For the First Time

Can you see something for the first time?

Can you see your life with new eyes?

Does the world grow a sense of freshness,

A total change in perception,

When you choose to look at things

From just a slightly different direction?

Have you ever gone to an old city

Or an old home,

Or an old school,

Or even an old car,

And gotten past the nostalgia,

But felt a certain sense of wonder

And began to see things exactly as they are?


I mean,

Can you really see something for the first time?

Because this world becomes drudgery.

This earth can get pretty boring for me

For us,

And for humanity.

Day in and day out,

Same old, same old

Busy as a bumblebee,

But never accomplishing anything

That will ever feel

New to me.

Or to us.

Or to anyone.


There's nothing new under the sun,

So when I look up into the sky

I feel the intense heat of this desert sun,

The very same one

As yesterday.

And as yesterday's yesterday.

And as the yesterdays of yesteryear.

And I choke on the grit of particulates in the air

From the dust

And the dirt

And the smog of urban industrial centers everywhere.


With what may be called

Yucca brevifolia Engelm,

The Joshua Tree,

But I know are just cheap excuses for trees and then some,

Dotted against an entirely cloudless smoggy blue pretending

To be sky.

And I ask myself:


Why do the businesses nearby

Water their grass with sprays and sprinklers

Which only just evaporates into the oppressive atmosphere,

While our shallow water supply only dwindles.

And how in the world did any of us get out here?


And I think about all of the people

That curse this ground and its maker

As if its His fault as the creator

That they moved to this baking

Piece of wasteland

Thinking their only savior

Is that dope in their hand,

And the SSI check

They get every month.


Living from hand to mouth

And raised from milk bottle to 40 oz. Bottle.

This is real Breaking Bad territory,

Where folks smoke away and shoot up their former glory

Which they never had

And probably never will.


Why this land is so ugly,

And everything about it,

From the colorless dirt at my feet

To the cloudless sky above me

The very same one

As yesterday.

And as yesterday's yesterday.

And then I wonder:

Can I see something for the first time?

Can I see this place with new eyes?

Will this world grow a sense of freshness,

Will I have a total change in perception,

When I choose to look at things

From just a slightly different direction?


I then look up into the sky,

And I feel the most amazing sense of warmth.

--Not the perfect temperature,

But enough to make me feel I'm alive

And every sun-scorched part of my body

Is just that way to remind me

That it is there.

No bone alone

And not a pu-pum, pu-pum of my beating heart skipped.

Everything inside of me

Feels exactly the way it's supposed to be.

And I allow my mind to travel

Inside me and unravel

Every nerve and sinew imaginable

In me,

And I sense the wonderful completeness of my body.

That wonderful feeling

You get if you just stopped

Just stopped and listened

To be me

To be us

To be human.


Yes, I look up towards the sky,

And I notice the Joshua trees nearby

Yucca brevifolia Engelm,

Which may not grow too high,

These 'cheap excuses for trees,'

But they're just that woody and dry yellow and green

To be in contrast with the sky's certain shade of blue,

Uninterrupted by clouds

So together they can make that certain indescribable shade of pretty.


And I think about all the people

Who here finally managed to find places to call homes,

As imperfect and arid as these are,

But which give more than enough space to deal with these people,

Just as they are,

Problems in tow.

And all the churches on the streets,

Helping the homeless out here find Jesus and something to eat,

And the SSI check that keeps folks going,

Thank you Lord,

Until they too realize the notion

That they can see something for the first time;

That they can see the world with new eyes;

That it will give their lives a certain freshness,

And let them lead their life in a new direction.


And then I think of the drudgery:

Day in, day out,

Same old same old

Busy as a bumblebee,

But now I've seen

A little something new

For the first time.


Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression! 

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