Irreplaceable Treasures

[Originally written for and performed by invitation at Lynn: City Unplugged coffeehouse and open mic night, Friday Nov 19 2010]


A trophy

The handiwork of an artisan

A journey across the world

A prominent display


Rocked and toppled

A frame-by-frame descent

From pedestal to floor

A desperate, reaching hand narrowly misses



The familiar sound of hollow impact and fragmentation


A heart reels in anguish

The onset of despair

No tears

No cry…

No breath



An empty gaze…



Wishing for the hands of time to reverse

Just five seconds –

A few ticks backward to recover what was changed in an instant

In one careless moment



Desperate hope

Hope of repair

Hope of recovery

Hope of a day it will again be seen as it once was –

As it was before that moment


Hope of repair is not lost

But there lies a knowing…

Under the wrench of the heart

Below the hammer of the fist in the palm

Beneath the repetitive drill of what should have been


The unforgiving notion that though repair will be made

Restoration is out of reach

A treasure is forever altered

On the altar of carelessness and disregard


A friend

A fellow

Kin or stranger


A life

Not unlike my own


Lives on display

Fashioned by a Master Creator

On its journey through the world

Prominent in its own right


An instant of disregard

A thoughtless word

A careless motion

A cold bump, stray sneer, or unchecked action




The life rocks and topples



Falling from its confidence

Tumbling away from its esteem


No sound, no cry, no whistle or rumble until…



The bitterness of depression

The angst of defeat

The despair of unlov-ed-ness

Shreds of a life once whole

Torn by the barbs of modern lifestyle


Fragments of the life

Sharp-edged and raw

Strewn now across its own history

Looking toward a future through shards of present pain


Hope?  Where is hope?

Yes, hope exists

Hope of repair?  Yes

Hope of renewed appearance?  Yes

Hope of another tomorrow?  Yes


Yes, hope

But today that life is forever altered

Restoration to what it once was, only a dream now

Experience and pain has stained its fibers…



The spectacles through which it views its journey

Indelibly tinted by anguish

Its steps, more tentative than when its journey began

Restoration?  No – that life is forever altered…


One life

One moment

A nucleus of society

I stand

Surrounded by watchers


Those who mimic and repeat –




Their eyes see my actions

Their ears hear my words

Their skin feels my touch

Their souls share my experience


Will my words rock them?

Will my deeds topple them?

Will my lifestyle send them falling…


Down, down, down…




They lie fragmented and broken

Strewn across the face of humanity

In pain, disease, and confusion

Tainted by my selfish ways?


No…it must not happen that way

No!  I cannot bear the thought

No!  I will not lead them to a life of brokenness and doubt

Where their only hope is for repair

To appear happy, strong, and whole as they once did yet having scars of sorrow beneath their countenance


They are not tokens

They are more than items placed on a shelf for all to see

They are irreplaceable

Not reproducible

They are flesh,…mind,…and heart

Valued far above currency, land, or fame


They are friends

They are fellows

They are kin and strangers

They are human

They are you


You are lives

Not unlike my own

Lives on display

Fashioned by a Master Creator

On your journeys through the world

Prominent in your own right

To be polished

Protected – Irreplaceable…Treasures



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