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Pacific Lodge Boys Home Offers Fellowship, Poetry
December 12, 2013 - By Flavia Potenza
Nearby and adjacent to Topangas foothills north of Mulholland, Topangan Maggie Brammall was setting up the annual fundraiser for the Pacific Lodge Boys Home in Woodland Hills.
She had filled at least 20 baskets with accumulated yard sale items for the raffle and some high-end items, among them prints and photographs by Topanga artists, for the silent auction. Since 1923, Pacific Lodge Youth Services (plys.org) has been providing shelter, safety and therapy to adolescent boys, ages 13-18, who are experiencing psychological, emotional or behavioral problems. On that overcast November day, four young men read their poems, their gifts to the assembled patrons who support the facility.
While the Messenger cannot publish their photos or give their full names here, on that day they stood tall in the fullness of who they are and where they come from, a little nervous, uncomfortable, but determined to overcome the obstacles of the moment and open a window on their livesfor us and for themselves.
Today, my pain meets paper, read C.H., age 15, and with that phrase, you knew that simple exercise of pen meeting paper was an essential step in his journey.
PAIN MEETS PAPER
Today, my pain meets paper
The emotions I feel are deeper than the deep blue sea itself
I was in these streets
Where brothas is packin heat
A lot of youngns tryna eat
I was the same
I used to rob, shoot, steal and bang a gang
I was out late with no place to sleep
So flockin was a mando
For rent signs and open windows
I was sleepin in bandos
It gets worse if not that
Cause no for rent sign means sleeping in a Laundromat
Top Ramen and change of clothes in my Jansport
Living life day to day wondering what do I stand for?
Or why do I stand at all?
All I know is that I walk alone
Way too young/But way too grown
Need something to ease my mind
Come to think of it I lost my daddy when I was only nine
How I miss my daddy dearly
Oh, yes, I do
My pain that hasnt met this paper
If you knew
C.H., age 15
I spent a portion of my life going down a bumpy road.
I didnt care where it went, just where it brought me
I look back and see the trouble I caused and the pain I felt.
Theres nothing I can do to change it.
But there is something I can do to make it better./I do my best to forget.
But it haunts me like a nightmare.
A nightmare I cant escape.
Oh, how I wish I can change the past.
But the past is there for a reason.
And that is why I am still here.
Not to change the past
But to change my future.
That bumpy road I once walked on
Has disappeared and is never coming back.
I have now found this new road
Where there are no bumps or cracks in them.
I can now move on and not have to worry about that road again.
S.S, age 16
Life is like a shooting star
How fast it flies by
You get old, then you die
Start to ask God why?
Cant we live forever young?
And live infinite lives?
So everyone could be rich and drive in foreign rides