The Sky Belongs to All of Us

I once heard of a man of spirit
who put on a suit of flesh
and cracked his chest open
to prove that

was not just a
but a VERB
that we are called to

to grow its fruit
on every human tongue tree
rooted in electric brain soil,
migratory paths, and
double helix souls dripping
the dust of creation from
their heels;

to wield it wildly
with river-lined palms,
cradles of embrace built
from bone-built and
skin-soft arms,
and feet that forget
the pain of miles
and chasms crossed.

This perfect love
casts out fear,
an elderly disciple tells us
from the pages of time;
he saw how lines can divide,
pile people like pebbles
atop each other in lines
of sediment and strata

when we humans
were meant to be trees,
growing next to each other
and all wicking the same
sunshine, air, rain, and love
into our cells.

That elderly disciple
has long since disappeared,
merging into sky-born breath;
the Master who taught him
shares with him and us
that same lambent sky light
and cosmos birthing
bright diamond pink-prick points,
singing to call us home.
That sky, my friends,
belongs to us all:

to those who see the
flaming heart in
Christ’s cracked open ribcage;
to those who call another
Divine and Holy;
to those who only see
skin, chromosomes, and
bones buried in stone;
to every soul in the
double-helix rainbow;
and to every conjugation
of that verb TO LOVE –

and I
of the computer mind
and glass-shatter heart
want to share that sky
with you.

Written 2/12/14
© 2014 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

This poem was written for two reasons.

First of all, I was heartbroken when I read Julie Wood’s blog post at Believe Out Loud about her son’s suicide –a tragic and completely incomprehensible loss, especially when I read that he had been bullied at his church by a youth minister for being gay. Wood painfully describes how Ben’s sanctuary – his belonging to that youth group in which he had found sanctuary from what she describes as “years of being bullied at school”…his “safe and sacred space for him as he experienced the laughter and joys of friendship” — was, in her words, “dismantled”. And while he found a safe community in college, the prospect of having to return to his home town drove him to commit suicide. He was only 21 years old.

I could have easily been Ben Wood when I was growing up. I am autistic. Most of you who read this blog know my story, but I’ll just refer to it in shorthand by saying that I was constantly pressured during my teenage years to “be normal”. And I know what it’s like to believe that you cannot return home.

That, my friends, is what has fueled my belief and these words you have read of mine for the last nearly six years since this blog was created. I believe that we all are trying to find our way back home — and we all deserve to find that “home”. I’m convinced that Ben is home, wherever he is — but he deserved to find “home” while he was still here.

I wanted to write about this, but felt paralyzed – but here comes my second reason for writing this poem. When I saw Kelly Green’s (of post on Facebook about the #LoveNotFear flashblog event, I found my voice. My roots are Christian, so as I wrote this poem I thought of 1 John 4:18 which reads (quote is from the New American Standard Version):

There is no fear in love; 
but perfect love casts out fear, 
because fear involves punishment, 
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

And how exactly can we cast out fear? By loving each other. We are all human underneath skin color, religion, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, and of course, neurology. The moment we forget that is the first step towards failing to love one another. My Jesus commanded that we do this — but even without his commandment, it is an imperative, not only for a moral and ethical standpoint but also a necessity for our survival and growth as a species. Or to put it as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

We only have each other, my friends. Is it too difficult to see the humanity in each other, regardless of what you feel about homosexuality, the color of person’s skin, their religious faith, their political views — or even if they act a bit “different”, miss social nuances and can’t make eye contact with you?

I am imperfect, as all of us humans are, but I will keep on trying to love until the breath in my body has left me. Because I want to share the same sky with you.



About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in Asperger Poetry, Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Sky Belongs to All of Us

  1. A beautiful thought -brought out of a tragic happening. A really good job of expressing what many of us are thinking.

  2. neverfretlove says:

    Wow, this is awesome! My God is peering through the clouds, breaking through the clouds in your poetry. Thank you

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  4. Leah Kelley says:

    Thank you, Nicole! As always – you words are appreciated ❤

  5. It is heartening to read a work of conviction in belief. Unfortunately the’ different’ need support to guide them through the running of the gauntlet until they can stand on their own. In my opinion only the lucky ones get it.The rest either survive by sheer chance or we hear stories like this.The most disappointing thing for me is the act of unkindness committed in the name of Christianity, which are completely antithetic to Christian values and ethics. Thought provoking and interesting work.

  6. Pingback: #LoveNotFear Flashblog Event Today | Woman With Asperger's

  7. Beautiful poem. Heartbreaking inspiration.

  8. Pingback: The Sky Belongs to All Of US | Love Not Fear Flash Blog

  9. julespaige says:

    We had a boy in High School…I didn’t really know him and his story. But not many, perhaps no one listened. He found the sky …to early.

    May all who wish to share the sky, become bright stars leading the way home.

    Thank you for your visit to ‘Side Arms’. ~Jules

  10. Pingback: You Are Real Because You Are Read | Raven's Wing Poetry

  11. Great sound play throughout…especially love this:

    “skin, chromosomes, and
    bones buried in stone;
    to every soul in the
    double-helix rainbow;”

    Powerful work!

    Also, a line to thank you for your generous feedback as of late…thoughtful and much appreciated comments, Nicole, thank you. 🙂

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