Everything Was Alive and Dying, poem of morals and values and choices by Janet Kuypers

everything was alive and dying

I

I had a dream the other night
I walked out of the city
to a forest
and there were neatly paved bicycle paths
and trash cans every fifty feet
and trash every ten

and then a raccoon came right up to me
she had a few little baby raccoons
following her, it was so cute, I
wish I had my camera

and she spoke to me,
she said, thank you
thank you for not buying furs,
I know you humans are pretty smart,
you have to be able to figure out a way
to keep yourselves warm
without killing me

and I said, you know they don’t
do it for warmth,
they do it for fashion, they do it
for power. And she said I know.
But thank you anyway.

II

Then I walked a little further
and there was a stray cat
she still had her little neon collar on
with a little bell
and she walked a few feet,
stretched her front paws,
oh, she looked so darling
and then she walked right up to me
and she said thank you
and I said for what?
And she just looked at me for a moment,
her little ears were standing straight up,
and then she said, you know,
in some countries I’m considered
a delicacy. And I said how
do you know of these things?
And she said
when somebody eats one of you
word gets around
and then she looked up at me again
and said, and in some countries
the cow is sacred. Wouldn’t they
love to see how you humans
prepare them for slaughter, how you
hang them upside-down
and slit their throats
so their still beating hearts
will drain out all the blood for you
and she said isn’t it funny
how arbitrary your decision
to eat meat is?
and I said, don’t put me
in that category, I don’t eat meat
and she said I know

III

And I walked deeper in to the forest
managed to get away from the
picnic tables and the outhouses
that lined the forest edges
the roaring cars gave way to the
rustling of tree branches
crackling of fallen leaves
under my step

when the wind tunneled through
the wind whistled and sang
as it flew past the bark

and leaves

I walked
listened to the crack of dead branches
under my feet
and I felt a branch against my shoulder
I looked up and I could hear
the trees speak to me,
and they said
thank you for letting the
endangered animals live here amongst us
we do think they’re so pretty
and it would be a shame to see them go
and thank you for recycling paper
because you’re saving us
for just a little while longer

we’ve been on this planet for so long
embedded in the earth
we do have souls, you know
you can hear it in our songs
we cling with our roots
we don’t want to let go

and I said, but I don’t do much,
I don’t do enough
and they said we know
but we’ll take what we can get

IV

and I woke up in a sweat

V

so tell me, Bob Dole
so tell me, Newt Gingrich
so tell me, Pat Bucannan
so tell me, Jesse Helms
if you woke up from that dream
would you be in a sweat, too?

VI

Do you even know why
we should save the rain forest?
Oh preserve the delicate balance,
just tear the whole forest down,
what difference does it make?
Put in some orange groves
so our concentrate orange juice
can be a little cheaper

did you know that medical researchers
have a very, very hard time
trying to come up with synthetic
cures for diseases on their own?
It helps them out a little if they can first
find the substance in nature.
A tree that appears in the rain forest
may be the only one of its species.
Or one like it may be two miles away,
instead of right next to it. I wonder
how many cures we’ve destroyed
to plant more orange groves.
Serves us right.

VII

You know my motives aren’t selfless
I know that these things are worthwhile in my life

I’d like to find a cure to these diseases
before I die of them
and I’m not just a vegetarian
because I think it’s wrong to kill an animal
unless I have to
I also know the excess protein
pulls the calcium away from my bones
and gives me osteoporosis
and the excess fat gives me heart attacks
and I also know that we could be feeding
ten times more people
with the same resources used for meat production

You know, I know you’re looking at me
and calling me an extremist
but I’m sitting here, looking around me
looking at the destruction caused by family values
and thinking the right, moral, non-violent decisions
are also those extreme ones

VIII

everything is linked here
we destroy our animals
so we can be wasteful and violent
we destroy our plants
we destroy our earth
we’re even destroying our air
we wreak havoc on the soil, on the atmosphere
we dump our wastes into our lakes
we pump aerosol cans and exhaust pipes

and you tell me I’m extreme

and these animals and forests keep calling out to me
the oceans, the wind

and I’m beginning to think
that we just keep doing it
because we don’t know how to stop
and deep inside we feel the pain of
all that we’ve killed
and we try to control it by
popping a chemical-filled pain-killer

we live through the guilt
by taking caffeine, nicotine, morphine
and we keep ourselves thin with saccharin
and we keep ourselves sane with our alcohol poisoning
and when that’s not enough
maybe a line of coke

maybe shoot ourselves in the head
in front of the mirror in the master bedroom
or maybe just take some pills
walk into the garage, turn on the car
and just
fall asleep

in the wild
you have no power over anyone else

now that we’re civilized
we create our own wild

maybe when we have all this power
the only choice we have
is to destroy ourselves

and so we do

NASA Project, outer space and astronomy poem by Janet Kuypers

NASA Project

Ive always loved astronomy
Ive kept the telescope I had since I was a child
I remember tracking the motion of the stars to the horizon
when I was six with my sister
when she took a high school astronomy class
Ive witnessed two comets
Ive even had a star
past the base of the constellation cygnus named after me.
Ive studied black holes
tried to learn more about astro-physics
the whole nine yards

and there are studies
and possibly plans
for NASA
after setting up the space station
they may be planning a colony
on the moon for inhabitants
in part to entail the long-term-effects
of a change in gravitation force on the human body

and I heard this
that there may be plans for this
within the next twenty or thirty years
and I thought
my god
I am meant for this
I would be perfect for this

but then I thought,
what would I do there
why would they want me there

and
Im a journalist
Ive written all my life
and Im a designer
and my job would be
to catalog what is going on at the colony
and to distribute news to the colony
about what is going on on the moon
and maybe also even about what is going on on earth

and I liked this plan
it would seem fitting
give me occasional feeds through occasional transmittals
of information for me to pass on to the colony
and I would catalog historically
what is happening here
for people on earth to learn from
this sounds like the perfect thing for me

and then I thought
wow
I would disseminate all information
to this colony of people
on the moon

I would be their only link to news

I could tell them anything

just think about this for a moment
I could tell them anything
and they wouldnt be able to use another source
to prove me wrong
I could tell them I sang the national anthem for the President
no really, I dont have that bad of a voice
but I sang because we were leaving to live on the moon
and these people would believe me

I wonder if I had to write reports to send back to earth
would I have to tell them about the hypnotic effects of the earthlight
versus how we earthlings talk about the moonlight

and then I started thinking:
would I be able to bring my pet cat with me?

cause all I can think is that my cat would be
taking leaps and they would be fifteen feet jumps
ten feet in the air
you know, they probably wouldnt let me
bring a pet to the moon
but its still fun to think about

remember at the Planetarium
how they would have scales for different planets
so you could see how much you would weigh
there because of different gravitational pulls?
all the women liked weighing themselves
on the moon
because of the moon has one sixth
the gravity
they could look at a scale and say
“I weigh thirty-six pounds”

but then I suddenly started to think
how they would accommodate
for days that are twenty-eight earth days long
on the moon

can you even imagine
seeing the earth in the sky out there
the way we look at the moon no
youd be there
unable to make any connection
with people on earth at all

I wonder if Id miss from Earth
the traffic
or the grocery store
or going to a restaurant
or telling my family I love them

would I be able to stand being away from the people I love
while living on the moon, would I just have to settle
for looking out cabin holes to see the sky
to remind myself of my love for astronomy

Key To Survival, a poem about knowing who is good and bad by Janet Kuypers

Key To Survival

“the poem of j”

I

Have you ever seen someone
who has a flock of people around them
and that someone is just naturally talking
but people are attracted to them like moths to a flame
people there are like sun tanning high-school girls
facing this persons bright light,
wanting to soak them all in
and hoping theyre more beautiful for it

You see these people,
everyone smiling,
circled around this special someone
its like an animal magnetism
you cant help but
try to nudge in,
to hear their words
to try to get a little of that narcotic for yourself

its like being a child again,
with a ton of kids in a candy store
where someones giving out free candy
and all the kids are so thrilled
and theyre grinning from ear to ear

You havent even gotten close enough
to hear their words,
but youre already starting to smile

II

have you ever seen someone
standing at the corner of an intersection
they look dirty and disheveled
and you try to keep your distance
“˜cause youre guessing theyre homeless
and asking for money
but you have to pass them
theyre right on the street in your way
so you try to walk
on the farthest edge of the sidewalk
but you watch them with your peripheral vision
and you see them making animated gestures
and you see their face contorting
like theyre having a great debate
with no one
like theyre giving the speech of their lifetime
to no one

because, you see, no one wants to listen
everyone knows this is a madman raving
so you just try to ignore them
you make a point to not listen
I mean, theres a Hell of a lot of noise
we tune of out of our minds,
cars going by, honking their horns,
the low rumble of other people talking nearby
the shuffle of your footsteps
well, this is another one of those noises.
you dont want to hear them
you had a bad feeling about them
as soon as you saw them
just ignore them
and hopefully they’ll go away

III

I knew of a woman
who went on a date
with a male friend of mine,
and after the date
the guy talked about how great she was,
how they talked about their future
and what they both wanted
he talked about the inside of her place,
but after he left messages for her repeatedly,
she never called him back again

saw this woman weeks later
at a Starbucks
and she said she felt bad
but she never wanted to see him again
because during their date
they never talked about what they wanted
he just talked about what he wanted
like how she wouldnt work
because he even told her how many
of his children she would bear

she wouldnt let him into her home
(does that mean he was looking through her window?)
and she said that after the date
she showered for hours
because she felt mentally raped

poor girl
she saw someone who seemed nice
but it took her only a short while
to know what he was really like

IV

sometimes you look at people
and you just know

sometimes it takes you a little while
but people cant hide their souls forever

everyone gets feelings about someone
whether or not they want to admit it

its not womens intuition
men feel it too
you feel it in your chest
when you see someone good
and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach
when you see someone bad

sometimes you look at people
and you just know
and you can try to avoid that feeling you get
and you try to shrug it off as nothing
and you try to run away from the feeling for years
but you cant hide from your soul forever
itll catch up to you
when you least expect it

sometimes you just know
youve felt it
Ive felt it too
we know what to run to
and what to steer clear of

weve got to
its in our nature
its a key to happiness
and our key to survival

What the Hell is She Complaining About, a poem about the effects of rape by Janet Kuypers

What the Hell is She Complaining About

i cant go around telling people
about what you did to me
you see, nobody wants to hear it
and nobody wants to hear a girl whining
what the hells she complaining about anyway?
but you know, nobody knows
the effects of what youve done
nobody knows that I showered for weeks
no, months
to try to feel clean after you did that to me
nobody knows why i have
violent fits of rage
how Id hit the wall, rip up the plaster

you want to know what i think of men now?
you want to know their place in my life now?
you see, i didnt know what else to do
so i became the rapist
and now i let men do nice things for me
but i always keep them at a safe distance
i never let them get too close
because i dont care how nice you are
ill always keep you at arms length
i learned my lesson

so yeah, you had an effect on me
and i have to bottle it all up
because no one wants to hear the details
i mean, i wasnt physically injured
what the hell could i be complaining about anyway?

but you know, there are times
when i wish you left a mark,
like a bee sting or something,
so people could see a welt
from what you had done

wait, no, i take that back
id wish i was stung by a bee
and i was allergic to bees

because then my blood pressure would drop,
my pulse would get rapid,
id fall into anaphylactic shock
my skin would turn white
before I got the the hospital
as they tried to keep me alive

all because of a bee sting

while everyone else is thinking,
a bee sting,
what the hell is she complaining about

Self-confidence , poem about having confidence in yourself, by Janet Kuypers

Self-confidence

He hadn’t seen me
In five to ten years
And we hugged each other hello
And he asked me,
“Have I gotten shorter?”
And I was saying earlier
That he was teller than me
Back in the old days
But I guess he DID seem shorter
So I said,
“I don’t know.”
But I knew that I didn’t get taller
So he said,
“Maybe you slouched a lot more
When I saw you before.”
And I though, “Well, maybe.
I have a lot more self-confidence now.
I stand up for myself now.”

The Writing Of My Life, the life changes after your death poem by Janet Kuypers

The Writing Of My Life

i planned for everything
and you knew me, you knew i had scripted
everything out accordingly
you knew i was a writer
you knew i was a poet
you even knew i was starting my novel

did you even know that i used
your mothers maiden name
as a last name for the
scottish lab technician in my book?

well, as i was saying,
ive worked it out over the years
and ive figured out how to take care of myself
and ive figured out how to get ahead in the game
and you know, I did pretty well
i had scripted my life out

i was an open book

but i was careful, i know
that at the beginning of the page
some things made my pen swirl
and i started to write on an angle
and sometimes i’d curl around on the page
or write upside-down

but as i figure out how i wanted my life to be
i was quite meticulous in my writing
and the page actually looked quite graceful

and ive still got room left on that page
for more writing, for more living
but i think so far it was looking prety good
i figured out how i wanted the page to look
and i did just the right things
with the writing on the page
and, well, the writing of my life
was looking pretty good

and after meeting you,
you were a nice edition
to the writing of my life
you even saw me play at my last live chicago concert
and, well,
you enriched my life

even though sometimes you’d piss me off
you were vibrant, and you
helped that page look better

and then

and then you had to go die
i don’t even want to talk about you
not taking care of yourself enough
i know you worked out,
but scottish or not
you were diabetic
you should have checked your blood sugar levels more
you shouldn’t have drank so much

i know you wanted to work on the writing of your life
but you must have known
you couldn’t cram all that living into your body

you should have known that

but you know, you weren’t a writer
i don’t know if you ever looked at the writing of your life
or if you just relied on what you painted
to show how you felt
but you knew i was a writer
and you knew how i watched
over everything in my life

you knew i was the one in charge
you knew i had a plan for everything
you knew i worked my ass off
you knew i succeeded at everything i did

you knew

you knew and you had to go off and die
and mess up my whole page

because right at that point that god-damned pen
started scribbling all over the place
and it made a real mess out of part of my life

yeah, you know i cried for days for you
who am i kidding, i cried for months
and years later i still cried for you
and yeah, no one wanted anything to ever happen to you
but sometimes, you know,
like in the stages of recovery,
anger is one of them
blame is one of them
and right now all i can do
is be angry at you for dying
because i haven’t gone through all the recovery steps yet
but i have to blame someone
for making me feel this way
don’t i