The concert

 

Forty thousand memories

and lips that remember the words

Off radio days, that lonely playlist, the TV at 2am

Hands to the sky in case this moment is gone too quickly

A friend’s glance that lasts for the verse you both know all too well

That breathe-in-eyes-closed-tight runaway instant

the lights fade

and we erupt to another consciousness

Where nothing can touch you but the words

 

Forty thousand reasons why they’re there

Forty thousand whispers to the chorus

A moment where you can scream

your pain

Your happiness

Your ecstasy

In a choir that feels the same way

The forty thousand bodies turned facing

Lights in the dark, a man who grips a microphone

His guitar telling a joke everyone knows

But everyone keeps listening to

 

And in the crowd

A girl pretends she’s written it all

It’s just for her

The man walks away from his friends and raises a head

It’s just for him

The front-row leaps

The back crew crane and are lost

 

It’s just for you my friend

 

And in the echoes,

the encores,

the queues,

the hours that sting of awe afterwards

Your heart is trapped

In the forty thousand

 

And it’s all for you my friend

 

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Bravery

(for my brother Brent on turning 21)

He holds a knowing look
a bravery that’s understated
but deafening
a kindness that reaches beyond
a person’s heart
With honesty, with age, with wisdom
comes a man who holds more than he knows
a man that holds love for the world’s unknown
the world’s little mysteries
his world’s people
his world’s love

He understands his place
treats the universe with a sense that it might go away
he will hold your hand because some day it will go away
he’ll be there if you need him
whenever you call
he arrives with a humble stride, a steady hand
a helpful glance to the sky
everything, everything will be alright

he has a never-ending hope
that he will climb any worry
that he will conquer any struggle
because he has already been knocked down
he’s gotten up
stronger
braver
wiser
better than before

And now the world is new
and it waits for him

His eyes bright, sensing that over at the horizon
there’s another, and another, and another
that’s how he lives
that each dream sprints onto fresh dreams
that each day can be filled with new faces
new desires
a sense that nothing will be better
than a family’s embrace
a crush’s kiss
a father’s teaching
a mother’s helpful way
A sister’s knowing, shared thought

So go on
because there’s a path that has never been walked on
it’s stones brushed new from the earth
the wayward journey
well, it’s up to you to carve the way

So Brave one
beside life’s crushing, awful, beautiful, splendid moments

Remember that you are you
that nothing can alter your way
that you hold so much purpose
so much grace
so much love

No one can beat you off the track
that no one can waver your head
that no one can speak of you without knowing
your heart