with tears,
cloaked in half truths
clinging to fear and rage
the adults turned
scattered to earth’s farthest corners
from great distance
built walls
did battle.

Fucking grownups.


Left behind on wide open plains
Winter’s abandoned children faced hard choices
no choice, really

more-whole truths
broken hearts everywhere
anger on all sides
fear everywhere
the worst within

hold on
to fun

lightness of spirit
darkness of origin

impossible new old selves
disinclined to hide

glide down, through, then off of hatred
hands up
in the air
like a slide

sit with the
stay with abandoned
cry with the
cradle the
embrace the

accept the cracks

accept abandonment

accept the rage that moves through you

accept this new state of orphanhood, this too-soon adulthood
like you watched your cousins do
once before
rising from ashes
more amazing than ever
beautiful, wise, kinder, gentler, made strong
on winter’s harsh plane


With grownups fled
your first instincts were to rush to fix things,
build walls out of hatred, and/or
run away.
To look away, like the adults did.

But utterly surrounded by orphans,
new options arrived
new voices
the trees, the stars, all the dead children

Not yet child. Be still.
First relax, be held.
Be held by your own arms: now your own mother/father.
Be held by the family that remains:
mother universe, father time, mother nature, other orphans.
Stay with it. Name it. Don’t rush.
Grieve. Rage. Mourn. Collapse.
Give in to the urge to play when you’re ready.
Play as if Life herself depended on it.
Be amazed: they are enough
More amazed: you are enough

gather internal strength this winter
look deeper
until you find slivers of uncertainty within certainty
greater truths around untruths
seeds for doing better:
lightly held connection
shared pain
a secret love of winter, even as we curse it, shovel it

jump up and down
in anger
until you remember, feel
pure joy
in jumping
and down
how you yourself moved
your anger through you
in through your head
out your now-warm feet


with tiny, almost invisible seeds
they themselves can’t clearly see
Winter’s badass children will rebuild themselves until they’re laughing
until we’re all laughing
who better to start a sacred choir of laughter
than Winter’s abandoned children
united as friends
content with who they are
held within loss
jumping up and down
kickstarting lost humanity
powered from within?


we are Winter’s badass orphans

we break
start over
with broken, lost selves
bare and unhidden
yet remarkably held

adults may never understand our silly
they forgot the power of silly
and couldn’t fully pull content from within discontent
or find mystery and wonder within ruin
without it

bitches, we can

we can Scooby Fucking Doo this


walls we once cursed, like our parents,
we taught ourselves to cherish
those walls meant becoming our own elders
forming more open, silly, bleeding hearts within ourselves
broken hearts, perfect, for turning walls into playgrounds

the same walls that made enemies of our too distant parents
are making orphans
better parents
better community members
better leaders
crafters, builders, farmers
artists, poets
and elders
right now
of us all

watch us demonstrate


Dear, dear, fucking grownups
Good God it’s hard to love you some days

but we do
we love you
we honor you
by making different choices than you did

happy humans don’t appear magically come springtime
not yet they don’t
peace for us means slowing down together
crafting new selves
from raw red earth, rubble, spit, and bubble gum
right now

we know we need every unique perspective
every person
to survive, thrive

You forgot that your own children are abandoned behind your walls.
Orphaning you within.

Welcome to our world, orphan.
Running away is not an option here.
Walls and distance and distraction don’t work here.
Here we face the music together, awkwardly re-learn to dance, or we die trying.

The empty world you left us is cold, shattered.
Walls in all directions we turn.
Can’t you hear us screaming outside your fortresses?
Open your eyes. We’re not monsters, dear hearts. We’re all just abandoned children.
We will see this for you if you can’t through your self-blinded eyes.


We pulled ourselves through the harshest winter
hand in hand
with those we love

those you failed to teach us to hate

we have become our own elders

your generation will be the last to die
trying to heal across great distances
behind walls, blind
stuck, drowning in smelly, stagnant rage

ours will be the last one abandoned
to die alone in the street

this shit stops with us


our children
will watch us work with neighbors
to tear down old walls
build parks

our children
will help us plant vegetables
in abandoned lots
fruit on rooftops
herbs in pots

our children
will hear us creating art, laughing
with those we were taught to hate

our children
will grow up laughing and crying together
to bring their fears out in the open
in rubble-magic playgrounds
emerging as springtime’s clowns.

Until this rings true for all our children
this rings hollow for all our children.

This is our truth. We own it. We don’t look away.
We are offering our lives to bring this through.


Welcome the clowns.

Weaving wounds together
love and humor
stayed-with grief, more gratitude
twinkles in their eyes
curious flexible fingers and souls
finding and using wordless threads—
goose bumps, belly laughs, cheek-tears, skipping, pee-inducing giggles, and awe—
pulling wounded worlds back together

bowing deeper silly bows

mourning wide open, visible and exposed

allowing the dead

finally honored

to go.