Friday, November 19, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 18/30: Heroes

I got kind of philosophical about the internet tonight, and poem #18 (out of 30 in my month long challenge) is the result.


So, I spend a wee bit of time
on FaceBook.
Ok, maybe more than that.
And I read Live Journal
and a handful or so of blogs.
And, because I'm like that,
sometimes while I'm scrolling away
I consider what it is we're building,
and what we're saying with it.

I've seen an amazing community
emerge these past years,
one connection at a time,
as sooner or later just about everyone
dabbled at this internet thing.
It feels like a small town writ large,
with friendships forming,
support offered,
tips and tricks passed back and forth
(I've got to try that cold killing
ginger tea recipe--who had it again?)
and all sorts of avenues for gossip.
On a far flung, chaotic scale.
I even like watching memes go viral,
spreading from one person to the next.

In fact...memes. Those are fun
and quite revealing if you think about it.
Lets see. Today's crop:
Did you see the house cat
face down the alligator?
The elderly woman who got a standing ovation
for her jaw dropping audition?
How about the boy
with the biker escort,
and the depressed 91 year old
holocaust survivor
who posed for those cool superhero pictures?
And of course, the food blogger
who brought down the thieving magazine,
and the man
who took on airport security.
I smile, and click,
and on their way they go.

I have come to the conclusion
that the internet
loves an underdog.
No, more basic.
People love underdogs.
They yearn to see the unremarkable,
the ordinary person
--just like them--
face their fears,
take a stand
and become...extraordinary.
Something shining and wonderful
but not...quite...larger than life.
Still within reach.

I think...
I think when we click 'share'
we're whispering to the world,
Look at this marvelous thing.
This is you.
And...maybe...this is me too?
And maybe...just maybe...
we could be brave enough.
And we could become

Big enough
for the whole world to see.

-Melissa McCollum

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