For I Am But One
I stand alone on grass of green
And poppies coloured red
Among the men who lived but once
Through armies they have led.
The crosses stand up proud and still
In cool crisp morning air
And hold with them both peace and love
Two treasures, so dear.
A sense of happiness prevails
Yet still, I grieve for many.
I gracefully float through the air
As leaves on autumn's day
And silently pass through unseen worlds
Though many only say
Have I forgotten times of peace,
Or remembered times of death,
Kept hidden how this life became
Let free of all the rest.
I am to live with no fear nor fright
Of what the world has brought
A feeling of sorrow is found
Within the shell of I
For our homeland is the grave
For many that have died.
Yet gratitude stands side by side
With that of deep sadness
Our land is now and forever ours
For these men have let it live.
For I am but one
Who stands alone
On grass of green
And poppies red.
I wrote this poem when I was 13 years old. It was for a poetry competition during Remembrance Day, sponsored by The Royal Canadian Legion. The drawing at the top of the page had nothing to do with it, I just found it in a folder that I unearthed from a box in my parents basement. I assume it was done when I was between 9-13 years old. I go back that far because there was a period when I was very young when all I drew were animals in charcoal pencil; strange, but true. I have always enjoyed writing, and in the past year or so have uncovered piles of stories that I wrote in elementary school. For years, I never paid them much attention, though neither did any of my instructors. They were merely assignments to all of us; assignments given, and assignments received. Projects completed, and projects graded. Still, I wonder had I nurtured my craft of writing further, if I would be doing a different kind of work nowadays.
Oftentimes I look to the past for inspiration, my own past. I get this question a lot: "What inspires you?" As an illustrator, as someone who works in a creative and visual profession, such works that fall into a similar discipline seem to naturally influence and fuel my imagination. But over the past few years, I've become much more interested in seeking out areas outside of my illustration discipline to rouse my creativity. I've even included thumbing through work that I've done when I was kid because that work (some of which were done as school assignments) carried with it a kind of honesty and goodness in way of process and intention. The stories that I wrote, the clothing that I designed, the pictures that I drew and painted when I was 10, 11, 12 and 13 years old have gradually become bellwethers for how I've chosen to work nowadays,