I used to, on occasion, perceive others’ dark
as a mendacious mode of false endearments
they could put on a performative spectacle to lure
passive onlookers like a siren’s song
I see now
I see now peoples’ pain
I see now how detractors
bathe their reality in shame.
I see now the drugs and what they do
to the anguished person famished for respite;
I see now the amorous indulgences and what they do
to the emotionally ailed one in dire need of feeling;
I see now the alcohol and what it does
to the hopeless soul whose hands tremble in grief;
I see now the vice of any kind and what it may do
to the lost people who can barely breathe.
Who is anyone to arraign?
Who is anyone at all to judge
how anyone who’s anyone might make it through their days?
Life is filled with pain;
over a constant current do we row
along the very rapids we aspire to tame.
And all that while, some souls
force their smiles, constructed ever elegantly;
people’s muscular affectation tells tales beyond top lore.
So judge never the person or the vice;
they may use what’s needed to survive,
regardless of consequence or price
Judge never how people’s demons are fought;
anyone is a survivor who can wake up,
nobody need be shamed for comfort they’ve sought
Halt judgment’s angry energy
—it is only insecurity’s thirst
Take a breath and study the mirror
—explore what you need to fix first
Judgment is a pyrrhic game
—you may be correct but many are dead
Judgment is the opposite of what people need
—put the energy into understanding instead
Sure as one can never know
the wind from the breeze,
never can one know
the truth from what one perceives.
Tony Blau Veldt, 02/22/2022