Michael Lee is one of my influencers when it comes to poetry. A year ago I found this video of Michael Lee on Youtube and from then on I started to like him, the way he delivers his poem or spoken word, the emotions he puts in the poem and his passion to his craft. I have his complete videos of every poem he made and please stand-by because in the coming days I’m going to share in this blog my top five poems of Michael Lee.
But today, allow me to share this poem by Michael Lee entitled “Pass On”. I have manually typed and included the text of the poem. It might make a good monologue for someone too.
Pass On – by Michael Lee
When searching for the lost remember 8 things
We are vessels. We are rooms.
We are so much less important than the things
inside of us. We are circuit boards
swallowing the electricity of life upon birth.
It wheels through us creating every moment,
the pulse of a story, the soft hums of labor and love.
In our last moment it will come rushing
from our chests and be given back to the wind.
When we die. We go everywhere.
Newton said energy is neither created nor destroyed.
In the halls of my middle school I can still hear
my friend Stephen singing his favourite song.
In the gymnasium I can still hear
the way he dribbled that basketball like it was a mallet
and the earth was a xylophone.
With an ear to the Atlantic I can still hear
the Titanic’s band playing her to sleep,
Music. Wind. Music. Wind.
If you listen to the wind and you only hear a thousand
years of music, then you’re not listening hard enough.
The day my grandfather passed away there was the strongest wind,
I could feel his gentle hands blowing away from me.
I knew then they were off to find someone
who needed them more than I did.
On average 1.8 people on earth die every second.
There is always a gust of wind somewhere.
The day Stephen was murdered
everything that made us love him rushed from his knife wounds
as though his chest were an auditorium,
his life an audience leaving in single file,
Wandering the earth for days and nights.
Every ounce of him has been
wrapping around this world in a windstorm
I have been looking for him for 9 years.
Our bodies are nothing more than hosts to a collection of brilliant things.
When someone dies I do not weep over polaroids or belongings,
I begin to look for the life that has left them,
I feel out the strongest breeze and take off running.
After 9 years I found Stephen.
I passed a basketball court in Boston
the point guard dribbled like he had a stadium roaring in his palms
Wilt Chamberlain pumping in his feet,
his hands flashing like x-rays,
a cross-over, a wrap-around
rewinding, turn-tables cracking open,
camera-men turn flash bulbs to fireworks.
Seven games and he never missed a shot,
his hands were luminous.
I asked him how long he’d been playing,
he said nine 9 years.
The theory of six degrees of separation
was never meant to show how many people we can find,
it was a set of directions for how to find the people we have lost.
I found your voice Stephen,
found it in a young boy in Michigan who was always singing,
his lungs flapping like sails
I found your smile in Australia,
a young girl’s teeth shining like the opera house in your neck,
I saw your one true love come to life on the asphalt of Boston.
We are not created or destroyed,
we are constantly transferred, shifted and renewed.
Everything we are is given to us.
Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live.
Death comes because the brilliance inside of us can only be contained for so long.
We do not die. We pass on, pass on the life burning through our throats.
When you leave me I will not cry for you.
I will run into the strongest wind I can find
and welcome you home.