This I Believe

Nicholas - Rosemount, Minnesota
Entered on September 26, 2006

Long ago a man asked me to follow his words,

“I do solemnly swear,” he said,

“That I will support and defend the Constitution,”

His eyes followed my lips,

“Of the United States against all enemies,”

Repeating sounds mimicking thoughts,

“Foreign and domestic.”

That was five long years ago,

Believing in repetition without contemplation,

Now as the past settles into memories—abstractions,

I stand disillusioned,

I have a voice of my own,

This I believe,

Despite admirals and generals telling me differently,

I have a soul,

Despite conditioning and ranks,

I have a thought,

Not just any thought,

An individual notion.

I believe I am that idea,

I,

A living, breathing concept,

Always changing for better or worse,

But an independent theory nonetheless,

A breathing organism of hope and despair,

Floating in an unorganized world,

Chaos is a warm blanket,

When all is rigid and determined,

Marching to adolescent cries of “KILL!”

A blank slate standing at attention,

Playing along with hate and prejudice,

Waiting to write this to you:

A fine line between murder and killing exists,

Only in semantics,

In reality there is no difference,

Only death.

Two souls leave their bodies with each fatality,

The one who has deceased,

And the one who has killed,

Each share a distance between spirit and body,

While the deceased leaves to never return…

The unfortunate living—remains,

A shell searching for an idea,

Of itself,

Of a life with meaning outside of death,

Just as death becomes comforting,

As suddenly as it begins,

Ones’ service is finished,

While external wars fight on,

Through meditation my war has ended.

Conflict is a mischievous being,

Disparity either brings out the best or the worst,

When your war is done,

Will you come with me in peace?

Repeat after me:

“I will obey the orders of my heart,

According to the regulations of my soul,

And my sense of Justice,

So help me God.”

Or will you stay an unhappy child of Hades?

Either way,

The choice is yours,

For you, too, exist.