Rise Above

It is time

Time to rise above
On the wings of those who have gone before us

Let them lift us above so that we may see
The good and the bad
The hurting and the rejoicing
The joy and the hate

Rise above

Let us look upon this world with clear eyes and open hearts
Let us not be swayed by thoughts of power or riches
Instead, let us forge your own paths
Paths that bring us peace,
But also peace to those around us

Rise above

Let our thoughts be our own
Not those of the person with the loudest voice
Let our dreams be our own
Not those of the person who stands on the backs of others
Let our peace be our own
Not that of the person who only prays from a pew

Rise above

This is an exceptional moment my friends
For we have the opportunity to learn from others,
To learn from our mistakes,
To learn from our past,
To learn from those suffering or in need

Rise above

Now is when we have choices…
Graciousness over conceit
Love over hate
Unity over division
Peace over turmoil
Truth over falsehoods
Generosity over greed
Light over dark

Rise above

Realize that what we see in our brothers and sisters,
In our fellow humans,
In our neighbors,
In our parents,
In our children…
This too exists in each of us.

The good and the bad
The light and the dark
It all exists inside each of us
It bubbles and boils
And simmers and settles
In the melting pot of our souls…

And it’s up to us to decide what we reveal to ourselves and the world

Rise above

Let us sit in the clouds with our thoughts and our feelings
Breathing in and taking note
For inside, we are not so different
But our actions are what others see
What others remember
What others are left with when we’re gone

Rise above

Tori Burris Inkley

I Cry

I cry when I remember my children as babies
I cry when I remember family and friends who have passed
I cry when I remember the times I’ve hurt others

I cry for my youth
I cry for my fellow man
I cry for my country

I cry when my husband holds me close after a long stressful day
I cry when I see my mom in pain
I cry when there’s nothing left to do

I cry because my head and my heart and my soul hurt
I cry because there is beauty and music and love in this world
I cry because I care

I cry for those suffering, lost, forgotten
I cry for those happy, joyful, celebrating
I cry for the past, the present, the future

I cry when my son shares his passions
I cry when my daughter cuddles her daughter
I cry when my youngest struggles with her schoolwork

I cry because I can envision a brighter future
I cry because others can’t
I cry because I don’t know how to fix that

Tori Burris Inkley



Because you must


Because your husband/wife/partner/lover still needs to hold your hand and look into your eyes and know you’re there


Because your children need you to stand up for them, for their rights, and for their future, and to protect them from becoming caged in or having others control their bodies


Because if you’re lucky enough to still have a job, you have work to do… whether you’re a teacher demonstrating to our youth that there are still adults who care, a pastor/priest/rabbi calling out those who arm themselves with religion in order to oppress others, or a musician/poet/artist of any sort who is needed by our country to remind us that there is so much beauty in this world… when we look past the hate and the greed and the ego


Because until your heart and head can steady themselves, your breath will keep you afloat


Because no one said this would be easy… change never is… you’ve trained for a marathon, not a jog around the block


Because many have died… whether in hospitals or nursing homes, their own beds or churches, battlefields, SCHOOLS, or at the hands of domestic terrorists… whether in jeans and t-shirts, pajamas, or uniforms… whether on ventilators, sleeping peacefully, praying, marching, sitting in class, walking, or running… TOO MANY have died


Because the world still needs good… REAL good… not lip service, not thoughts and prayers… but action, loud voices, care and support for ALL… REAL good… and real good trouble


Because we must keep speaking… we must keep dissenting… we must keep going


Because others can’t…

Tori Burris Inkley

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