I wrote the poem below for my mentor and dear friend Colin Smith. He had just turned fifty the time. I wanted to honor this milestone in some way. You see Colin has changed my world for the better. His guidance and support have been invaluable. He has taught me to see the sublime in the ridiculous, to slow down, to breathe, to be at peace with the world. (The world is easy; it’s me, I still struggle with). Mr. Lovely has been instrumental in awakening my rebel spirit, a spirit that no longer sits meekly and quietly in the background, paralyzed by fear and insecurities. I have found my voice and purpose in life. .We are not meant to be stagnant. We are meant to move, to be, and to give back. We can change the world for the better (Tosha 2016. Rock the vote).. I’ve grown and blossomed so much through my interactions with this soulful Brit. Colin will always have my undying gratitude and affection. He’s a bit of a paradox, a punk rocker and an academic Ph.D. in one hand, guitar in the other, Professor and hellion. This poem attempts to chronicle his journey it’s not my best bit of poetry. I warned you. It may not be a work of art, but it was a labor of love.
Note- the quoted lines are lyrics from Colin’s songs.
“Every since I was a child all my dreams been running wild”
A baby is born with the heart of a warrior.
A restless spirit, a soul full of magic
In need of a place to call his own.
Into his life walks a beautiful woman.
Singing to him her sweet motherly song.
He will be her son now, and she will be his protection and hope.
These are the days of security and peace.
A blessed refuge and reprieve, but alas not meant to be.
“Hate is like a battle, love is like a war”
A little boy grows feeling lost and alone.
Clinging to his mother, she alone is his home.
Escaping from his father who is militant and mean,
Berated and bullied it’s always a scene.
He loses himself in rockets and dreams.
These are the days of fear and survival,
Where contempt and abuse are his arch rivals.
“My adolescent dreams are nightmares in the streams.”
A teenager he becomes, defiance his mantra,
He’s out on the streets, looking for peace.
Drugs and needles he seeks. Hedonism and Dionysus he meets.
A life on the brink Chaos and havoc he reaps.
These are the days of excess and rebellion
A manic season of an outlaw and hellion.
“We’re the kids from the block we know how to rock.”
Adulthood finds him a punk rocker with the band.
Girls and guitars, he’s pissing on czars.
His future looks grand. A rebel is taking a stand.
JJ, The Cardinal, -The Blood is the plan.
These are the days of desires and extremes,
Fighting the establishment and rocking sweet, sultry things.
“Loving you religiously is doing in my brain.”
A man full grown now at 25 he’s half-way to today.
The girl of his dreams, a bonnie lass is she,
He takes as his bride and a life of passion they lead.
In a few years, a daughter comes along.
Filling her daddy’s heart with song
These are the days of stability and chaos,
Anguish and bliss, and love not without risks.
” I don’t want fortune. I don’t want fame. I want a piece of history.”
A time of changes comes on strong with 30’s drumbeat marching on.
His mind begins yearning as he develops a hunger for learning,
His thoughts, they are a turning, his soul burning.
Off to college, he goes. The seeds of knowledge sown.
These are the days of highs and lows,
Of books and enlightenment and he grows.
“The bouquet of insanity left me a wreck, but I won’t forget.”
The 40”s find him on his own; his family gone.
Somehow, somewhere, someway it all went wrong,
Some things in life are not meant to be.
Sorrow is all he sees, but time moves on.
Through adversity, he finds his strength.
The depth of his spirit, humanity is his link.
Finding his Magna Charta, he realized his purpose.
Justice and liberty become his new song,
A magnum opus for us all.
These are the days of devotion and emotions,
His soul for humanity is causing a commotion.
“The road less traveled, it’s the one I’m own”
At 50 now what will be will be.
He has miles to go before he sleeps; He cannot rest life is still a test,
But his future is anything but bleak, His spirit far from weak.
Riding out the highs and lows, Tempering the desires and extremes,
Ordering security and chaos, Challenging the unchallengeable dream.
Understanding from experience, he fights the true outlaws and hellions
Humanity his devotion.. Lost in emotions
These will be the days of Renewal and Survival. Rebirth and Revival
A rebel causing a commotion, a life in full motion.