to me and eagerly asked for the secret of how to beat depression. I had to say there is no one answer for everyone, and you have to work through it with professional help.

My Dabbling in Anthropology

By Ben |

I wrote this poem in 1997 after my summer internship at Great Lakes Free-Net. My choice of faculty advisor for the internship was not available, so I got paired with a sociology professor, who told me he'd expect me to write a sociology paper about my experience. I'd only had an intro class in the subject and did what I thought I was supposed to do. It was a disaster. One of my classmates in the poetry class said that what I'd done was anthropology, not sociology, so I changed the title.

 

"I'm not sure you see the big picture," she said.

Lorien

By Ben |

I wrote this poem in high school. It is not about anyone specific, but about a number of girls I knew who, at that age, felt they had to repress who they were. More of this story after the poem.

 

Worm Bin poem

By Ben |

shredded newsprint
    moistened, yellowed, pungent
shelters squirming handfuls
    garbage eaters, dirt makers, red wigglers
slimily slithering
    beneath, between, among
silent, secret orgy in the green beans

brownness from greenness
warm and heavy, dark and musky
beforeness from afterness

soft skins explore, recoil
    sing a single whisper of wriggling
neverending moistened newsprint
    baking soda rain

SWUUSI '92 poem

By Ben |

I wrote this poem after attending a summer camp for Young Religious Unitarian Universalists in 1992 (age 16). It was an eventful week, because there were a few kids intent on breaking the rules. They kept at it until they got kicked out, after an epic 5am meeting called by my youth director, Bill Gupton. Bill was equally adamant that he would not be the one to kick them out; the group had to agree to enforce the rules... we just couldn't end the meeting until that happened!